A common question from clients and prospective clients is: Where do I start? My suggestion is: Start with your vision. Deciding on the vision for your winery or winery business is the very first step in creating a successful company. So, what is it and how do you write it?
The vision comes first
Before you dive into the business of making and selling wine, it’s critical that you have a firm understanding of what you do and who you are. This is your vision and will become the foundation and guide for your winery. Not only does it tell the world who you are and why you are, but it is also the litmus test for opportunities. There will be many options for your business, but not all of the options are good ones for you. How do you decide? Ask: “Do they match my vision?” If they do, then they are worth pursuing. If not, then you should give them a pass. It’s hard to overstate how important it is to know what you don’t do. Knowing what you do and why will allow you to focus and not get caught up in opportunities that lead you in the wrong direction.
Vision vs Mission
Many people are confused about the difference between a vision and a mission. So, here it is in a nutshell.
The vision is what you are, why you are and what you want to be. It’s based on your guiding principles and your values and it’s forward thinking. The vision is static and doesn’t change with time.
The mission tells how the organization is executing the vision today. The mission is dynamic, so it may change over the years based on the needs of the organization.
Here’s another way to think about vision versus mission:
A vision statement focuses on tomorrow and what an organization wants to ultimately become. A mission statement focuses on today and what an organization does to achieve it.Britt Skrabanek
For example, a winery that includes being sustainable in its vision may have as their current mission to decrease their carbon footprint or have all electric vehicles by 2025.
Where do you start?
Visioning starts by answering these basic questions…
- Why are you starting a winery or wine business?
- What do you hope to achieve?
- What are your guiding principles?
The first two questions are probably ones you’ve thought about. But, what are guiding principles as they relate to your business and why do they matter?
Guiding principles are based on your values.
Consumers purchase things that they value. And, with social media and the internet, consumers have access to you, what you do and what you value. So, it’s important to think about what you value and how your values impact your business. These become your guiding principles.
- What values to you hold and how will they be expressed in your business?
- Do you have a strong belief on how wine should be made? minimum intervention, getting the best flavor possible, consistency over time?
- Are you seeking to make an impact in your community, the wine industry or the world?
- Will you be sustainable, organic, biodynamic? Are you making a natural wine or a low cal, or low alcohol wine?
- What are you starting from? grapes, bulk wine, are you purchasing them or growing your own?
- Are your raw materials local, from a specific AVA, from California, other countries?
Answering these questions helps you narrow down the vision for your winery.
Writing the vision is hard.
So far, I’ve been tackling the easy part. Now comes the hard part, writing the vision. This is a process that can take some time and several iterations. There are people who specialize in helping organizations create their vision. It is something I help clients do. So, don’t be discouraged if this seems hard and takes many rewrites.
As you write your statement, state it in as few words as possible. If you can take out a word, do it. The goal is that everyone in your organization will be able to say the winery vision and mission from memory. So, make it concise. Also, get input from all of your stakeholders. The vision is foundational for your business and will guide decision making well into the future. It needs to be well thought out so that it can guide the organization through its entire life.
I wish you well with your visioning. Contact me if you would like one-on-one help. If you want more information on how your vision effects your business, signup for my newsletter and I will send you an article on creating the customer experience that matches your vision.