Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Murphy Perng, Owner of Matter Of Wine, located in Long Beach, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Matter of Wine (MOW) is a Private Sommelier booking service. Our Sommeliers, all certified through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust or Court of Master Sommeliers, travel to our clients' venues to lead fun, engaging, and educational tasting workshops. MOW also hosts wine-centric events, including Sip & Sails, Wine & Watercolors, and food and wine pairing experiences.
Tell us about yourself
I'm a big fan of wine and good company, be it old friends, new friends, or family. In fact, my family had a hand in cultivating my interest in wine. Growing up between Taiwan and the U.S., food and drink were at the center of every celebration, and I was welcome to try a little bit of everything, alcoholic or not. A decade before I was legally allowed to drink wine, I knew it was something I enjoyed!
In my mid-twenties, I spent much of my time outside of work taking the most interesting classes I've ever taken: the WSET Certification courses. I quit, earned my WSET Advanced Certification, and established Matter Of Wine (MOW) to make fun, systematic wine education available to everyone. I firmly believe that knowing a little something about wine can add a LOT to a person's everyday life, from pairing your meals with wine to enhance the flavors of both to making better choices in the beverage section of the grocery store.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Matter Of Wine has hosted hundreds of virtual and in-person events for amazing audiences. Our clients include Boston Consulting Group, TikTok, Snapchat, Fandango, Hyundai, and Buzzfeed, and we have been featured in publications such as wikiHow, National Geographic, and SOMM Journal.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Today's cultural, social, and economic landscape is constantly changing. There might be a demand for the kind of service you provide now, but next week could be a different story. In the five years MOW has been in business, we've seen demand for in-person events evaporate, interest for virtual and wedding-related events grow, and wine prices surge in certain categories. One of the hardest things about being a business owner is constantly adapting in order to stay relevant.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Dive in! You don't need to have the perfect website created, the next three months of content lined up, and a large email list compiled before you launch your business. Open your doors, receive feedback on your services, and modify them. Then, you can be confident in the most important part of your business.
- Identify the ways in which your business stands out from your competitors, and focus on these differences in your marketing.
- Stay in touch with what your clients are looking for and adjust your offerings as needed.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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