Archive: Financial

Are You Protecting What You’ve Worked so Hard to Build?

  Picture it – clearing the fields, row mapping, proper drainage, all those plantings – and – your first yield. You have come so far to get to where you are today! Countless hours, lots of hard work and now you really have something – your pride and joy. But now that you’ve come so far and you’re more established, your risks are more significant and there is just so much more to lose. Are you proactively working to protect what you’ve worked so hard to build? Winter is generally a quieter time and is a good time to identify potential risks that could pose a threat to your business. This can mean many different things to winemakers. For some […]

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Protect Events Hosted at Your Winery with Event Insurance

By now, most winery owners have heard the buzz regarding event insurance.  Sure, you know it exists, but do you really know exactly what event insurance covers and how it can benefit your clients (and you)? Event insurance is a necessity for winery owners looking to keep themselves, and their clients, protected.  We recently talked with Lauren Hernandez, Senior Event Insurance Specialist at Markel Specialty insurance to learn more. “It is probably important to first point out that there are two different types of event insurance– event liability and event cancellation,” states Hernandez. LIABILITY INSURANCE “Event liability protects the person hosting an event at your facility,” Hernandez explained.  If during their event someone causes property damage to your winery or […]

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Tariffs and the Industry: Impacts of the Trade War on Wine, Beer & Spirits

Throughout 2018, the Trump administration’s implementation of tariffs on several foreign goods, and the retaliatory tariffs that followed suit have confused markets and worried many businesses. The alcohol industry—wine, beer, spirits and those who support them—have all been affected in some way by these tariffs, or expect to be in 2019 if they continue. With the news on tariffs changing almost monthly, it can be hard to keep up, which causes further insecurity for the industry. Timeline of Events   Trade tensions began in January 2018 when the Trump administration imposed tariffs on solar cells and washing machines after a report stating that imports were hurting the domestic U.S. market in those businesses. On March 8, 2018, President Trump announced […]

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Protecting Your Business From Employee Poachers

You’ve been in business for several years and have a dozen hard-working, dedicated employees working for your company, or so you think.  Out of the blue, a new competitor enters the market and the next thing you know, all 12 of your employees have jumped ship to join the new firm.  With them, they have taken company records and customer lists.  What do you do?  Do you have any legal recourse against the poaching company? Against your former employees?  How could you have prevented this? Can a Competitor “Poach” Your Employees? In most states, yes.  Many people are surprised to learn that, generally, poaching is a perfectly valid and legal way to find new employees. There are exceptions and limitations, of […]

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Tariffs, Tariffs, and More Tariffs

Toward the end of this week, take a minute to add up and total the amount of US tariffs imposed on Chinese goods imported into the US. You can glean this data from online aggregated digital news, television news, or from US Government pronouncements about Trump tariffs. I would be very surprised if the number does not exceed hundreds of billions of US dollars encompassing about half of all Chinese manufactured goods entering the US. The public comment period for most US-China tariffs to be imposed to date ended this past Friday so that such tariffs can be imposed by the US Government and will either be at 25% or 10% depending on the Chinese manufactured product. China and the US, up […]

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Brokers See Themselves as ‘Bridge’ Between Growers, Wineries

Wine and grape brokers insist that their role transcend that of simple intermediary between grower and winery. Some involved in the process go so far as to eschew the term “broker” in describing what they do to bring the parties together. “I don’t like the word broker; it sounds like a used car salesman, somebody who’s taking advantage of somebody who doesn’t know anything,” said Shannon Gunier, co-owner of Lower Lake, California-based brokering firm North Coast Winegrapes. “I like the word concierge because they help you find your way.” Gunier, who, along with husband Rick, started her business in 2010, said the couple operates as the “eyes and ears” of their customers. “Use a broker if you’re unfamiliar with the […]

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Adding a Financing Arm to Your B2B Business “aka” In-House Customer Payment Plans

With majority of business processes automated – payment plans are more readily available than ever before. This includes business goods, services, and consumer goods – almost everything under the sun can be financed.  With that being said it is crucial for a business to offer payment plans for products and services to keep up with competition and most importantly grow sales and increase revenue.  Commonly, a customer that wants or requires a finance option is often not going to share that with whom they are purchasing from. Keep in mind, 100% of your customers that pay cash are already doing so. So suppliers offering a financing option have the chance to convert more existing prospects into buyers.  As a private lender in […]

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The Real Benefits of Financing: What are My Options?

                                        Financing Versus Equity Financing Banks, Lenders, and Investors (oh my!) all exist because we fellow businesses need them. They sometimes can be the fine line between succeeding and closing the doors for good. Each of these entities, holders of large sums of money, provide capital. In order to build new wineries, buy new equipment, develop new products, and upgrade information technology, businesses have to have money. Banks, Lenders and Investors each have different financial structures and costs associated with using their money – also known as their “cost of doing business”. The beginning of the year is a popular time […]

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The Most Common Types of Financing Available on the Market for your Business

Let’s talk about money. In order for your agricultural and wine business to grow – sufficient funds are needed to take on projects, making purchases and expanding your operations to become more efficient and in turn make more money. It sounds so simple, right? Business owners, both small and large, often go to banks for financial assistance. While banks are one avenue for support, they are not the only establishment. I am here to share with you the most common types of financing you’ll come across and whom you can get them from. As commercial financing experts working in the industry for over 30 years, we would like to share with you the most common and beneficial financing programs out […]

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Distributor Agreements: ‘Til Death Do Us Part?

Many early stage wineries market their products via tasting room sales, wine clubs, direct-to-consumer shipments and, to the extent permitted, self-distribution to local restaurants, grocery stores, and wine stores. Eventually, winery growth will necessitate working with a distributor, a relationship not to be entered into lightly. A distributor becomes an ambassador for the winery’s brand and, once retained, the supplier may have little control over how its wine is marketed. Further, these relationships can be difficult or financially impossible to break once established. Supplier/distributor relationships are governed by franchise laws in many states. In the absence of franchise laws, the relationship is defined entirely by a distribution agreement between the parties. But, even in franchise states, the distribution agreement can […]

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