Real Talk Time

Time for a #realtalk about what's been happening outside the kitchen and inside Sarah's brain.

11/24/20234 min read

Time for some #RealTalk

It has been quite a while since my last blog post, and what a doozy of a while it’s been. Needless to say, the “niceties” of my business (that I love so much) have been put on one of the 7 thousand back burners I continue to find space for while I figure out how to navigate this life (like I can, will, or should). Over the last few weeks, I’ve managed to feel inspired, defeated, elated, frustrated, scared, hopeful, annoyed, giddy, flustered, exhausted, and downright psychotic. And so: I want to share a few quips of inspiration and ass-kickery that prompted me to write this blog and take some much-needed action on my business, which I’ll get into shortly.

First Quip:

While reading has also taken a backseat to all the other “must-do’s” on my to-do list (which is forever growing), I did manage to recently devour Ali Kriegsman’s How to Build a Goddamn Empire, which was insightful, inspiring, and lit a fire under my ass. In 283 pages, she tells the story of her company (Bulletin); she interviews other female entrepreneurs; gives actual, practical, useful advice, and writes with a conversational gusto you can’t help but love. As I made my way through, I wrote down ideas, bookmarking pages with post-it tabs, and made (another) to-do list with the sole purpose of growing my business while maintaining my sanity (wish me luck). This two-page list consists of a mishmash of disjointed ideas, half sentences, marketing firms, digital assistants, and other business jargon I know nothing about with intentions to extensively research (and possibly implement).

Something I understand the importance of, and yet struggle with immensely, is my brand. As an entrepreneur/business owner, I have no less than 20 balls in the air at any given time, but I’ve jotted down a list of priorities, and a brand re-work is very close to the top of that list. I’m working toward a bit of an overhaul on what I want SBS to look like, feel like, and truly “be.” In one of my last blog posts I talk about biting off more than I can chew, and while I adore every bit of meal prepping, charcuterie, making snacks, running events, and everything in between, I know if I focus my efforts on one or two of these things, they’ll have a more impactful effect on what I want my business to be.  [Watch out for execution early 2024]

Now for some ass-kickery:

The other day I was scrolling through Instagram and came across a pretty bold post from another charcuterie business that showed a video of this positively stunning grazing table. It was 12 feet by 3 feet, COVERED by a delicious spread, and she captioned it: “Real Conversation: Can I get a table for 150 people? My budget is $300.” 2 seconds later, she adds another caption: “The table for 150: The price? $5,025.” In the comments, someone had the audacity to say, “This looks like about 2000 worth, maybe 1500 with the current grocery prices.” Jaw drop. First of all, I don’t care how much the product itself cost (and for the record, she answered at $3,200 worth of groceries). Secondly, is this woman’s time worthless? She went on to say that this particular grazing table was about 32 hours of prep time for 4 of her employees, plus 5 of them setting up, tearing down, and cleaning up. Less than $2000 profit for 5 people over 2 days of work… Doesn’t seem like a hell of a lot when you break it down.

I made a comment saying: “Wow. It’s wild what people think this industry and your time is worth. $300 wouldn’t get you a nice steak dinner for 2 these days. Groceries are insane, inflation is insane, and the world is apparently insane. Good for you for saying no.” And honestly, it’s true. Healthy groceries for a family of 4 is legitimately unaffordable. Luxury foods like cured meats, cheeses, artisan crackers, fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, chocolates, etc., alongside everything you need to make an incredible presentation, like flowers, herbs, greenery, bowls, crates, kraft paper (!) are all ridiculously expensive. Now, what is time worth? What’s YOUR time worth? Invaluable, no? I’ve been running my business making small profits, or just breaking even, or working with outlandish client budgets, even at a loss! What is that shit?! There’s something to be said about starting out small, and doing certain things for the benefit of exposure or experience, but at the end of the day, this is a business. No need to justify further. Period.

Anyway, before I spiral out of control here and find myself in a rabbit hole of perpetual self-doubt, I’ll just leave this subject by saying I’m going to be making some well overdue changes to both the product and pricing structure of my business. Improving my product offering, (for charcuterie specifically), and adjusting prices will not only allow me to continue making beautifully styled boards with premium ingredients, but will also afford me the opportunity to grow, scale and hire. [Impending execution: December 1, 2023]

And last, but certainly not least:

I’ll leave you all with this last bit of Sarah’s Thoughts: Josh has been reading a bunch of business books lately, which have led to many a-conversation about our own businesses. In 10x is Easier Than 2x, Dan Sullivan asks what your goals are for your business (or for yourself), and what it would look like to reach that goal TIMES TEN. Let’s say your goal is to make $100k next year. 2x is $200k. How do you get to 200k? Work harder? Double your efforts? That might get you somewhere close, but at what cost?

10x that is obviously $1M. It’s almost laughable, right? It’s not. How do you get to 1M in sales? Maybe it’s getting your product into more hands. So how do you do that? Ship your product worldwide, or maybe use marketing tactics to get your name out there. 80% of your time should be spent on this “how,” and then going out and executing accordingly. Even if you don’t make it to your 10x goal, it’s VERY likely you’d surpass your original. As the saying goes: reach for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. I’m in the beginning stages of figuring out my 10x and how to get there, but I can sure as hell tell you it’s going to be big, and it’s going to be unapologetic.

[Execution: entirety of 2024]