60-second start-up: Waud Wine Club

5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence?

Waud Wine Club is a members only club where our members have access to interesting wines that would not normally be available to them.

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

Members pay a joining fee of £30 plus a monthly subscription of £30 and for this they receive a 12-bottle taster case three times a year. They also have the opportunity to purchase special offers and are invited to attend four social tastings throughout the year.

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

While we feel the personal nature of our club is unique, other organisations include Sunday Times Wine Club, Wine Society and Laithwaites.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

Our wines are not available in any of the major high-street shops or supermarkets as we pride ourselves on sourcing from small and niche growers that have limited distribution in the UK.

The focus is as much about the social aspects of the club as it is about simply drinking great wines. Therefore our participants quickly become part of a friendly and welcoming membership.

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

We invited 30 individuals to subscribe for an even percentage of shares for an investment of £1,000 each.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

We still have a website business called Net72, indeed Net72 built and manage our wine club web site and online shop.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

We had a small social wine club where we met a few times a year to try a number of wines and expand our knowledge - and have a lot of fun while doing it! We then wondered what we would need to turn this into a proper business, and concluded:

  1. A website to market and sell wines from and we could do this through Net72.
  2. Routes to growers, which had already been established through various wine tours to France and Spain.
  3. We needed to find around £30k of start-up capital - We had 30 friends and colleagues who would provide this as shareholders
    thus the idea came to fruition.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

We have spent a lot of time on the Waud Wine Club brand. We have been very brand aware and rolled out elements of our design set into taster glasses, cork screws, branded wine boxes, wooden magnum boxes and our own branded Waud Wine Club Members' Selection wine.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

Perhaps not the most stupid but maybe the most disappointing is that shareholders were supposed to introduce five new members each from the outset so we would quickly have a membership of 180 people. Looking back perhaps this was a little ambitious.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

Chocolate Bath Oliver (very exclusive and very tasty!)

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

The Wine Society - they have thousands more members who are unaware they could be having more fun with Waud Wine Club.

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

Hopefullywe'll have doubled membership numbers and have branched out into business-to-business sales as well.

Click on the link for more information about Waud Wine Club, http://waudwineclub.com/

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