A winery is a business. Like any other business, it takes a lot of work from managers, employees and owners to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Small independent businesses like many independent wineries do not have the time or the budget to dedicate to ensuring all the employees are on the same page. It can be easier for big corporations with hundreds (or thousands) of employees and the time and budget (or even an entire department) dedicated to keeping everything organised.
As a start-up business formerly run out of a garage in Sydney, we know it can be tough to stay on top of everything. Just like you, we need to streamline as much as possible and automate whatever processes we can in order to stay on top of things.
This is how we keep our team organised.
“Tidy home, tidy mind.” There’s a reason this saying is familiar all over the world. Knowing where things are means you don’t have to think about where they are. Luckily we are living in a digital age and there are numerous apps you can use to keep things organised across devices. We use a shared drive to make sure everything is saved and easily accessible by the team. This is handy especially when we are working remotely. And there are loads of options out there like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. Google Drive is especially useful if you’re already using the range of Google office products like Docs and Sheets, great tools for collaborating with your team!
Without customers, you do not have a business. A report found that in 2020 small businesses were losing over $3 billion in sales due to poor service. Their happiness and satisfaction is a key driver for any business. If they don’t have a direct line to you, you could miss out on a sale, or lose them entirely. We have chat support, Intercom, that is integrated with our website, a direct phone line and an email address that all gets fed to our support team. Customers have a centralised area to go for support in their preferred medium (chat, email, or call) and everything is fed to the correct team member. No messing around by missing a note to call back a customer. And if that fails, customers can always request a callback and book some time to chat. Make yourself as available as possible to support your customers, you don’t want to miss out to a competitor!
Not every business has the budget for an accounting firm. Thankfully, Xero is one of the easiest accounting programs available. While many features of Xero are standard to all accounting programs, it is the ease of use and automation that makes this a stand-out option for us. Even simple things like Invoice Reminders that automatically send out an email for an unpaid invoice save time and hassle and the collaboration options are fantastic for anyone who also works with an external accountant.
The other feature that we love is the number of integrations that Xero has. Whether it’s eCommerce options like Shopify, payment gateways like Stripe or email campaigns with Mailchimp, Xero has the power to bring together multiple areas of your business to ensure you always have access to real-time information.
Social media is most effective when it is natural and authentic, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strategically plan posts to ensure you have content going to your followers i.e. your customers. Instead of wasting time publishing social media posts every few hours, you should schedule things beforehand. We use Facebook Business Manager and Heropost to schedule some of our posts.
Is there any holiday coming up or a #WineDay? Take note of upcoming events and plan out what you could post on social media, in your winery’s newsletter or even in a marketing campaign. Take Chardonnay Day (May 27th) as an example. Do you have an excellent Chardonnay that is popular with your customers? Maybe you could plan out a campaign on a budget where you post a week of only Chardonnay posts, write a newsletter with your favourite Chardonnay food pairing ideas and send it to your customers you know love the Chardy – maybe even with a special offer.
No time to create content from scratch? Check out our recommendations for the best free content for social media.
As a smaller business, there are always a lot of projects happening at once. Keeping track of all these tasks can be a nightmare. Simplify the communication with your team by consolidating project updates and documents in one location. There are loads of project management tools available for free or for a small price. Managers like Trello, Slack (a favourite of ours), and Monday (which we also use). These tools make it clear to see the status of various projects and keep the team in contact with one another.
Being organised is critical for business success, but it’s not one size fits all. We have listened to our customers’ feedback and using our experience with other management tools have built a great Task feature in the WithWine CRM. The new Tasks feature allows you to create tasks against a customer, order, or email and assign a staff member to follow up. We have even built a calendar view so you can keep track of tasks that are completed or coming up. So you can forget about to-do lists and post-it notes and see everything in one place: the WithWine CRM.