The Story Behind The Vino Bus Winery Tours
Let’s take a look at where it all began, the inspiration behind the Vino Bus, the light bulb moment and a wine tour journey that continues to evolve.
Natasha Bennett founder and creator of the Vino Bus had a vision 9
years ago that through hard work, a desire to share her passion of wine with others and trusting in her business idea resulted in the Vino Bus becoming a reality. From a young age, Natasha envisioned herself as an entrepreneur, however, it wasn’t until after many years of travel and discovering her love of working in the tourism industry that she had the light bulb moment for the Vino Bus. Read on to discover how Natasha built her business from the ground up, how it has evolved over the years and the challenging and rewarding moments along the way.
What did your life look like before you launched the Vino Bus?
I had always aspired to own a business.
Pre Vino Bus I worked in Hospitality and Tourism, moving around as much as I could. In my early 20’s I moved to Europe and landed a job working for Topdeck Travel company. I worked as ground crew in Venice and Munich and had the time of my life. Post travel I moved to the Gold Coast briefly and then to Ayers Rock where I worked various roles in the industry for 2.5 years. After loads of fun in the desert I made the move to Brisbane.
What was the light bulb moment for you when you had the idea for the Vino Bus?
During my short time living on the Gold Coast, a friend took me to Tamborine Mountain for the day. We drove around all the Wineries, Tamborine Mountain Distillery and a Brewery. I instantly fell in love with the place and wanted to organise a winery tour with a group of friends. Once home I searched the internet and was stunned that there wasn’t much on offer – that’s was the light bulb moment. I knew it was a great opportunity.
What were the most important steps initially to get the business up and running?
Saving money! I took a job at Ayers Rock to save money with my goal of buying a bus as my focus.
The next step was lots of research; surveys to find out what people would want from a wine tour experience; contacting the wineries; costings; government department requirements; licencing and insurance.
I had no idea there was so much to think about when starting a business.
What was the most challenging part about building up a business from the ground up?
At the start my age was a challenging thing, I was only 26 and a lot of people didn’t take me seriously. They were also very sceptical of the idea because QLD wasn’t known as a wine destination. The whole experience was very scary, and I just had to back myself completely when people told me it was a strange and risky idea.
What is the most rewarding part about the Vino Bus and running your own business?
I have created my dream fun job in an industry I am passionate about. I have met so many amazing people from all over the globe on my tours and in the tourism industry.
I love running my own business and having no limits to what you can achieve – you get out what you put in. I also love creating a great small team culture with the people I employee, we all have a lot of fun doing what we do.
How have you noticed The Vino Bus evolve over the years, what changes have been most significant?
Technology! In the first 3 years of business, we didn’t have an online booking platform or management system. I used a paper diary to write down every booking, and an excel spreadsheet for business management and accounting - I don’t know how I managed it to be honest. Everything is so much more streamline these days.
And we have also grown from one bus to four busses alongside a great team of guides that are just as passionate as I am.
Did you always envision yourself as being an entrepreneur?
I did. I have always wanted to be my own boss. From a very young age I was always trying to create little businesses from my Mum’s house. Selling anything from flowers, postcards or lemonade on the street (often spiked with Mum’s wine).
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
Do your research, always expect to spend more than you expected and back your vision – not everyone will understand what’s in your head. Create something people don’t even know they want yet.
If you enjoyed hearing about the story behind the Vino Bus and you feel inspired to experience an unforgettable wine tour on Tamborine Mountain you can book here at https://www.thevinobus.com.au/day-tours. Natasha continues to think of new business endeavours and has recently launched Tailored Transfers Brisbane, specialising in tailored transfer experiences around South East Queensland. Let us look after your transferring needs and visit Private Drivers & Airport Transfers Brisbane | Tailored Transfers Brisbane.