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How To Start a Beverage Company

Starting a beverage company is a huge undertaking; there is so much planning that goes into it. From coming up with an original recipe, conducting tests on tastes, designing the brand logo, creating the bottle, marketing, and so much more. It takes more than an individual to pull off something this big. You only need to look at major corporations like CocaCola and the size of their investment over the years to get a clear picture.

There are countless beverage companies in the world already. However, that does not mean there is no space for one more. The secret is in the delivery, as long as your product is of superior quality, people will always notice.

Before taking the first step towards starting that beverage company, there are things you must put into consideration first as they affect the very being of your business.

Things To Consider When Starting Your Beverage Company

The unspoken rule of starting any kind of business, there are factors you have to consider that affect how the idea you have is transformed into a tangible thing. A beverage company is not exempted from this rule, the following are the things you have to consider beforehand.

Capital

It does not matter how small you plan to start, but you will need a massive amount of capital to start a beverage company. You will need enough space to set up a factory, hire staff, massive electricity and water bills, paying soda bottle manufacturers to design bottles, doing flavor research, legal work. By the time production begins, you would have injected all your savings and loans into it. So you better be prepared sufficiently beforehand.

Space

You cannot run your beverage company from your basement; the space needed to set up the manufacturing area is ten times bigger than your house. You also have to consider environmental laws, meaning you cannot set it up so close to a residential area. On top of a processing plant space, you will also need warehouses for storage of bulk soda bottles from your suppliers.

Licenses

A lot of paperwork will have to be filed in all levels of government, from your local area to the state to the national government. You need manufacturing licenses before you even register your company, every state has its own licensing rules so be familiar with those from your area.

Market Receptabilty

You have to conduct extensive market research to figure out what is missing so that you can fill that void. The beverage industry is brutally competitive; on top of having to contend with other companies, you have to make sure that the market will be willing to switch to your product over already established brands.

Starting a beverage company can be split into three main stages that are discussed in detail below.

Conceptualization of the Idea

This is the first stage where you draw up the skeleton of the idea and give it flesh. Conceptualization takes time as it involves additions and omissions as you evolve it. The following are the main activities that fall under this phase.

Formulate a Business Plan

This is the first step that determines the viability of your business. If this was a medical world, formulating a business plan would be compared to a risky surgery that attempts to locate an unknown disease in a body. A good business plan involves the following:

Market Analysis

This is the part where you conduct detailed market research among people to gauge how willing they would be to accept a new player in the market. Changing people’s loyalty to a product takes time, especially when that product is a big and memorable brand like CocaCola. Even if you plan to start with your local area, make sure the market research goes all the way up to the national level if you ever plan to expand that big.

Scout Your Competition

You will be better placed if you know the kind of competition you will be coming up against. Knowing what others lack will give you a general idea of what you need to improve on to plug that hole. There are several covert techniques for scouting your competitors. Study them well, from the taste of their product to the design of their package and their distribution.

Talk to the people to hear their sentiments about that product and put that into consideration when working on the flavor of your product. To beat your competition, you have to provide what they cannot.

Come up with a Recipe

Without a product, you have no company. After acquiring all the data on the market and your competition, it is time to put that information into practice. Coming up with a soft drink is not a walk in the park. The taste has to be just right, or you would be pissing off all your investment into a drain. To effectively crack this conundrum open, start by thinking locally.

If where you are based is where you were born and raised, use that to your advantage. Start with flavors that are unique to your locality, something that is loved by your neighbors and other residents. A flavor that evokes sentimentality in anyone familiar with it. Your product has to impress the local people first for it to stand any chance of making out and going global.

Once you get the winning formula, make sure you protect the recipe from being replicated by anybody else.

Develop the Product

Once you have singled out the flavors that work, it is time to start developing the final product. You will need more than one flavor, at least. This is the point where you decide the color of your drink and the additives that will go into it. Make sure you are operating within the approved Food and Drug Administration regulations. Anything you add to the drink has to be certified safe for consumption.

The Production Stage

After pooling all your resources and setting up the processing plant, now you are ready for the most crucial stage, production. At this point, you are far too gone to turn back because most of the capital has already been injected into the business. The production stage involves the following steps.

Creating the Brand

After coming up with the flavor, developing the brand identity that reflects the values of the company and the quality of the product is the next crucial thing. The brand is what will communicate with your customers. It has to be catchy enough to get their attention and powerfully alluring to make people want to try it again.

You can choose to either have the logo display the name of your company or go the art route. If you decide to use the name of the company in the official logo, then use creative fonts that make it look presentable. You can combine both letters and patterns that convey what your product is all about.

The logo has to be something that evokes images of the product and the place where it hails from. Again, take your time and employ the services of the best graphic designers to create the perfect logo.

Designing the Bottle

The shape of the bottle has to be so unique that even without the presence of the drink or a label, someone can automatically make the connection to your brand. For soft drinks, the bottle should be made of glass and plastic. To properly stand out, break away from tradition and create glass soda bottles not seen anywhere before. Instead of clear bottles, use uniquely colored ones that can be singled out on a shelf from a mile away.

Getting attention is vital as it bulbs curiosity, making people want to try out your product. At the same time, do not go overboard with colors, just be subtle enough to create a buzz. Some soda bottle manufacturers also offer branding services.

Settle Legalities

Protecting your brand in advance is another crucial undertaking in the long process of setting up a beverage company. Down the road, once you start getting big, your competitors will come at you with all sorts of claims about copyright and all. It is a typical shakedown tactic companies employ to keep stifle competition. To counter that, prepare legal documents in advance that will shield you from all this.

Start Production

Once everything has been set, it is time to start production. Ensure that the processing plant meets all the requirements regarding staff safety. You will have to contend with regular inspections from state and national regulators whose main aim is to ensure that the product you are creating and the packaging adhere to quality standards and that there are no contaminants around the plant that can cause problems later on.

The Marketing and Roll-Out Stage

Create a Marketing Plan

With the logo, the bottle, and the product all in place, it is time to create a marketing plan that will push your drink into the public domain. Start with local advertising through flyers, the newspaper, and the radio. Send free samples to all offices in the area and build on that.

Another effective way of creating brand awareness is through social media. Have a page on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other major platform and engage your clients regularly.

You can also hire marketing companies that have the ability to push your brand nationally through billboards and TV ads running in all states. However, this is a plan that works best once you have grown a little as it costs a lot of money.

Start Roll-Out and Distribution

As you expand outside your locality, you will need to not only increase distribution points in other states, but you may have to set up processing plants in places too far away for timely deliveries. As a start, you can engage the services of third party distributors but always aim to have an in-house distribution system; that way, you get to keep all the profits. It is also ideal to be within a short driving distance of bottle supply companies.

Conclusion

Running a beverage company is a complicated job, one that will need a lot of help from other people. The good news about this type of business is that once you have established yourself, the only way is up. The only obstacles are at the beginning, the fight to establish dominance over your competitors.

The key things you should focus on is producing a superior product, vigorous marketing and maintaining cordial relations with bottle and jar supplier who understand your needs, offers after-sale services, can supply packaging accessories at a moment’s notice and handles the warehousing logistics When you do not have the capacity to do so.

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