You’re growing. It’s a good problem to have, but even good problems require problem solving.
As your business’s needs expand, it goes without saying that you must adapt to meet those needs.
Russ Weis, president of Silverado Vineyards in Napa Valley, said staying on top of things meant being both proactive and reactive when the situation calls for it.
Essentially, things like growth you can plan for, but things like pandemics might require you to call an audible.
“We have made several strategic hires over the past two years in addition to some key promotions,” Weis said. “While part of the reason is to stay ahead of the growth, it is also imperative to keep up with our rapidly evolving industry, shifts in consumer behavior, and a year of unexpected changes.”
Silverado found itself making some staff moves to meet various needs.
“On the sales side, we have seen a significant change in the channel mix. COVID was obviously one cause of this with restaurants shutting down and the off-premise and Ecommerce business increasing, but the industry has been experiencing distributor consolidation and increasing competition at retail for years,” Weis said. “As a result we created a new VP of Sales position (which we promoted from within) and added some strategic new regional sales roles.”
To keep up with consumers’ demands for more technology, Silverado designed a new website, built a digital asset management system, launched a trade app and added features such as virtual tastings and videos.
“We knew the only way we could accomplish this was to bring on a strong marketing team with a range of experience and skills. So we created a new VP of Marketing and DTC position and a team consisting of digital, ecommerce, hospitality and wine club expertise,” Weis said.
In addition to technological tools, good old-fashioned networking helped Silverado find the people they needed.
“We are fortunate that our industry is very tight-knit. Word of mouth is a very effective way of finding good people at the executive level,” Weis said. “There are also some fantastic niche recruiters – especially for the C-level positions. For part-time or seasonal help, websites such as winejobs.com and organizations like Women of the Vine and Spirits are great resources.”