Top Ten Tips for Beverage Development 

Jorge Olson

August 24, 2022

Top Ten Tips for Beverage Development 

I’m very enthusiastic about sharing the beverage industry’s growth and success and showing you how great an opportunity the beverage market can be. But we also have to talk about the failed products and companies we’ve seen over the years. Learning to develop and sell your new beverage successfully requires knowing the potential pitfalls that new market entrants may encounter. In this article, I share ten tips for beverage developers. I call them the do’s and don’t of the beverage industry.

What are the Top Ten Tips for Beverage Development? 

1. Do: Be a beverage CEO and hire the best talent. 

2. Don’t: Try to be a beverage formulator or logo designer. 

3. Do: Bottle a small batch of your product, investing heavily in marketing. 

4. Don’t: Invest in a large production run to save money. 

5. Do: Consider who you will use as your distributor and how you will sell your drink. 

6. Don’t: Focus first on creating and designing your drink and logo. 

7. Do: Develop a sales-based business model. 

8. Don’t: Saturate your business model with beverage industry research. 

9. Do: Raise as much capital as you can, as fast as possible. 

10. Don’t: Worry about dilution or control; instead, get an intelligent advisor or business coach. 


I’ve heard the analogy that being an entrepreneur is like jumping off a plane and figuring out how to build a parachute before landing. I don’t like that analogy! Yes, I’m a risk-taker and take significant risks with my time and projects; however, I don’t risk my customers’ companies. I like to mentor in sectors I know very well, such as beverages, because the outcomes are predictable based on previous experiences. 

I admire entrepreneurs because they understand the power of failure and value loss as a way of not doing something, not a quitting opportunity. Entrepreneurs have a different way of looking at life, problems, and business. They listen intently, taking the meaning of things differently.  

Falling forward means learning from mistakes, and I’ve learned a lot! I’m not afraid of failure, so I constantly try and fail. I bring you the experience of all my clients’ projects and those I’ve mentored and advised. It’s challenging to get an accurate count, but I’ll venture to say that I’ve mentored over one thousand entrepreneurs.  

I know what you may be thinking; ninety percent of new businesses fail within the first year, so that’s normal in any business. Yes, however, there is no need to go through the beverage industry’s fail cycle. You can avoid it by reading the third edition of my beverage book, Build Your Beverage Empire. I’ve spoken with beverage entrepreneurs dozens of times who face significant difficulties in their quest to grow.  

We can say without a doubt that the number of entrepreneurs that have failed in this business is far greater than those that came out as winners. Don’t let this happen to you; it’s unnecessary and a rookie mistake.  

How Can you Manage Risk and Avoid Failure in Beverage Development? 

 There’re endless reasons why great drinks and motivated entrepreneurs fail with their beverages, but more than anything, these drinks fail because of a lack of essential planning. These developers went about marketing and selling their drinks in all the wrong ways; it’s something we’ve seen so often we’ve even named the problem—reverse engineering. Reverse engineering happens when developers start at the end—the end product and assume end sales to consumers—without first creating an essential beverage development, distribution, and marketing plan.  

 In our business as beverage entrepreneurs, investors, and incubators, we see this all too often. Too many people come to me after starting their beverage without doing the research first. They start with the easy part—developing the actual beverage – instead of considering sales and distribution. Making your beverage is not that hard.  

I educate my clients to see how they need to start the beverage development process initially—to see that mixing a batch of a great-tasting drink is not enough. I’ve written the third edition of my beverage book, Build Your Beverage Empire, to give you a reliable reference and insight into the beverage world. You can find it on 


Bonus Beverage Development Tips: 

1. Do: Take risks after understanding the beverage industry and relying on more intelligent people with more experience than you to run essential company decisions.

2. Don’t: Experiment with your time and money, especially with your time. You can always make more money, but you can never make more time. 

Having a coach in your corner is always a good idea when starting your journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Contact me if you need help. 


Top Ten Tips for Beverage Development 


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