Laying it Out There

After an amazing spring road trip (11 days, 5 cities between the midwest, east coast, west coast and the south) there was on question that seemed to pop up more often than not that related more to the wine business rather than to our wines themselves:

As a small producer in Napa, an expensive place to live in the first place, where you have huge operating costs in an industry that can be so competitive how the hell do you make any money?!

Or something to that effect.

I can tell you first hand that it is tough. There is a reason that I had a day job for nearly 10 years before venturing out on my own with MTGA and that reason was cashflow. It can be a tough industry to gain traction in, especially if you slow-play it like us and don’t go through the traditional distribution channels of retail shops and restaurants. If you focus on selling direct-to-consumer, as we do, it can take more time to gain momentum. At the same time though we have found it it be incredibly rewarding.

Now those of you who are pretty in tune with the wine biz have seen this day in and day out. Brand building takes time and much of that time can be spent in the red. For those of you outside of the wine world this should still ring true, especially if you have started your own business or have been a part of a start-up that needed to push and shove its way into relevance.

In either case there comes a time when you just have to lay it out there and make it happen. It still might be a struggle and cheap Costco ramen noodles might be on the menu more often than not. Hopefully it comes to pass that your business starts to succeed and make your life much more manageable and comfortable.

They key to our success has been the personal touch. Having my cell number on the back of every bottle, having regular text chains or emails back and forth with clients personally and making the time to get out to see some of our fans around the country as we did over the last couple of weeks. Again, laying it all out there to share our story one-on-one with anyone and everyone we can get in touch with.

That focus has allowed us to keep MTGA’s momentum up and moving forward. Sure there continue to be bumps in the road. We have moments where we wonder if we will every sell another bottle of wine but that is entirely up to us. If we don’t hustle we can’t rely on someone else to hustle for us.

So how do we keep things going?

We put our heads down and make it happen. Grab the reins, whip it into shape, *insert other creative metaphor here*. Whatever you need to do to make the dream happen don’t put it off. Tomorrow isn’t going to wait for you.

-Manderson