Starting a beverage company can be very profitable. With proper planning, execution and hard work, you can enjoy great success. Below you will learn the keys to launching a successful beverage company.
Importantly, a critical step in starting a beverage company is to complete your business plan. To help you out, you should download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template here.
14 Steps To Start a Beverage Company:
- Choose the Name for Your Beverage Company
- Develop Your Beverage Company Business Plan
- Choose the Legal Structure for Your Beverage Company
- Secure Startup Funding for Your Beverage Company (If Needed)
- Secure a Location for Your Business
- Register Your Beverage Company with the IRS
- Open a Business Bank Account
- Get a Business Credit Card
- Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
- Get Business Insurance for Your Beverage Company
- Buy or Lease the Right Beverage Company Equipment
- Develop Your Beverage Company Marketing Materials
- Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Beverage Company
- Open for Business
1. Choose the Name for Your Beverage Company
The first step to starting a beverage company is to choose your business’ name.
This is a very important choice since your company name is your beverage brand and will last for the lifetime of your business. Ideally you choose a name that is meaningful and memorable. Here are some tips for choosing a name for your own business:
- Make sure the name is available. Check your desired name against trademark databases and your state’s list of registered business names to see if it’s available. Also check to see if a suitable domain name is available.
- Keep it simple. The best names are usually ones that are easy to remember, pronounce and spell.
- Think about marketing. Come up with a name that reflects the desired drinks brand and/or focus of your beverage company.
2. Develop Your Beverage Company Business Plan
One of the most important steps in starting a beverage company is to develop your business plan. The process of creating your plan ensures that you fully understand your market and your business strategy. The plan also provides you with a roadmap to follow and if needed, to present to funding sources to raise capital for your business.
Your business plan should include the following sections:
- Executive Summary – this section should summarize your entire business plan so readers can quickly understand the key details of your beverage company.
- Company Overview – this section tells the reader about the history of your beverage company and what type of beverage company you operate. For example, are you a soft drink company, tea and coffee company, juice company, or a water company?
- Industry Analysis – here you will document key information about the beverage industry. Conduct market research and document how big the beverage business is and what trends are affecting it.
- Customer Analysis – in this section, you will document who your ideal or target market are and their demographics. For example, how old are they? Where do they live? What do they find important when purchasing products like the ones you will offer?
- Competitive Analysis – here you will document the key direct and indirect competitors you will face and how you will build competitive advantage.
- Marketing Plan – your marketing plan should address the 4Ps: Product, Price, Promotions and Place.
- Product: Determine and document what products/services you will offer
- Prices: Document the prices of your own drinks
- Place: Where will your business be located and how will that location help you increase sales?
- Promotions: What promotional methods will you use to attract customers to your beverage company? For example, you might decide to use pay-per-click advertising, public relations, search engine optimization and/or social media marketing.
- Operations Plan – here you will determine the key processes you will need to run your day-to-day operations. You will also determine your staffing needs. Finally, in this section of your plan, you will create a projected growth timeline showing the milestones you hope to achieve in the coming years.
- Management Team – this section details the background of your company’s management team.
- Financial Plan – finally, the financial plan answers questions including the following:
- What startup costs will you incur?
- How will your beverage company make money?
- What are your projected sales and expenses for the next five years?
- Do you need to raise money to launch your business?
3. Choose the Legal Structure for Your Beverage Company
Next you need to choose a legal structure for your beverage company and register it and your business name with the Secretary of State in each state where you operate your business.
Below are the five most common legal structures:
1) Sole proprietorship
A sole proprietorship is a business entity in which the owner of the beverage company and the business are the same legal person. The owner of a sole proprietorship is responsible for all debts and obligations of the business. There are no formalities required to establish a sole proprietorship, and it is easy to set up and operate. The main advantage of a sole proprietorship is that it is simple and inexpensive to establish. The main disadvantage is that the owner is liable for all debts and obligations of the business.
A partnership is a legal structure that is popular among small business owners. It is an agreement between two or more people who want to start a beverage company together. The partners share in the profits and losses of the business.
The advantages of a partnership are that it is easy to set up, and the partners share in the profits and losses of the business. The disadvantages of a partnership are that the partners are jointly liable for the debts of the business, and disagreements between partners can be difficult to resolve.
3) Limited Liability Company (LLC)
A limited liability company, or LLC, is a type of business entity that provides limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners of an LLC are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The advantages of an LLC for a beverage company include flexibility in management, pass-through taxation (avoids double taxation as explained below), and limited personal liability. The disadvantages of an LLC include lack of availability in some states and self-employment taxes.
4) C Corporation
A C Corporation is a business entity that is separate from its owners. It has its own tax ID and can have shareholders. The main advantage of a C Corporation for a beverage company is that it offers limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The disadvantage is that C Corporations are subject to double taxation. This means that the corporation pays taxes on its profits, and the shareholders also pay taxes on their dividends.
5) S Corporation
An S Corporation is a type of corporation that provides its owners with limited liability protection and allows them to pass their business income through to their personal income tax returns, thus avoiding double taxation. There are several limitations on S Corporations including the number of shareholders they can have among others.
Once you register your beverage company, your state will send you your official “Articles of Incorporation.” You will need this among other documentation when establishing your banking account (see below). We recommend that you consult an attorney in determining which legal structure is best suited for your company.
4. Secure Startup Funding for Your Beverage Company (If Needed)
In developing your beverage company business plan, you might have determined that you need to raise funding to launch your business successfully.
If so, the main sources of funding for a beverage company to consider are personal savings, family and friends, credit card financing, bank loans, crowdfunding and angel investors. Angel investors are individuals who provide capital to early-stage businesses. Angel investors typically will invest in a beverage company that they believe has high potential for growth.
5. Secure a Location for Your Business
When looking for a location for your beverage company, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to make sure the location has good access to transportation, so your products can get to customers quickly and easily. You’ll also want to find a space that’s big enough to accommodate your production needs, and that has room for employees to work comfortably. Finally, you’ll want to choose a location that’s affordable.
6. Register Your Beverage Company with the IRS
Next, you need to register your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which will result in the IRS issuing you an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Most banks will require you to have an EIN in order to open up an account. In addition, in order to hire employees, you will need an EIN since that is how the IRS tracks your payroll tax payments.
Note that if you are a sole proprietor without employees, you generally do not need to get an EIN. Rather, you would use your social security number (instead of your EIN) as your taxpayer identification number.
7. Open a Business Bank Account
It is important to establish a bank account in your beverage company’s name. This process is fairly simple and involves the following steps:
- Identify and contact the bank you want to use
- Gather and present the required documents (generally include your company’s Articles of Incorporation, driver’s license or passport, and proof of address)
- Complete the bank’s application form and provide all relevant information
- Meet with a banker to discuss your business needs and establish a relationship with them
8. Get a Business Credit Card
You should get a business credit card for your beverage company to help you separate personal and business expenses.
You can either apply for a business credit card through your bank or apply for one through a credit card company.
When you’re applying for a business credit card, you’ll need to provide some information about your business. This includes the name of your business, the address of your business, and the type of business you’re running. You’ll also need to provide some information about yourself, including your name, Social Security number, and date of birth.
Once you’ve been approved for a business credit card, you’ll be able to use it to make purchases for your business. You can also use it to build your credit history which could be very important in securing loans and getting credit lines for your business in the future.
9. Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
The permits and licenses you will need to start a beverage company can vary depending on your state and the type of business you plan to operate. In general, you will need a business license, a seller’s permit, and a zoning permit. You may also need other licenses and permits, such as a food license or an alcohol license. To find out what licenses and permits you need, contact your local licensing agency.
10. Get Business Insurance for Your Beverage Company
The types of insurance you will need to operate a beverage company can vary depending on scope of your operations.
Some business insurance policies you should consider for your beverage company include:
- General liability insurance: This covers accidents and injuries that occur on your property. It also covers damages caused by your employees or products.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: If you have employees, this type of policy works with your general liability policy to protect against workplace injuries and accidents. It also covers medical expenses and lost wages.
- Commercial property insurance: This covers damage to your property caused by fire, theft, or vandalism.
- Business interruption insurance: This covers lost income and expenses if your business is forced to close due to a covered event.
- Professional liability insurance: This protects your business against claims of professional negligence.
Find an insurance agent, tell them about your business and its needs, and they will recommend policies that fit those needs.
11. Buy or Lease the Right Beverage Company Equipment
When starting a beverage company, you will need some equipment. The most important piece of equipment is the beverage production machine. This machine will help you produce your beverages quickly and efficiently. You will also need a fridge to store your beverages, as well as a storage area to keep your ingredients. Finally, you will need some type of packaging to put your beverages in.
12. Develop Your Beverage Company Marketing Materials
Marketing materials will be required to attract and retain customers to your beverage company.
The key marketing materials you will need are as follows:
- Logo: Spend some time developing a good logo for your beverage company. Your logo will be printed on company stationery, business cards, marketing materials and so forth. The right logo can increase customer trust and awareness of your brand.
- Website: Likewise, a professional beverage company website provides potential customers with information about the beverage products you offer, your company’s history, and contact information. Importantly, remember that the look and feel of your website will affect how customers perceive you.
- Social Media Accounts: establish social media accounts in your company’s name. Accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or other social media networks will help customers and others find and interact with your beverage company.
13. Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Beverage Company
The software you need to run a beverage company may vary depending on the size and scope of your business. For a small, local beverage company, you may only need basic software such as a word processor and a spreadsheet program. However, if you are running a larger beverage company, you may need more specialized software such as a production scheduling program and a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
14. Open for Business
You are now ready to open your beverage company. If you followed the steps above, you should be in a great position to build a successful business. Below are answers to frequently asked questions that might further help you.
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How to Start a Beverage Company FAQs
Is it hard to start a beverage company?
No, because the barriers to entry are relatively low. All you need is a good product and a well-executed marketing plan. There are many resources available to help you get started, including books, websites, and even business incubators.
How can I start a beverage company with no experience?
There are a few things you can do to start a beverage company with no experience. First, you can research the beverage industry and learn as much as you can about the different types of beverages that can be sold. Some drinks that you can sell are alcoholic beverages, energy drinks, and fruit juices. You can also look for mentors or experienced beverage entrepreneurs who can help guide you through the process. Finally, you can create a business plan and make sure you have a clear goal and strategy for your company.
What type of beverage company is most profitable?
The most profitable beverage businesses are those that produce carbonated soft drinks. This is because the profit margins for these types of drinks are much higher than those for other types of beverages. In addition, carbonated soft drinks are the most popular type of beverage in the world, so there is a high demand for them.
How much does it cost to start a beverage company?
The startup expenses for a beverage company can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $300,000. The amount of money you'll need will largely depend on the type of beverage you want to create and the size of your business.
What are the ongoing expenses for a beverage company?
The ongoing expenses for a beverage company can include the cost of ingredients, labor, packaging, and utilities. The company may also need to pay for marketing and advertising, as well as maintaining a distribution network.
How does a beverage company make money?
There are a few ways beverage companies make money. One way is by selling their products to retailers, such as grocery stores or convenience stores. Another way is by licensing their brands to other companies, who will then produce and sell the beverages. Additionally, beverage companies can make money by selling advertising space in their packaging or on their products.
Is owning a beverage company profitable?
Yes, owning a beverage company can be profitable. The demand for beverages is relatively consistent, regardless of economic conditions. This means that beverage companies are less likely to experience downturns in sales during tough times.
Why do beverage companies fail?
Beverage companies may fail because they do not have a strong marketing strategy, they do not produce high quality products, or they do not have a competitive pricing strategy. Additionally, most companies only focus on one segment of the beverage market, which may limit their potential for growth.