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You started this business because you love your product. You love making it. You love the joy on other people's faces when you sell it to them or give it to them. And so you decided to start a business. And now the business is running over you like a Mack truck. You are wondering, when the heck are you ever actually going to make any money? When do you finally get that freedom and fun, that was the whole reason why you started this business in the first place? When will you stop being in the day to day of the business and running around like everything is on fire? Where the business doesn't work if you're not in it? It is time for that to change. If you have proven your concept. And you know, this is a good idea, then it's time for you to start learning how to be the boss to become the CEO that your business requires of you to actually work, to create money and profit without you being in the day to day. And we do that through Master Your Business. Listen, you could go spend a lot more money on a MBA, and learn the same things that I'm going to teach you in this program. This is all about creating systems and processes and knowing your numbers, we're no longer going to be afraid of our numbers. And we're going to create an intentional path for your business to succeed, to stand the test of time and to work for you. We are starting a new cohort very soon. Go to masteryourbiz.co and get yourself registered. Prove to yourself that this is going to be a business that works and you are going to be the CEO your business needs. Welcome to your Food Business Success. This podcast is for early stage entrepreneurs in the packaged food industry ready to finally turn that delicious idea into reality. I'm your host Sari Kimbell. I have guided hundreds of food brand founders to success as an industry expert and business coach, and it's got to be fun. In this podcast, I share with you mindset tools to become a true entrepreneur and run your business like a boss, interviews with industry experts to help you understand the business you are actually in, and food founder journey so you can learn what worked and didn't work and not feel so alone in your own journey. Now let's jump in! Hello, and welcome back to the podcast. So glad you're here with me today. This is going to be a fun one. I haven't done this before and actually it was a Fuel member who suggested and she said, you know, you should really put up a coaching call from Fuel. I think it would really help people understand the value of that program, and what they can expect inside and maybe help you feel a little bit more comfortable. I know it can be a little awkward at first, a little intimidating to come into a membership group. But the work and what happens, the transformation inside this, is just incredible for the people who come. The people who make it a priority, put it on their calendars, put them in like a doctor's appointment and show up. It's just incredible. It is absolutely my favorite place to be. And you can just join Fuel. If you've already started your business and you're a little further along, or maybe you're not quite sure what the heck this business is going to be or even if you should, and you're like I just need to come and ask questions, I need to learn from others. Fuel is a great place to start. And you don't need to get the full Food Business Success program. I really wanted to make those available and it is $57 a month. So come on. Like that is a no brainer in my mind to get the resources and the information and the things that really help you feel supported and accountable. So if you want to check that out, go to foodbizsuccess.com/fuel. And I have been offering a Bonus Mindset call inside Fuel for the last few months. I'm going to do one more in October and who knows, maybe we'll keep this up because they are incredible. Like the other calls that we do are really about strategy and specific questions like how much should my pricing be and what do I need to go and talk to a buyer or what do you think about my Farmers Market signage, that kind of stuff. But this is really about your mindset and understanding what's going on. Like why are you getting stuck? Why are you procrastinating? What are you afraid of? Because I really believe and this is why I became a life coach is that the work of being a true entrepreneur is 80% mental. It is about overcoming your fears, overcoming your judgments or fear of being judged. It's about overcoming your desire to seek comfort and not put yourself out there and to problem solve, to deal with kind of uncomfortable sticky situations that you've never dealt with before. So today, I want to share with you two of the questions that came in the coaching that we did, you're going to hear from Amber and Debbie. And then I'm also going to do two next week, so I wanted to break them up, it was a little bit long to do one full episode. And I always like to preface coaching because we had about, I don't know, 20 people on the call. And I think we got through six or seven folks who want coaching. And I always say you're going to get what you need, you're going to hear the thing that you need to hear when you just join, whether you get coaching or not. And sometimes actually, when you're getting coached, you're like, okay, she's so focused on me, and you kind of I know, when I'm get coached, sometimes it's like you almost kind of blank out and you're like, what did we talk about? Fortunately, they're all recorded. So you can go back and watch yourself, which I think is actually really helpful. If you're just joining, you know, you're just there to be there, I always know you're going to get what you need, and you're going to get something from it. So without further ado, here are the two coaching calls that I want to share with you today. And to thank them for being brave and allowing me to share this, I am going to include the link to their website, and their social media handles in the show notes below. So go and check them out, and reach out to them. If you're like, hey, what do you think about this Fuel thing? Should I come and join? And I'm going to tell you that their answer is definitely a resounding yes! But feel free to reach out to them individually, they'd be happy to answer questions for you. All right, here we go. Amber's going first and then we got Debbie, love it. Jumping in. It's a safe place. We all want everybody to succeed. So good morning, Amber.
Good morning. So we have our syrup in a coffee shop. And they asked, of course, we got the pumpkin spice that is rolling out. And they asked to do a stronger version of it because they couldnt taste it in a coffee. So we did that. They decided to order 4. And now they're coming back saying it still wasn't strong enough and they would like to give it back to us and not pay for it. So I haven't answered that email yet.
Yeah, that's a great thing to bring to this call, because how are you feeling about all of this right now? What comes up for you?
Frustration. Trying to be very professional. And you know, and it was actually a little bit of a rush order too, so we kind of bent over backwards to get it to him. It is our largest customer right now currently. So I don't want to make them mad. Like to keep them. But I don't want to waste like I can't resell it unless I get creative the way that we have it right now.
Okay. So what's the problem with just taking it back?
I guess it's the principle of the matter. They ordered it.
Yeah. But it wasn't strong enough.
I don't know. I guess if I was them, I would have ordered only one to make sure that it was what they wanted, even after we doubled it. But they are also new small business owners and it's just the husband and wife team as well. So yeah, I mean, it's not really a problem if we take it back obviously, it's just finding a creative way to use it somehow, which maybe I might be able to do.
Well, you're making it a problem. And there's nothing wrong with that. But you have a story about how this isn't right. Right? There's a principle of the thing. And so it's a problem for you, and that's okay, like that's why you come to these calls and we work it out first before you go.
It's a great lesson on something I should have in place for future orders.
So when things like this come up, which they will, I mean, actually, before I put words in your mouth, I'd love for you to tell me what are three silverlinings? What are three things? How is this for you?
It's definitely teaching me a little bit of a lesson as far as customizing orders and making sure we don't, maybe helping the customers not order a bunch all at once. So that would definitely be one thing. Maybe doing some kind of samples or something with the customer before they just go and order a bunch of syrup that they haven't had before, even if they decide they want to customize it. I might have to figure out how to get creative on what else I might be able to do. Maybe I'll find some new avenue or some new customer or find somebody very appreciative to get some pumpkin spice syrup.
And I would offer a third that, thank goodness, it happened with only four. Imagine if you had done 400 down the line. So grateful I get to learn this lesson now when it's only four.
That's great. Yeah. Absolutely.
Because this happens, right? And I get to learn the lessons of okay. Hmm, you know, what went wrong here? And, you know, in the Thrive training, we talked about extreme ownership, right, turning it all back on you. So how is this your fault? Just as a thought experiment, just play with me.
Yeah, just not allowing the customer to order such a large amount when they're trying to customize the flavors and not tasting it first.
I mean, ultimately, yeah, you're going to learn the lessons of like, all right, now, I'm going to do that differently, right? And I think as business owners, this is such a great example, we want people, we're excited. Oh, my gosh, custom order. They want four, we're so excited! And we say yes before we've really thought through what could go wrong here. And so I think, you know, again, not like, blame, like, I'm never going to do this again. I'm such an idiot or anything but just taking ownership on, yeah, I got excited and I didn't really think through what could go wrong here. I wanted to people please, right? We want to say yes, as business owners, and I've gotten myself into plenty of situations in the past and still will in the future where I get excited and I say yes to something and I don't think through, I don't take a minute to pause. And so this is just a beautiful lesson for you to think through, you know, how do I pause? How do I, you know, before I say, yes, let's just do that pre mortem. Let's think through what could go wrong. And this will be a beautiful lesson for you to take into the future. And you're going to use it in lots of different ways. Customers asked for special things, you know, whether it's direct to consumer or wholesale, or, you know, we'd love to hear one thing that somebody says, I want stronger pumpkin, and you're like, okay! And asking better questions when somebody does like, okay, like 50% more pumpkin, four times more pumpkin? Like, clearly, they don't know. They just know this isn't it. So I think it's helpful to like, do that thought experiment if this was all my fault, right? And I love the concept of a manual. So we all have manuals for other people about how we think they should behave. And you think that a small business, a coffee shop, that they should just, like shut up about it, and we doubled the pumpkin and that should be enough and you shouldn't complain. You're creating a lot of problems for me, why can't you just take it and run with it? You shouldn't ordered four. But the reality is, unfortunately, as the seller in this case, a lot of it comes back on us, right? And to manage our own manual, we can't get them to change. This is what they do. And this is like, we wish you know, we have our booklet of instructions on how we think buyers should operate, coffee shops to do, but clearly they have different ideas. And so you have choices here, you could hold your ground, you know, and say no, this is what you take and take the consequences that they may never, they may not want to buy from you again, right? But it's good to know you have options, right? And kind of play through. Like, it's not just like you're forced into this because we want you to take your power back as a business owner and be like, oh, they're forcing me, I got to take it back, you know, and feeling like a victim and shoulds. And instead, what do you want to choose to do? How do you want to choose to show up as the awesome business owner you are? You tell me. Well you tell me how I want to show up.
I want to keep the account and turn it into something positive and a great learning experience.
And like, drop our manual, drop the expectations of what we think our buyers should think. Because this happens with customers, you know, direct customers all the time too, right? They love to give opinions. And so you get to decide ahead of time and this is a great, maybe an inflection point, where you get to decide, am I the kind of like, what's my value as a business? How do I want to operate where I want the customer to be 100% satisfied? You get to decide, maybe not but maybe that's not a value of yours. But I promise you there is a creative way to use that. I mean, could you take it to a different coffee shop? Like a different buyer, a different taste person might be like, this is plenty of pumpkin.
Yeah. Maybe everybody's tastebud is different.
Yeah. Or bring it to the to the market. And, you know, could you repackage it, right? Like it's all under cottage food. I don't understand why you can't just repackage.
It doesn't have my new labels on it yet. I should be getting those samples.
So I love these situation because first, we want to take our power back, we want to like own it and say, okay, here's where I can take ownership. And here's what I can learn from it, right? This is that anti fragile mentality of like bad stuff happens always. You're going to look back on this and be like, that's so cute. But we get to make decisions about like taking our power back, being empowered to say, I want the customer to be 100% satisfied, and I'm choosing to do this with grace. And we don't want to respond back like, oh, great, I'll take it back from that energy, right? We want to respond from a place of like generosity and gracefulness and yeah, just wanting our customers to be 100% satisfied. And you know, how do you want to handle it in the future like okay, clearly you know, we missed the mark there and you guys really want more pumpkin, I'd love to come by and bring you three options you know, and let me know, do you want double the pumpkin like that's what we do in food science stuff all the time. Like you got to give your food scientists something to work with like, I want a more chocolatey, well do you want it 10% more chocolatey? Do you want it 50% more, right?
Can say they wanted to double it so that's what we did but that's kind of the tricky part with our customer like it's got to be in a decent sized batch? There isn't any way to like do one little tiny sample of it unfortunately.
Yeah. It could be fun like go to the market and be like this is extra pumpkin.
So is that helpful? Kind of some next steps?
That's actually just happened this morning. I so appreciate it.
You're so welcome. My pleasure. All right, Debbie.
I so feel for your Amber right now. And I love the idea though of the double pumpkin like we're going to just market the heck out of this.
Limited batch. Limited Edition. Double your pumpkin.
Yeah. All right. So my question and by the way, I used to be really good about like listing my questions like questions for Sari for moments like this, but I've kind of fallen out of that habit, but this happened at a good time. And so, I had mentioned in one of our previous calls that I am going into wholesale, a local boutique that has asked for me to bring my products and thank you, Sari, you did help me review the terms of the contract which then looks all good. So I got an email yesterday from them and just like Amber, I haven't responded yet like, hey, okay, bring your products. And I have so many questions, especially that this is my first time like, okay, I'm not even certain like, you know, like the kind of space I'll have. And you talked about table toppers, am I bringing, you know, like this setup because in a bit their store before people do set up their, you know, been different, you know, tables and so I have many questions just about the products I'll be bringing, how many, and I want to respond in an email, but put my best foot forward. Since this is my first time, I don't want to ask questions where they'll be like, you have no idea what you're doing. So wanted to know, you know, what would be the right way to go about getting, you know, I just want to know, like, what are you expecting from me as far as products because they just said, bring your products and just make sure the owner or the manager is there so they can help you. They can receive the products. And that's the only guideline I got.
Right. And this so common from buyers. And you know, the other day with Jeff, you were on that call, right? On Tuesday? It's kind of that finding that balance of like, not being too crazy. Here's this sudden bullet email with all the things and the buyer is like, oh my gosh, what do we get? This person like, yeah, really, you know, just really going to micromanage versus like, you don't care kind of maker. And so I think, you know, somebody high achievers, we tend to err on the side of and like over communicating and things like that. And so it is finding a balance where you're building a relationship. And I guess one of my first questions is like, why is it important for you to get it right, a hundred percent on the very first try?
Because I don't want to shoot myself in the foot. Like, I don't want to get out there and misrepresent my brand first and not have what is needed and possibly not get the offer again.
Yeah, so what's the problem if you don't represent your brand perfectly from day one? They won't ask you back?
Yes, that they wouldn't ask me back if I miss that.
And so, would that be bringing too much product, too little product? What do you think would be the thing that you would not do?
Okay, bringing too much product that is not selling, that they wouldn't be able to sell.
And if that happened, what would you do?
I have to go with my tail between my legs and pick it back up because I think they said something like, I can't remember what it was three months or six months, like if it did not sell. And you know, you basically have two days to pick it up.
Okay? And what's the problem with having to go pick it up and feeling a little bit sad and maybe a little humiliated? Or the feelings, what's wrong with that?
Yeah, so that of course, and then also trying to figure out how to get, you know, that product sold. But I'll pick up from them.
And I won't go back to what we were just talking like, what's the problem with feeling a negative emotion?
It just doesn't feel good.
It doesn't, but you can handle it. You've had negative emotion in your past. And the thing that makes us invincible as entrepreneurs is if you are willing to feel any emotion, because all you're afraid of, you're trying to not screw it up so badly because all you're afraid of thinking about it. You're just afraid of a vibration in your body. You're going to feel.
Yeah, that's it.
And so what if you weren't afraid? That's a possibility that could happen. You do have three months to figure it out.
So that just something resonated just when you ask if I wasn't afraid. If I wasn't afraid, I could ask at least the very basic questions. I think my hesitation in even asking those questions is the response. I'll get like, oh, you should know this already.
Right. So you're a pain in the ass or why don't you know this?
And when I look back at the exchange of emails we've had, they've never said anything about, you know, the practical, the tactical, you know, way of bringing my things to them. Yes, we've talked about agreements, but we haven't actually ever talked about, you know, how much product, what kind of space I'll be occupying? What the setup will be like? So we haven't had that conversation yet. So your question, if I wasn't afraid, without getting too micromanaging, I could at least ask some of those tough questions in my mind.
I think again, just like talking about Amber, it's all about the energy you write that email from, right? Like, you can tell when an email is like grrr, versus like, I am so excited to come in and I cannot wait to get this product flying off the shelf. And I just have a couple of questions that would really help me to understand how much to bring and how I can support this product. And if you just believe that you are going to sell all the product and have to restock and keep going like, you get to decide. I mean, I would probably give you a number around like six item as a good starting point. You know, strategically it's like, how many products would actually fit on the shelf? They don't want any back stock. So looking at it logically, like that's a good starting place is like how many of these can I get on the shelf, and so you want it to look full, but you don't want it to look stuffed, you know. So there's a sense of like, there's not holes. So I would say somewhere between like four and six of each product. And then like, we think we have to get 100% correct out of the gate. And it's like, you have time to correct it. You think it's all or nothing. I got to get it right on day one and then otherwise, I'm off the shelf. No, you know, whatever number of weeks that is to adjust and to bring in more, to go and sample oh, this product is not moving, what can I do to get that product going? Let me go sample, let me go do something. You know, let me talk this up on my social media and encourage people to go buy it. Like that's what we do as entrepreneurs, we're constantly like, okay, we make a commitment, we think six is the right number, we're going to own it, we're going to have our own back about it, and get the information from them, right? Another way to phrase it with them is like, could you share with me a similar product and maybe what's been successful for them? Kind of gets them thinking about something similar. Just recognize you don't want this email to take longer than maybe five minutes for them to respond. Because they're like, oh my god, I got to do all this research on like, you know, 20 minutes email, but they don't have time. Now they're getting annoyed. So yeah, come on a very positive, very like success. This is so exciting. And I'm going this product is going to fly off. Yeah, we're going to move this product, fly off the shelf. And if you weren't afraid of that feeling of like tail between your legs. It's not going to happen, by the way. But if you weren't afraid of that, if you weren't afraid of having that emotion. Because it is, it's just an emotion that will process through and you'll pick yourself back up and you'll figure it out. You'll learn the lessons and you have three months to figure it out. That's plenty.
So we just need to start somewhere, you know, it's a little bit of Goldilocks, you know, not too much. Not too little like, but you don't know and you'll figure it out.
And something they did tell me. Or rather somebody else told me you can do is when they're running low. If they're running low on something, you can monitor that on the website. Because you can just, you know, put six products, I'll try to order six and if it shows that you're out of stock, then I'll know they're down to how many. You just test it out on the website and see if you can send an email just like, hey, I see this is selling off your shelves. Can I bring some more?
Yeah, okay. You don't have to know how to do it, right? Like we think as adults, we should know all this stuff. And we should, no this is where you get to play. As your first one, you're going to make mistakes and that's okay. Like I mean, we talked about I think before, like this could be a forever client or this could be like one that you just learn from and it's an experiment.
Thank you for your time.
You're welcome. Good. Yeah, send us photo posts, when you get on the shelves, I'd love to see that. So exciting.
I hope you got something from that. It's so powerful to know you're not alone. And to recognize that we just have to kind of pry open our brains and see what's going on in there. And I again, want to extend the invitation to everyone to come join me in Fuel, it's $57 a month. It is an investment that will reap huge rewards. Imagine if you could 10 times that, a 100 times that because you got unstuck. And that's exactly what I want for you is to feel supported, to create accountability, to get out of confusion and overwhelm and doubt, and just keep taking action. Because action compiles on itself, it compounds and we got to get into the flow. You got to get into doing your business, the work of entrepreneurship. We figure it out along the way, we don't think our way to it being perfect. It just doesn't work that way. Come join me inside Fuel, go to foodbizsuccess.com/fuel and I will see you there. Until next time, have an amazing week!
The smartest thing you can do as an entrepreneur is to invest in a who to help you with the how to speed up your journey and help you skip the line. When you are ready for more support and accountability to finally get this thing done. You can work with me in two ways. Get me all to yourself with one on one business coaching, or join Food Business Success, which includes membership inside Fuel, our community of food business founders, that includes monthly live group coaching calls, and so much more. It's one of my favorite places to hang out and I would love to see you there. Go to foodbizsuccess.com to start your journey towards your own Food Business Success.
Maybe you like sitting around in confusion and overwhelm and doubt. But I sure don't. I want to skip the line experience. I want to get inside a community with an expert who knows how to help me and understands my problems, and gets me answers fast so that I can make decisions and keep moving forward. I also want someone to hold me accountable, and keep me focused on my business and moving it forward and limit the life distractions that happen for all of us. And I want to be surrounded by a community of other entrepreneurs who understand what it's like. It helps me to not feel so alone and so overwhelmed in what I need to do to put myself out there and possibly be judged or rejected or laughed at. And all the crazy stories that our brain makes up when we start to do something uncomfortable when we get out of our comfort zone. That is why I am for a limited time opening up the Fuel membership as a standalone product. So you can go and just get the Fuel membership. I've people ask me all the time, I've already have a business, I'm already launched. How can I work with you? How can I get information and feedback and community? Well now is your chance. It starts at $57 a month and you can cancel at any time. So come and take a small risk that has potential for huge payouts to skip the line and get yourself into action and get yourself results so much faster than just spinning out on your own. I see the difference that it makes in entrepreneurs who come to the calls, who get coaching, who connect with community. We have members in there that are constantly reporting I tried this, I did this I got this advice, and I am increasing my sales. It is working. I'm going faster than I ever thought possible. And studies show that you are 95% more likely to actually achieve your goals when you get accounted ability and support. Don't put this off go to foodbizsuccess.com/fuel and get inside. I look forward to meeting you in Fuel and we are going to add some rocket fuel to your business.