Backroom Wines, Napa
Initially, Dan first sought advice from the SBDC in 2001, on opening a business, how to write a business plan and financial assistance. Backroom Wines was opened 10 years ago by Dan Dawson and is operated as a sole proprietorship. Business growth dictated expanding and it is now in its second location. Dan operates the business with one employee. Prior to opening his own business, Dan opened several similar operations including developing wine clubs. With his experience and client base, Dan was able to grow sales and become profitable from the start. His initial concept was to be in a back industrial area, hence the business name. However, an opportunity for a location in downtown Napa became available and Dan decided some foot traffic was desirable to add to his existing base and be plus for business. It made sense as at the time downtown Napa had little foot traffic and would not interfere with the more profitable part of the operation.
Dan’s key strength is his ability to communicate with customers about new wines being brought in that match their tastes. He has excellent customer outreach materials such as a quarterly newsletter. Backroom Wines offers a very wide range of products and of high quality. Each product is labeled with a precise description of aroma and taste.
After 10 years, Napa is seeing some growth, but the time demands of the walk-ins does not necessarily justify the additional staffing needed for expanded over the counter sales. This creates a need for Dan to review his future plans. There is consistent foot traffic that works for most retail businesses, but is very time demanding when wine selection is involved. Although many services are provided to the clientele, there is a problem communicating to the clients what is being offered as few clients (revenue wise) come into the premises.
Dan sought the services of the SBDC for a couple of reasons. First, there is consistent foot traffic that works for most retail businesses, but it is very time demanding when wine selection is involved. Although many services are provided to the clientele, there is a problem communicating to the clients what is being offered as few clients (revenue wise) come in to the premises. The owner works more hours than he desires. The Napa SBDC advisors reviewed P & L’s, balance sheets, marketing plans, and staffing.
Measurable success includes the retention of two jobs and continued operation during tough times.