On my way to the office I stopped to take a few pictures of hot air balloons near Yountville. As I watched them peacefully land amongst the vines, I thought about the image they created. One balloon was red, white and blue. It was bulging at the seams with pride like a real patriot. It looked like it wanted to keep going higher. It wasn’t ready to call it a day.
The other was deflating and losing air quickly. The decision had already been made. It’s job was done.
Watching the news from Wall Street can be very frustrating. How are you going to position your winery for what looks to be a fairly lengthy recession? Let’s take a closer look at the pictures of those hot air balloons. It is safe to say that the wine industry has been healthy and strong like our red, white and blue balloon. But today, with the reality of money evaporating from expense accounts and shrinking consumer optimism (reflected in empty seats at restaurants around the country) we are beginning to see the balloon deflate.
This is no time to panic. Instead, get your team together and begin to brainstorm strategies that will strengthen your presence in the marketplace. Focus your resources. You will need to bring your customer service to the highest level possible. Your retail business may be what keeps you in the game during these challenging times. The game isn’t over. Keep your balloon inflated so that you can rise above the turmoil.