Guest Post by Deb Brown
When I visited Decatur County, Iowa, several people said that wanted a brewery. They talked about the big barriers in their way: finding the right building, the right funding, the right people. The big idea seems really hard this way. Why not start smaller? Start by using the Idea Friendly Method: Gather Your Crowd, Build Connections, Take Small Steps.
Here are some of the questions I suggested they ask themselves and each other to help them start small.
Gather Your Crowd
- Who in the county already makes home brew?
- Who wants to talk about finding a place for adults to hang out?
- Who is interested in finding a way to bring a new business to town?
Invite them to come together, over a beer, and talk about the big idea of having a microbrewery. Talk to each other, think about all the ideas.
- Who knows who that already started a brewery? Go visit them. Find out what they had to do to get there.
- Start finding out the things you need to know: licensing, manufacturing laws, etc.
- What resources does your local community already have that you could use? Who do you talk to get access to those resources?
- Who knows other home brew clubs you could visit?
Take Small Steps
- Have your home brewers do a sampling. See if people really are interested in having a brewery.
- Maybe form a home brew club.
- Try things out. Test your market and your product.
- Could you offer free samples in an empty building downtown and then visit about some ways to use that building to bring adults together?
- Could you set up at a local event in a beer tent environment? Maybe use monies collected to support that event?
Again, bring people together, over a beer, to talk about the possibilities!
Apply this Idea Friendly Method to your own big idea
Any idea to make your town a better place can follow the Idea Friendly method. If you’d like some help to see how that would work in your town, check out the SaveYour.Town video Big Ideas? Small Steps!
- About the Author
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Deb Brown comes from a farm outside of Geneva, Iowa, population 141. Her heart lies in sharing the possibilities for small towns. Deb travels a lot, taking back roads when possible, and talking to the locals, sharing stories of other small towns and encouraging anyone who will listen. She’s the co-founder of www.saveyour.town and owner of Building Possibility.