After being laid off from his 25-year IT career, Peter Kinslow knew it was time for something new. He began to renew his love of home brewing, and after a career of “working for others,” he says “I wanted to try my hand at running my own business.” The craft-beer scene in his home of Charleston had exploded, and he thought it only natural that the homebrewing hobby would surge alongside it. “It was really the perfect time for a dedicated homebrew supply shop here in the Lowcountry.”
Yeast - Everything Homebrew is a specialty retail store selling equipment and ingredients for homebrewing beer, wine, cider, mead and soda. The shop provides introductory homebrewing and winemaking classes.
“My mentor was instrumental in helping me complete my business plan — being a good sounding board, checking for omissions, reviewing the financials, etc.” Kinslow says. “Once my wife and I decided [we were] committed to the business plan, it was less than a month from getting the lease to opening the shop.”
“As a sole proprietor and only employee, keeping up with all the details of running a business is never ending,” Kinslow admits. He’s learned the seasonal quirks of his craft as homebrewing slows in the hot summer months. Kinslow later met with Norman to discuss cash-flow challenges and potential new revenue streams, which led Kinslow to add beekeeping products to his lineup in 2016.v
Kinslow had experience with business development, planning and proposal writing in his previous career, so he knew the value of a solid business plan. He turned to SCORE “to see if the idea worked on paper before I spent any of my family’s money on this venture,” he recalls. “This was going to be self-financed and we would be putting a lot at risk. I needed to show my wife how it was going to work and get her buy in.”
SCORE mentor Rick Norman was there to serve as sounding board and cheerleader. Norman listened to each of the business ideas Kinslow was thinking of pursuing, and supported his development of a homebrew supply shop business plan in the months to come.