Let me be clear about the type of wine business Joachim has started. He is selling cheaper wine online buy buying in bulk and selling online.
I am not talking about starting a vineyard, that would cost a bomb.
Joachim Niclasen wanted to start a business without any money.
He decided it would a wine business but he did not anything in the way of start up capital and he certainly did not have a marketing budget.
He did not have any experience in the wine industry, nor did he have any friends in the business that could help him.
He did not have any customers.
On paper, everything was stacked against him, however in his first year, he sold all his wine and for a profit.
Here is his blueprint for his start up
He bought himself a website domain name called vinhacker.dk.
It is in his native language but you don't need to be able to read it, only to understand that he purchased his business name.
He installed Wordpress into the space and got a free launch theme with built-in viral sign up functionality.
He then linked his theme to a free Mail chimp account.
On his Wordpress website, he then briefly described who he was and his business concept which was:
Pre-arrival orders of wine at cheap and transparent prices.
He began collecting emails via a sign up are on his site.
He contacted everyone he knew including friends and family and simply asked them for their help.
He also targeted relevant Facebook communities and most importantly launched a competition.
The winners, 5 in total would win a case of wine which was 30 bottles total.
He used the built-in viral functionality of the Wordpress theme to make people increase their chances of winning by spreading the message.
The competition ran for approximately 6 weeks and after that time he picked the 5 winners.
He also offered everyone who had joined the email list the first wine; he had 600 people on the list.
He emailed his list and offered them a nice red wine from Languedoc for a good price.
Two days later he had sold a full pallet of 600 bottles.
The money was collected and he payed the winemaker and used the profit to rent a simple storage facility and cover a few small expenses.
Two weeks later the wine arrived and most of his customers picked up the wines themselves while 1 of 10 had them delivered.
Joachim was now in the wine business and 17 months later he is importing wines from 23 different wineries to Denmark.
He says, “I hasn't made me rich but I'm in business and things are moving forward.”
His model is very simple, he asks people what wine they would like to buy from him, at a discount, he takes the money up front to pay for the goods, then delivers the goods.
No stock, no inventory and cash in advance.
His customers are happy because he can offer them a discount, in return for them purchasing before he has bought the wine.
Joachim comments, "what a lot of people don't realize, I think, is that STARTING a business shouldn't require large amounts of money.
In the super-connected world we live in today, if you are not able to make the first relatively few conversions though a little work and by activating your network, then your product or service is probably not worth investing in anyway.
For me the hard part is now.
I know a lot about what works and what doesn't work.
But getting the traction I need to grow to a reasonable size and/or test out new ideas on a larger (international) scale seems to require capital.
So the conclusion for me is this.
Yes, you can create a wine related business without money.