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Insightful opinions and timely responses to the most important business issues facing the craft beer industry. Crafting A Strategy members have access to additional blog content from our founders and from industry experts in marketing, financial modeling, economics, and business strategy.

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Differentiation in Advertising

Sam Holloway, Ph.D. - Crafting A Strategy

Many smart business people are studying the craft beer industry and conducting high-level analysis on brands, their messages, and the efficacy of advertising. Here is a recent article from a good blog we follow, TheDrinksBusiness.com

Their analysis hits upon a problem for breweries in an increasingly crowded market: If our messages are all the same, how can we differentiate our brands?

What kinds of messages should we send to consumers?

It is easy for most of us to use hindsight to recognize a valuable brand. Apple has an iconic brand; Sam Adams has Boston Lager, embodied by the vision of founder Jim Koch smelling his beer in their wonderful advertisements. For larger breweries with vast financial resources, creating advertisements is an exciting and very effective way to communicate their brands to consumers and drive that emotional connection that leads to sales. What about the rest of us? If we don’t have the financial resources and have not yet fully developed our brands, how do we communicate with customers in a way that will form an emotional connection that leads to a transaction?

“Marketing has always been about the transaction” according to CRAFTINGASTRATEGY.COM Expert Blogger, Dr. Peter Whalen [1]. In his Members-Only blog, Dr. Whalen continues: “It is vitally important for brewery owners to consider the exchange process before it begins to make marketing decisions…Don’t think of it as exchange value (what the consumer is willing to pay), think of it as use value, what benefits do they derive from consuming the beer. Use value unlocks the emotional and psychological costs and benefits that will allow you to create, deliver, communicate and, ultimately, exchange value with your customers.”

How do customers derive use valuefrom products like Beer?

We really like the research of NYU Professor, Melissa Schilling. Schilling suggests that a product can convey value to a customer in one of three ways. First, there is the technical utility the product offers to a customer. Technical refers to what the product actually does for a customer, and utility is a word for how much value the customer receives from using that product. For beer makers, the technical utility is the quality of the beer, its aroma, flavor, mouth feel, etc. Packaging the beer well, keeping it refrigerated and serving it fresh also enhance the technical utility.

Schilling says the second way for a product to deliver value to a customer is through the product’s “installed base.” The installed base is the total number of placed units of a particular product within the entire market or product segment. For Apple’s iPhone, the installed base is how many other people have an iPhone. iPhone users can text or Facetime with each other for free. So the more iPhone users there are, the more people iPhone users can call for free. Plus there is another benefit. The more utility each user gets, the more new people want to join in and get an iPhone too. This is a rich-get-richer-cycle, technically called “increasing returns to adoption” or “preferential attachment.”

For beer companies, think of your installed base as the total number of product placements and end users in every geographic region where your beer is bought and sold. In each of these locations, people will interact with your beer, interact with each other while they drink your beer, and the more people interacting and drinking your beer, the greater value your company delivers to its installed base. All those distributors, bartenders, servers and beer drinkers speak of the utility of your beer as they drink it. Your job is to give customers and partners positive things to talk about and share that other people like talking about and sharing too. This will cause outsiders to want to join your community.

“I’ve met the Brewmaster, she is awesome and really seems to care about quality…Have you been to their tasting room and met the staff? They all seem to really care about each other and the quality of the beers.”

“They put their beers in cans because it protects the beer better and keeps it fresher, plus it is really easy to take camping; want to go camping with us?”

Your advertising messages to the installed base must leverage your Brand Community. A Brand Community is a web of relationships among customers, marketers, the product and the brand. These relationships are characterized by a sense of community and belonging, shared rituals, practices and places, a moral obligation to the brand and fierce loyalty to the brand (McAlexander, Schouten, & Koenig, 2002). Thus, when designing your messages, it is not simply enough to tout how great your beer tastes. You need messages that enrich the brand community and leverage the fierce loyalty among community members. As reported in TheDrinksBusiness.com blog, attempts to communicate with a brand community end up as messages like: Our craft beer brand is all about…“real people”/ from a nice place/ believing in their beer/ having fun brewing beers/ using good wholesome ingredients (while caring for the planet). (Fox, 2014)

The third way that a product creates value is through the availability of complementary goods for that product. Apple’s iPhone is a wonderful product with even better complementary goods. These complementary goods include the iTunes store, the App Store, Macintosh computers, AppleTV and a host of other goods whose value and connectivity increase the value of being an iPhone owner. What are the complementary goods to a craft beer product? Ask yourself this question: How does consuming my beer enhance the value of other items associated with the quality of my beer and the core members of my brand community? Merchandise, such as T-shirts, hats, glassware, growlers and coasters allow a consumer to take a piece of your story with them, and share it with others. These are certainly complementary goods. Has your beer been featured in a book, such as The Beer Goddess, Lisa Morrison’s (2011) book on craft beers of the Pacific NW? Your brand gains surplus value from being mentioned in this type of complementary good. Does your distributor put your logo on their trucks, to showcase your brand as they deliver beers to distant neighborhoods? Do you have a tasting room where consumers can congregate and celebrate your quality beers and also each other? Each of these complementary goods enhances the overall value a consumer gets from your craft beer products. Using all three sources of value simultaneously (bringing it all together) yields dramatically more use value, which our chart below shows.

Bringing it All Together: Developing Distinct Messages to Each of Three Sources of Value

Do you really have an advertising strategy?

By designing your messages to hit all three sources of value, you begin to make the leap from marketing novice to marketing strategist. With limited resources and even less experience, many craft brewery owners are overwhelmed and end up ignoring any strategic thinking in favor of a Facebook page, a Twitter handle, and blasting any and all messages to anyone that will listen. While this might work for a while, as the industry keeps getting more crowded, breweries will need solutions that facilitate transactions. After all, that is what marketing is supposed to do.

My next blog will suggest which communication channels relate to each of the three sources of value. Should Twitter messages aim to evangelize your brand community? Or are Twitter messages better used for things like scheduling, announcing new events, and pictures? Since Twitter is amazing at scaling and getting your message to as many people as possible, and also facilitates brand community members sharing with each other; the Twitter communication channel is aligned with “increasing returns to adoption”, which we associate with the ‘installed base.’ Thus, Twitter messages should be aimed at the installed base primarily, and at the other sources of value in a secondary role… This is the kind of strategic advertising thinking that allows you to engender use value at a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional advertising firm. My next blog will align each communication channel (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) with its highest impact source of value…

What about videos of your brewmaster introducing your latest and greatest barrel aged beer? Is video the best medium to communicate your beer’s technical utility, or would a press release about a medal you just won be a better way to reach more people? How can you organize your messages and deliver them effectively and efficiently? Stay tuned or consider membership at CRAFTINGASTRATEGY.COM. Our members are currently discussing these important topics through our forum and through commenting on our White Papers. We would love you to join us and enhance our learning community.

References

Fox, D. 2014. Craft-Beer: One Strategy Won't Fit All, TheDrinksBusiness, Vol. 2014: Anthony Hawser.

McAlexander, J. H., Schouten, J. W., & Koenig, H. F. 2002. Building Brand Community. Journal of Marketing, 66(1): 38-54.

Morrison, L. M. 2011. Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest: A Beer Lover's Guide to Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia: Timber Press.

 

[1] Dr. Peter Whalen is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Denver. His academic research is focused on the interface of marketing and entrepreneurship and has been published in Harvard Business Review blogs, Huffington Post and various international academic journals.

Mergers, Aquisitions, Partnerships, and Alliances

Mark Meckler, Ph.D. – Crafting A Strategy

Where will your brewery fit?

Last week I was in Europe and visited both Heineken Headquarters and Duvel Moortgat Headquarters. Both firms are in the game of operating, buying and selling breweries. Both have long histories of success and admirable balance sheets. Both boast recent international purchases and successes. Both are growing at a reasonable and sustainable pace. That’s why it is a bit odd to report just how very different they are from each other. They have similar components and very different architectures. If you are a supplier, a distributor, another brewery, a law firm, an advertising firm, or an investment bank, a business-to-business relationship with Heineken might fit your organization perfectly well, while fitting poorly with Duvel Moortgat. If you are interested in being acquired by either of these firms, your components and overall business architecture must fit with one firm or the other. It is very unlikely you would be an attractive acquisition for both.

Business Components: What are those?

Components are individual parts and pieces that are assembled together. Brewhouses have concrete floors, mash tuns, holding tanks, refrigeration lines, hops, water, filters, hoses, drains and so forth. A business has components as well. It has accounting, marketing, legal, information systems, purchasing, inventory, warehousing/storage, research, development, production, packaging, shipping, sales, after sales support, and so forth. A corporation has components as well. These are all the individual business units and divisions (companies) owned and managed under the corporate umbrella. Components should fit and integrate together well and at the same time be easy to remove and fix or replace.

Heineken owns hundreds of brands and breweries all over the world. They claim that their global reach is broader than any other beer brewing company. They have wonderful components: Breweries, transportation divisions, distribution agreements, routes, banks, managers, retail relationships, advertising and PR campaigns, all shared where it makes sense. Many of the breweries they acquire are refitted with clean steel tanks, quick release lines and valves, advanced sanitation technology, modern bottling and canning lines and new brand positions and advertising strategies. Heineken’s strategy is continuous improvement on each of these technical and social components within their existing architecture.

Business Architecture: What is that?

The general design and workflow of a system makes up the system’s architecture. The system workflow determines what parts and pieces are needed, i.e. what components, and how those components should be arranged to optimize the workflow. In a kitchen, when one changes their water faucets, gets a new refrigerator, changes the countertops, or updates their oven and stove top; they have improved all of the components, but not altered the architecture. After a number of iterations of component upgrades, it might seem like no further component upgrades will help the kitchen situation. It is time to tear it all out and redesign the kitchen to fit current needs and future needs. Counters will move, some components of the old workflow might be eliminated, new ones might be added, some things lessened, some things increased. Electric stovetops might be replaced with natural gas, floor drains might be added and hot water might be provided with a tankless unit. These innovations require an architectural change.

How could your brewery fit into Heineken or Duvel Moortgat?

Heineken is an advertising and PR juggernaut that focuses on scalable, clean, repeatable and defendable processes. They clearly establish hundreds of brands, and carefully keep the global Heineken Beer as the aspirational brand that is a “step up” from the others. Heineken is a high quality, clean and crisp pilsner. Heineken has a highly consistent flavor profile that appeals to the masses, while still being somewhat distinctive. Their strategy is to make large quantities of uniform quality beer that is marketed, advertised and promoted well and delivered on time. They do not treat their acquired local and regional breweries poorly. Rather, they help them and upgrade their components to ensure quality and efficiency. In fact, during my discussions with Heineken executives, I was surprised to find that the local and regional brands are where most of the profits are made. Heineken views these businesses as a series of strategic components, whose organization promotes, compliments and protects the core Heineken pilsner. Their passion is branding, and strategy is about market reach, complimentary offerings and positioning[i]. Even the smallest craft brewery can learn something from this component approach to a strategic architecture[ii].

For a brewery to be an attractive acquisition target for the Heineken N.V., it should be a relatively modular component. That means that it can easily fit into the rest of the Heineken system with very few adjustments or customization needed. The brand and beer should be subordinate to their Heineken branded pilsner and complimentary to it, not competitive with it. The brewery location and geographic distribution should be of the right sizes and in the right places to fit easily into the Heineken distribution system and methods. The technologies used and brewing cycles should be standard and predictable. If your brewery can easily plug into this architecture, both socially and technically, then joining the Heineken group may be a great fit for you.

Duvel Moortgat believes in customization and unique qualities rather than uniform qualities. For example, they do not seem to mind that (as they say) “it takes 90 days to make a Duvel.” The post brew house, in-bottle fermentation process takes up half or more of their physical space and time. If you are a Duvel Moortgat brewery, your brand will be maintained as unique. The technical quality of your beer must be consistently excellent. Further, unlike Heineken it will not matter if your beer or brand is seen in the marketplace as superior to Duvel: LaChouffe is excellent. Omegang is innovative, de Koninck is excellent, Vedett is fun, Liefmans is deliciously different, Boulevard makes excellent American craft ale. The key to the Duvel architecture is Michael Moortgat’s desire to maintain each brewery’s individual legacy and ecosystem, and to help them all be the best expression of their somewhat unique missions. High quality and attention to detail in the beer, the brand and organizational culture are the core goals, not cost controls or scale. This architecture is not as fundamentally efficient as the Heineken architecture, and yet it is also very successful.

A key business model difference between the two breweries is the ownership structure. A main reason that Duvel Moortgat can decide to have a somewhat less efficient structure is because they are no longer publically traded. After having a large portion of the shares publically owned for a number of years, the family bought the shares back and took the company private. This means far less daily and quarterly pressure to be as profitable as possible. They can be as profitable, or not, as they want. They are efficient and they are profitable – they just are not driven by the public corporation mantra of “maximize efficiency and maximize profitability at all times.” The company can follow Michael Moortgat’s values and vision for the long-term, rather than stock market’s values and focus on the short-term.

As you grow your brewery and brew pub business, it is advisable to grow in a way that will fit one of the broader business architectures – so that when it is time to partner, or merge or sell; your business will be ready to fit in, contribute and share the gains. It is up to each owner to choose their future, and strategically position their organization to be ready for it.

How can Duvel’s strategy be so different and still so successful? It turns out craft beer businesses can be as creative and innovative as the beer they produce and sell.

 

[i] Interestingly, their strategy is quite similar to Budweiser’s in the 1990s, as described in Guest Expert Blogger, Dr. Peter Whalen’s April 2014 blog (Available to our members).

[ii] Components of strategy, components of the brewery, components of the value chain… Find out how the value chain components fit together in a multi-business model approach in Sam Holloway’s 2013 Keynote Speech at Penn State University’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (Available to our members in the core curriculum).

Craft is Global

Sam Holloway, Ph.D. - Crafting A Strategy

Craft is Global – East London Edition

Standing at a craft beer bar in East London, one of the first of its kind, I was trying to blend in and take in the scene. I listened as customers came up and asked innocent questions like “I enjoy Stella Artois, do you have anything like that?” Before the extremely nice bartender could answer, another person at the bar jumped in, pleasantly suggesting: “This is craft beer, not that lager stuff you are used to, try the pale ale from Kernel Brewery, its dry hopped.” The bewildered Englishman took the advice, but didn’t really know what to expect. I felt like I had gone back in time to Oregon from 15 years ago. I distinctly remember the first time I tried craft beer. It was a Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon. I remember it tasted unlike any beer I had ever tried. As I watched this young Englishman taste his first craft beer, I smiled. The craft revolution is alive and well in England.

I was standing at The Craft Beer Co. Clerkenwell, the original location of this thriving chain of beer bars. They had 15 beers on draft and at least another 15 in casks, the bar staff was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. They had just opened their sixth location the day before, in Covent Garden – a wonderful part of town with an open market, theaters, plenty of people watching and plenty of action. I kept listening, a much more knowledgeable customer asked for a Stone IPA on draft, and reveled with her friends at her visit last year to Stone’s HQ in Escondido, CA. I asked the very friendly and knowledgeable bartender for something local, and she handed me the Kernel Brewery Pale Ale, it was delicious with just the right amount of hop forward taste. We struck up a conversation and she had all the right answers. I was thinking about their business model, about how well trained and well spoken the bar staff was, and as people started piling in around me on this Saturday night in London, I began to feel the energy of something new, something important, and something incredibly local.

The bartender asked me where I was from, I said Portland, Oregon and quickly showed me the cooler behind the bar with 22 oz. bottles of Rogue, Stone’s Seasonal, Arrogant Bastard and many other familiar favorites from the USA. I told her I was a professor that studies beer companies and we engaged in a spirited banter about how excited Londoners were to have local craft beer. As she handed me my beer and glanced over to the patiently waiting customers, I thanked her and sipped my first English craft beer. Before I could set it down, two locals approached me. Stuart and Anna were serious craft beer fans, having traveled all over the USA searching for great beer. Stuart began: “We were eavesdropping on your conversation and you must have the coolest job in the world.” I smiled, offered them cheers and said, “I absolutely do.” Stuart reveled in the pint of Boneyard’s Hop Venom he had on his last trip to California – this guy really knew his stuff! For the next two hours, Anna and Stuart chatted to me about London pubs, the best beer, and their friends who had just started Hackney Brewery a couple of miles away. I’ll definitely be contacting these home brewers gone Professionals, Jon Swain and Peter Hills.

Stuart and Anna could not have been more gracious ambassadors of the burgeoning English Craft Beer scene. As we talked and bought each other beer, I was reminded that people care so deeply about quality, they care about local businesses, and the sense of pride they showed while talking about their friends Jon and Peter, and the beer they were making. Truly, Hackney brewing was the hub of that neighborhood.

I’ll keep this short, but my evening in East London confirmed what I have been watching all over the world – Craft Beer is Global. It gave me the idea to share with you stories about the people I meet as I travel the world searching for new answers to old business problems. I plan to visit Hackney Brewing in a few days, I can’t wait to see their operation, talk to the owners, and enjoy their beers. Keep your eyes open for a regular feature from Mark Meckler and me as we travel the globe this year. Craft is Local. Craft is Global. Thanks for visiting CRAFTINGASTRATEGY.COM

Give Me Profitability And Give Me Death

Sam Holloway, Ph.D. – Crafting A Strategy

Apologies to Patrick Henry…I just returned from a great week in Denver and the 2014 Craft Brewer’s Conference. It was great to reconnect with old friends, meet new ones and attend some great sessions. One session in particular, “Surviving Rotating Handles” really struck a nerve for me. Congrats and thanks to E3 Craft Strategies’ Marty Ochs for putting together a talented and spirited panel.

For those of us at the panel, we saw some passionate folks who fundamentally disagree on the future. Marty constructed a panel representing the traditional 3-tiered system: Representing breweries was a great brewery co-founder from Elevation Beer Co., Xandy Bustamante. Representing distributors was an old-school brand manager from Philadelphia, Tom Buonanno from Muller, Inc. distribution. And perhaps the most passionate of them all, representing retail was Scott Blair, proprietor of Hamilton’s Tavern in San Diego. What an awesome crew to highlight an impending problem facing the craft beer industry. – Brewers and consumers want variety, but distributors want more sameness. More sameness is more profitable, could chasing profits result in the death of distribution, as we know it?

At Crafting A Strategy, we are business professors who studied many different industries before finding our true love in craft beer. I want this blog to focus in on the role of the distributor – or rather the distributor business model – to explain that distributors may need to wake up and reinvent their business model to survive (Johnson, Christensen, & Kagermann, 2008). Why would this cash cow of a business need to change? Eastman Kodak, Bethlehem Steel, Woolworth’s Department Stores… any of these companies ring a bell?

Clay Christensen and Michael Raynor (2003), have a wonderful book, The Innovators Solution, that shows how leading companies follow the profits to their ultimate demise. Chapter 2 – How Can We Beat Our Most Powerful Competitors, details a particularly important phenomenon, which they term “Fleeing up-market.” This process occurs within an industry’s most powerful firms, when these powerful firms chase short-term profitability found in their traditional business model, and ignore disruptive technologies and processes found in the business models of new entrants. Here’s an example from the steel industry (adapted from Christensen and Raynor, 2003).

Bethlehem Steel, U.S. Steel, remember the dominance of these large, integrated steel mills? Even the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL team celebrates this business model. They had incredible barriers to entry[1], because the only way to manufacture high quality steel was to own large deposits of iron ore. If you own all the good land, no new competitors can get this critical input and thus, you have a dominant market position. How could new entrants get around this barrier to entry? A new entrant, NUCOR Steel, found a way to recycle scrap steel and thus gain the critical input without owning large deposits of iron ore. This new business model was termed “Minimills” because they could be much smaller and more efficient than traditional steel mills that were doing things the old way (Christensen & Raynor, 2003). The only problem, minimill processes were initially crude, and they could only make the most basic and least profitable kind of structural steel, rebar (see chart below). So, what did Bethlehem Steel and the large integrated steel mills do when this new technology for steel production threatened their very livelihood? They let NUCOR have all the rebar – its margins are the lowest and least profitable – and they kept going along as if NUCOR had done them a favor. Imagine the conversation in the boardroom: Bethlehem CEO, “Don’t worry about minimills like NUCOR, their process is crude, they will never be able to make structural steel or sheet steel, just give them the rebar and let us redeploy all of our resources into the higher margin stuff. They are doing us a favor!” In the back of his mind, the Bethlehem CEO may have said, “Since my bonus is tied to share price, and I plan to retire in two years anyway, this strategy will also maximize my retirement, a win-win!” Guess what, Wal-Mart entered in hardware and Woolworth’s let them have it. Fujifilm, Canon, Sony and Nikon entered in digital cameras, and Eastman Kodak let them have it. Sticking with Steel for now, see Christensen’s chart below as to how this decision to “let the new entrants have it” and flee up-market without changing the business model led to incredible profitability, for a few years. Ultimately, NUCOR refined and improved their processes, and was able to make all of the products in the steel industry, cheaper, faster, and at the same or better quality. Bethlehem fled up-market until they were dead firm walking! Bethlehem Steel filed for bankruptcy in October 2001.

Caption: Generic Pattern of Disruption as Incumbent Firms “Flee Upmarket”
Source: Image courtesy of Magpixie under Public Domain 

So now, back to the Marty Ochs’ panel at the 2014 CBC. Distributors are the kings of the castle. Better capitalized, better efficiency, more and better relationships, they seem unbeatable. But on either side of them in the 3-tiered system are partners screaming for a different business model. Rotating handles, variety, appealing to consumer tastes, lower profitability…the brewers and retailers are innovative, looking for a better way, and always told to just keep things the same and it will be better for all of us. Why so resistant to change? I mean, these distributors have been around much longer than craft breweries. Bright, successful people run them. They have better experience and way more information – how many of us small craft breweries can afford Symphony IRI data, after all. How can distributors fail?

Distributors rely upon market research for decision-making – many use IRI data. The fundamental assumption of market research is that the past is a good predictor of the future. Has your distributor ever suggested to you that you go into six-pac glass instead of aluminum cans “because the data shows 96% of all six-pacs are in glass”? What if Oskar Blues had listened to the past instead of forging their own future in cans? Retailers, brewers, and consumers care about variety and are trying to create a future of rotating handles where there previously was no market. There is no past, no market research that they can rely upon to ‘research’ how the rotating tap market might look. Market research is useless to them… But they are forging ahead anyways because they believe variety and choices among quality products is the right thing to do…so what will the future look like?

Something has to give. If Christensen and Raynor (2003) are correct, maybe the rotating handles phenomenon is the rebar of the craft beer industry. Existing distributors will ignore the market demand, let someone else gain a foothold in the market and leverage their sunk costs in existing trucks and warehousing practices, to reap the immediate profits, right into their own demise. A new entrant, with a passion for variety and an understanding of the needs of places like Elevation and Hamilton’s, may bring new technologies and processes to market, perhaps a cleverly designed truck technology – that automatically delivers 1/6th bbl kegs and gathers empties using a conveyor system. Will current distributors continue to ignore these changes in consumer tastes? I sure hope not, but with 10,000 breweries by 2020, the business model of distribution better get ready for change.

References

Christensen, C. M. & Raynor, M. E. 2003. The innovator's solution: Creating and sustaining successful growth: Harvard Business Press.

Johnson, M. W., Christensen, C. M., & Kagermann, H. 2008. Reinventing Your Business Model. Harvard Business Review, 86(12): 50-+.

 

[1] For more on barriers to entry, members can view our white paper, “Threat of New Entrants”

Welcome from Kevin O’Brien, CPA

It is with great excitement that I post my first blog entry for CRAFTINGASTRATEGY.COM. Sam and I have known each other for several years so when he asked me to consider blogging for his new venture I jumped at the chance. As a CPA (and home brewer) with a particular focus on the alcoholic beverage industry, I am excited to become part of a program that is supporting the growth of an industry that I have long admired. Sharing a passion for the craft beer industry, Sam and I have enjoyed several pints discussing different aspects of the craft beer industry – where it’s been, where it’s going and more importantly, how we can help. We are both strongly committed to leveraging our experience to assist entrepreneurs in accomplishing their craft brewing dreams.

With many years of experience working with wineries/breweries/distilleries from the start-up phase to over $100 million in revenue, I am excited to share my insight with the CRAFTINGASTRATEGY community. I’ve always enjoyed the numbers and operational drivers behind a great business strategy. My work history has included working on both the buy and sell side of the acquisition equation, helping buyers look for the right kind of company and also helping sellers position their company as an attractive target. Additionally, working at an alcoholic beverage focused CPA firm has allowed me greater insight into specific tax strategies; record keeping best practices, requirements for bank financing and more.

My focus on the CRAFTINGASTRATEGY member’s only blog will be giving you the mindset and the tools to structure and analyze your company from a financial perspective. Here is a look at upcoming blog posts for the next 6-8 months:

  • Contribution margins and business model development
  • Cash is king, the importance of cash flow
  • Using financial models to understand where the profits lie
  • Why good recordkeeping is crucial
  • Valuing your business model as multiple profit centers
  • Positioning your company for a sale, key thoughts on valuation and how to maximize value

 

As stated above, I am very excited to be supporting the craft beer industry through the CRAFTINGASTRATEGY community. I hope that my posts provide some food for thought in the financial arena and allow you to look at your business from a different perspective. I look forward to being a resource to all members in order to help in the continued success of this great industry!

About Kevin O’Brien, CPA: Guest Expert Blogger for Crafting A Strategy, Kevin is Director of Business Advisory for Irvine & Company CPA’s, specializing in financial modeling, strategic planning, and mergers and acquisitions. Kevin has been involved on both the buy and sell side of over $250 million in food & beverage transactions.

Irvine & Company CPA’s: Certified Public Accounts 345 NE 102nd Ave, Portland, OR, Phone 503-252-8449

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