Business Experts Offer Good Advice to Wine the Experience

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It's every entrepreneur's dream: free expert advice for your small business from some of the best specialists in the state on marketing, accounting, HR, cost-cutting and more. A surefire way to take your business to the next level, right?

That’s what we thought in March 2010 when Hawaii Business selected John and Shannon Ball, the father and son owners of Wine, The Experience (WTX), as our first-ever SmallBiz Makeover winner. The reality was a lot more complicated: A plethora of good advice ran into the hard realities of limited time and money – something to which most small business owners can relate. Transformation can be difficult even if you have excellent guides and a detailed map.

This article highlights some of the helpful recommendations our makeover consultants gave WTX, and also includes valuable tips that would help any small business grow.

In his nomination, Shannon told Hawaii Business he fell in love with wine 15 years ago when he worked in a bistro in Boston while struggling to pay for college. He later landed a job as a protein chemist in Los Angeles, but yearned to come home to start a business that would allow him to share his passion for wine. Six years ago, Shannon and his father opened WTX – a small store in Kapahulu that manufactures wine and allows customers to select, bottle and label their own custom blends.

“We opened at the peak of the economy and barely survived the last few years (by drinking a lot of wine ourselves!),” Shannon wrote to us last year. “Today, I feel that we are within reach of our tipping point and need some help getting there.”

After a flat 2009, John says, he hoped sales would increase 5 to 10 percent as the economy improved, so we enlisted these experts to help make it happen:


Dream Team


 Click to enlarge image.



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