September 9, 2020

It may be September, but it is time to plan your holiday strategy for profitability and ending the year with great sales. In this podcast, I go over your holiday planning strategy to be able to execute your holiday plan successfully including production, cash flow and maximizing your profit. You know what they say about those who do not plan...

If you want more help turning your delicious dream into a real, profitable food business, apply for to see if it is a good fit for you. 

I'm Sari Kimbell and I've done just about everything in the food industry. I have helped hundreds of packaged food business entrepreneurs. And now I want to help you make your delicious dream a reality. Whether you want to be successful at farmer's markets, online, or wholesale on the store shelves, Food Business Success is your secret ingredient. I will show you how to avoid an expensive hobby and instead run a profitable food business. Now let's jump in.

Welcome to this special bonus podcast.

I wanted to give you guys a great toolkit around holiday planning. And I already have so many podcasts that were already scheduled for September, but I didn't want to go through September and not talk about holiday planning. Many of you guys know that I already have a YouTube channel that has a ton of video content, really in depth videos on lots of topics about starting a packaged food business. Really more of the technical side of things. So you can always go over and check out those videos. But I wanted to share the audio from one of them, which is actually part of a three part series around holiday planning and what you need to do to be successful. So some of you might be in very early stages of your business or you're just thinking about this and you're thinking yourself,

what? It's September?

Why on earth are we talking about holiday planning, like the holidays are not for months to come? It's still hot out. But the reality is when you're in a retail industry, I mean when I was at Whole Foods and doing the, I was the marketing director for one of the stores. We had our holiday plan in place no later than the end of August, and we had everything ordered and schematics were set, product was coming in, we actually would go to our holiday meeting in July. And we always- the big joke was that you tried all the gravy and stuffing and Turkey that you ever wanted to have so by the time November rolled around, there was no way you wanted any of that.

So all of that happens much, much earlier than maybe you ever think. And honestly in the food industry, for larger stores, that holiday planning is actually happening in January or sometimes even earlier for the next year. For big, large scale producers, right, they're doing procurement and already talking to you about your holiday offering. But we're not there yet. So September is really the place, you know if you can do it in August, even better. But September is the time that you need to be looking ahead to Q4 and your holiday plan. And why is planning ahead for the holidays so important that you do it at least four months early? Three months early?Because it affects everything from your forecasting which affects your ingredient purchasing, your kitchen booking, your co Packer ordering, your packaging itself, as well as staffing and ads and, and programs and emails and all of your social media strategy. So everything is going to hinge on you having a holiday plan and your best guess at a forecast. So I'm offering this sound from the video. But of course I realized that this was released

last year when I put it up and things have changed, of course, and forecasting is going to be more challenging but that does doesn't mean that you shouldn't do it. And I do think that 90% of what you're going to hear is absolutely relevant. No, we can't do in store demos like we used to, but much of it is going to be absolutely pertinent to you. After you have a listen, head over to the Food Business Success YouTube channel and check out the other two holiday planning videos that are part of this series. I also mentioned a Holiday Planning Checklist in the video, and I will put the link to grab that checklist in the show notes. So be sure to grab that it'll be super helpful as you look into your 2020 holiday plan. And then head over to the Food Business Success private Facebook group where you can ask your questions and let's get a conversation going around your holiday strategy and a brave new COVID 2020 world. Let's get it done and I love to see your sales skyrocket this year and you have a fantastic holiday season. All right, let's have a listen.

Are ready to make this holiday season count this year? I want you to be super profitable and go into the holidays with a plan so that you end the year in the black with a super successful season. But the key to being successful for the holidays is you have to start your plan now. This is the time to spend some time planning your holiday strategy. So let's get into it. Don't make the mistake of scrambling at the last minute trying to put together your holiday plans. You will will have already missed some amazing opportunities if you wait till the last minute. So whether you are selling at markets and holiday shows or your on the shelves of grocery stores or gift stores, I'm going to help you to really put together a strategy and be sure that you are setting yourself up for success for the holiday season. Hey there, I'm Sari Kimbell. I am the founder of Food Business Success. I have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs start and grow packaged food businesses, helping them get onto the shelves of retail stores and also be successful in online e commerce as well as farmers markets. All right. This is all about planning for those amazing holiday sales. It's great to increase your sales, to talk with wholesale buyers. Get a plan for that. Get all of your holiday markets on the books. Do all of your e commerce promotions, plan those out. But you also need to plan now for having great sales. So I'm going to take you through my planning checklist for the holidays so that you are absolutely prepared and nothing is missed. And you're ready to go, and can actually meet all of those great holiday sales.

So being proactive is super key for the holidays. So the first thing you want to think about is your production. Because you're increasing your sales, hopefully you're going to be in markets and on more store shelves and have a bigger presence. You want to think about how you're actually going to make all of that product. So it may be that you need to reserve more kitchen time, that you need to bring in help, or you need to start communicating with your co Packer if you're having it made for you to communicate with them what your numbers are going, to be what your dates are going to be. So you really want to start working backwards from all the things that you've planned and gotten on the calendar, work backwards and say when do I actually need product by. And so of course that leads into the second thing which is product. So I want you to be strategic about your ordering. The way that you're going to maximize your profit is by creating efficiencies. So because you're making things in larger quantities for this time period, can you order packaging and labels and ingredients in much larger quantities? But again, you need to think that through ahead of time. Make sure you have the storage space. How long our ship times? Sometimes when you order larger quantities, it might be a longer shipping time. So start doing your research about your packaging and your ingredients, your your labels, gift boxes, do all of that now so you can get all of that in so that you're ready to go when it's time to do production.

All right, this is a big one is cash flow, managing your cash flow and planning ahead for it. So, many producers when you're just starting out you maybe are only buying, you know, 100 labels at a time, it's going to cost you more to buy 1000 labels, but you're going to get a better price per unit. So I really want you to think right now, as you're looking ahead at your holiday plan and thinking about your goal for the holidays.

Really start thinking about what kind of cash are you going to need? And where are you going to get it from? If you don't already have it in the bank, do you need to start thinking about a loan, a line of credit? Are you going to use credit cards? And you're going to have some time in there where you're going to have to float that cash where you're not going to be making the sales until you get to the holidays, but you got to do all of the purchasing well in advance to get those bulk discounts. So you really need to manage your cash flow well and plan ahead. This is where sometimes I see producers actually even close their doors is when they can't manage their cash flow well. They've scaled up too quickly. They've committed to sales, but they can't actually buy all the things ahead of time and get the efficiencies through the bulk orders.

Okay, the next thing I want you to plan ahead for is your customer engagement. And this is true whether you are doing markets, e commerce, or you're just on store shelves. Do you have a fan base through social media and emails? And we'll talk a little bit more about email after this. But make sure like email collection needs to be a part of your everyday strategy, not just your holiday strategy. So I like to talk about the 80/20 rule is that 80% of the content that you're putting out there on social media and in your emails, is value. You're not just promoting, selling, selling, selling. So 20% is promotion. 80% is value. So that's going to mean again, plan ahead, I talked about this in the first video, but planning ahead and getting great photos that are seasonal that you can put up on social media. So the more you can develop a bank of those now, go dig through your holiday decorations. Set up a tree. I know it's early, it's hot outside where I'm at. You might be thinking like 'It's September, it's too early for holiday decorations'. But whatever you can do to create that holiday feel in your photos is going to be great. So you want to start building up a stock photo, those lifestyle photos as well as your product photos, for your website, for maybe your Facebook shop, that kind of thing. Also research the the hashtags for this current year that we're in. Things like of course Cyber Monday and Black Friday, but there may be other new ones coming up. Be sure you use all, I believe you get 30 hashtags on Instagram, so blow it up, make sure you're using all of them so you can be found.

So for your customer engagement plan, I really want you to create what's called an editorial calendar or content calendar. This is where again, you're going to plan everything out. So going back to the first video where we talked about e commerce, where you're planning out your promotions, you also want to then think about all the content that you want to put out there for the holidays. And this could be for your email and also social media. I know this might seem like a big job planning ahead, but believe me, you are going to be really, really busy during the holidays. So the more you can plan now and look at those hashtag holidays. Look at what are some fun things that you could build some social media content around, right? So put together that content calendar, but remember the 80/20 rule that you want to be providing 80% percent is value, valuable content recipes, fun photos, fun hashtag holidays. Maybe it's a partnership, you're doing a giveaway with someone else that's complimentary, or you're doing your own giveaway. But you want to be sure that 80% is real fun value and then 20% can be promotion. So plan that out ahead of time you are going to make your life so much easier.

All right, and then I mentioned already having a, an email collection strategy. This is super important that you are collecting emails all year round, but this is really going to be when you use them. So you want to have a nice branded email template. You want to think through your promotions. And again, you're providing great value but plan your emails ahead of time, especially when we're talking about things like Cyber Monday and Black Friday.

You're going to have a certain sequence of emails. So you want to plan those out ahead of time and make sure that they are really dialed in, that they look professional, they have great photos, and you're really making a compelling case for your customer on why they should find you and why they should go to your website and buy this amazing product. All right, are you ready to put together your holiday strategy for a profitable holiday season and end the year in the black? I hope so. Be sure to pick up my Holiday Checklist with the link below.

Are you ready to start that delicious idea that you make in your home kitchen or grow your existing packaged food business and take it to the next level? The most successful food business entrepreneurs have support, guidance, focus and accountability to help them make it happen quickly without wasting time or money. Plus, I think starting your packaged food business should actually be fun. Food Business Success is your secret ingredient to creating your food business dream. Please don't go this alone. Check out the private free Food Business Success Facebook group to connect with other food-prenuers, get your questions answered quickly, share your wins and receive special training and tools I only share inside the private community. Just search for Food Business Success on Facebook, or get the link in the show notes. Curious about how Food Business Success can help you head over to and fill out the application to see if you're a great fit for the program. Together let's make your food business dream a reality.

Transcribed by


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.