Sep 7, 2014

Validating a Startup Idea

The genesis behind Yumbev is simple: Craft beer is really good. Not many people understand how much better it is. Help more people appreciate good craft beer.

Of course, coming up with the idea is easy. The follow up is a little more tricky.

The concept behind Yumbev, as well as the goal of Startup.SC, is to create a scalable business that can reach $10 million, fast. For a small brewery, reaching that goal is a lofty idea. Just staying in business for more than a year is probably a more realistic goal.

To be honest, I have never been one to set my goals on a small business, so the idea creating something much larger and scalable has always been much more appealing. From the outside looking in, the craft beer industry seemed primed for a business model that somehow leveraged the fundamentals of brewing and the uniqueness and draw of independent and local branding to create a company that could grow beyond one brewery.

Outside of the behemoth US brewers (AB Imbev, Coors, and Miller), even the largest craft breweries operate no more than two breweries, with the vast majority operating one. With 3300-plus craft breweries strung across the country, it means there is an immense amount of fragmentation and, if you look at the industry as a whole, redundancy.

That's where the idea of Yumbev was spawned. How can you create a chain, or franchise, or holdings of breweries who maintain their independent identities while consolidating redundant overhead, leverage inventory economies of scale, and better focus marketing and promotion dollars? Frankly, I am actually shocked that it has not happened yet.

Of course there is Gordon Biersch, and smaller examples such as Liberty Tap Room, with four locations around South Carolina. There are undoubtedly more and, probably, more planned, so why not be at the forefront of this movement?

The idea is just an idea at this point. It requires a great deal more thought and planning. With the help of Startup.SC, I am excited for not only the resources they bring but the motivation they create. It is time to move the idea forward.

See also Inc.com:Validate Your Business Idea -- Quickly -- With These 5 Steps