Retail Ready is a live, online course specifically designed to help amazing producers land and grow amazing wholesale accounts, and to finally answer "how do I grow my food business?"
Retail Ready will run again in fall, 2018
[Most likely! Unless crazy stuff happens and I win the lotto and run off to some tropical paradise].
Retail Ready is $1250 per person
After completing Retail Ready, you will:
- Finally have a business plan that came together easily, without blood, sweat and tears, and guides you in decision making for your business
- Have a clear game plan on how to increase your wholesale accounts- outlining what to focus on first, and how to make the right choices the first time around
- Have Buyers knocking on your door, asking to bring in your product line
- Get wholesale accounts to say "Yes!" to carrying your products after the very first interaction- no more back and forth for weeks, wondering when they'll bring in your brand. You'll have a strategy for addressing those Buyer "no's" as well - knowing exactly what to say to every single rebuttal that you may hear
- Understand what makes killer marketing material- shelf talkers, promotional material and a sell sheet- and gain the tools and confidence to make them yourself. You'll perfect your materials, and be proud when you see them on the shelf
- Articulate and leverage what makes your product stand out on the shelf & finally gain understanding on who is actually buying your product... plus how to use that information to gain more sales through direct-marketing
- Happily make sales calls and pitch to new accounts, knowing that you sound polished & confident as you talk about your brand
- Gain an understanding of social media for food businesses, and confidently decide which platform is best for your brand. You'll get tools for planning and managing your posts, and will shift your mindset from being overwhelmed by social media to being excited to connect with your audience over Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat. You'll know which types of posts work, and why. You may even find a newfound love for Facebook Lives, or Instagram Stories!
- Understand whether adding a broker or distribution is the right choice for you in your current stage of business - so that you continue to grow and start making money
- Totally feel comfortable negotiating wholesale costs with Buyers, and have a clear picture of how much money you're actually making in your business
- Have other food producers contacting you, asking "How did you do it?" as they see you gain more and more wholesale accounts
- Finally, finally, finally make progress in your business. In just ONE MONTH you'll feel miles ahead of where you do right now.
Here's What You Get In The Six Week Online Course:
Time! Time to reflect on your business, make changes, ask advice, and get support. Four weeks is long enough to see an immediate effect on your business and sales, yet short enough to stay motivated and work hard throughout the month. Unlike other food business courses, I offer ongoing support as you implement the lessons that you've learned from our time together. I stick around to help you. This summer session is particularly special, as I've added in an additional week for everyone to play "catch up." That's right - in the middle of the course we'll pause on new content and spend seven days ensuring you're on track.
Five Facebook Lives done in our private support group where you receive an webinar delivered directly to you all about our weekly theme. Participants report getting TONS of value out of the sessions - and they're recorded, so you have them forever and ever!
Five group consulting calls / Support Sessions where we dive deep into articulating WHAT you’re selling, WHO you’re selling it to, and HOW to talk about it (and more - we literally answer any question that you have!)…. all to make you better positioned to gain and keep your wholesale accounts. Support Sessions are also recorded, so it's okay to miss one here and there! Facebook Lives & Support Sessions are done on Mondays and Fridays, from 11 AM- 12:00 PM, Pacific Time.
Twelve homework assignments to complete on your own time, so that you can come to the calls prepared and ready to work through your questions and next steps.
Advice from my network of Grocery Buyers, Financial Consultants, Packaging & Branding Firms, Social Media Gurus, and Specialty Food Distributors. You get firsthand knowledge from the best of the best.
Unlimited support for the entire month. When you have questions on pricing or want to pick my brain before you meet with a big buyer, drop me a question in our private Facebook group at any point in the month and I’ll get right back to you.
A private online group for participants of the course, where we share files, questions and resources, encourage each other, and learn from other producer’s experiences, mistakes, successes and knowledge. Participants say this is KEY to their success in the course.
- A thorough, personal review of your promotional materials, including shelf talkers, website and sell sheets, so that you’re getting the right information into the hands of the buyers the first time around.
Structure! You'll get all those ideas out of your head and on to paper. You'll get clarity on how to make real progress in your food business, and which steps to take, in which order. I designed this course after working with clients one-on-one for years, and know this system and monthly schedule holds you accountable, pushes you to take action, and produces results.
The Six Week Course Covers the Following Topics:
Week One - Business Planning Basics & Brand Identity: In this section, we cover the foundations of building your food business to ensure your brand and products are viable, thoughtful, and ready to enter the market, or positioned to continue growth in the market. You create a business plan and articulate brand identity & target audience, all to outline exactly who you're selling to, why they're buying it, and how you'll connect with them.
Week Two - Understanding Specialty Grocery: We will ensure that you are fully confident approaching retail stores and understanding what it takes for a Buyer to say “yes!” to carrying your product. We get a sneak-peak behind the scenes of several Buyers in the specialty food industry, and learn directly from respected Retail Stores.
Week Three - Creating your Promotional Materials & Perfecting your Retail Pitch: Your packaging & promotional materials represent your brand - here we ensure that they’re sending the correct message to Buyers and shoppers, plus you practice speaking the language of Specialty Buyers- finally mastering the vocab used in wholesale. You will create a sell sheet and shelf talkers that you LOVE to share, You'll move into week four feeling confident about sharing your story with Buyers, Shoppers, and your online audience.
Week Four - Catch Up Week: Here we ensure that you have completed assignments in week one through three and are feeling ready to rock & roll for the rest of Retail Ready!
Week Five - Marketing for CPG’s, and Financial Strategy: You will finally make a plan for your social media strategy, and dial in your demo & trade show set up. From there, we turn to financials. If you don’t have the numbers correct from the beginning, you’re in dangerous territory. Here we ensure that you’ve accurately thought through your COGS and margins.
Week Six - Brokers, Distributors, and Next Steps: Here, you learn whether or not distribution is right for you, and finally nail down next steps for your business. You'll end this week feeling motivated to keep moving forward with your business, and actually understand how to continue growing your business.
Retail Ready is $1250 per person, for the six week course.
This Course Is For You If:
Buyers say they like your product but don't seem to call you back.
You have a product! Or at least a really, really good idea for a product + business plan, and are quickly moving into production of your product.
You drop off or ship samples to Buyers but then have no idea if they actually try them.
Corporate buyers approve your product, but then you can't get regional buyers to order your line.
You have a full time job and do your food business on the side- and are feeling overwhelmed about where to focus your efforts and how to grow your business.
OR your food business is your full time job, and you're afraid to admit that you don't really know what you're doing, you're running in circles, and you aren't even making money.
You feel stuck and want to make sure you're making the right decisions the first time around.
This Course Is NOT For You If:
You aren't committed to showing up and doing the work, or are looking for someone to magically solve your business challenges for you. This course is suited for business owners or decision makers who are committed to looking at their business with a critical eye, and are ready to make changes.
Your one goal is taking this course is to find a co-packer. I'll talk about it, but won't solve this dilemma for you!
You don't have a product yet, and don't know what your brand will be.
Hello! I'm Alli, the founder of Retail Ready.
I’ve worked as a grocery buyer. I’ve trained grocery buyers. I help stores put together their product assortment. I order products in my sleep! I’ve seen it all- succinct, fantastic sales pitches, overflowing baskets of expired samples under the Buyer's desk, producers who ramble on the phone, gorgeous sales sheets- and I know what really pisses a buyer off, what makes them run in the other direction, and what makes them pause and actually consider a new product.
I teach food producers on the mysteries behind wholesale buyers through Retail Ready, and instruct you on exactly how to get noticed by buyers, how to talk about your products, and how to get them (and keep them!) on the grocery shelves.
Retail Ready is $1250 per person, for the six week course.
Have questions? I have answers!
I don’t have a product yet- just a vague idea for my food business. Can I still take this class?
Let’s talk it out, but probably not- you'll get the most out of this course when you have a thoughtful, well-planned product line in place. You don't have to be in production yet, but need to have thought through the viability of your business. Email me to discuss where you are in your business plan and if this course makes sense for you at this time.
How big or small should my food business be for me to take this course?
The ideal producer should already be in production and sell their product either direct-to-consumer (farmer’s markets, online sales, etc.) and/or have at least one wholesale account. Small to mid-sized food businesses are a great fit. That being said, I've had producers who have been in business for YEARS take the course and still gain valuable skills and new knowledge, as well as producers who haven't sold ANYWHERE before taking the course, only to enroll and feel awesome about building their brand and launching upon completing the class.
I don’t have time to make all the calls.
I totally get that- food producers are BUSY. I’ll still be connecting with you via email and the online group, so this isn’t a problem. Plus, all of the consulting calls are recorded and sent to the group, so you can listen in on your own schedule, or go back to them to get inspiration and advice after the course is over. Want me to address a specific question on the call for you to listen to on the recording? Not a problem.
How many hours of work do I have to put in?
About five hours a week, which includes up to three hours of phone calls per week, and two hours on your own. Everything is optional, but clients who put in the most tend to get the most out of the program.
Why is it so expensive?
My one-on-one consulting is $200/hour, and in this course you get over 20 hours of work together over the five weeks… which would cost you more than $4,000. By offering the course as a group program, everyone wins!
I still can't afford to pay all at once.
I offer payment plans! You can pay over the course of three months. Just email me and I'll set you up on automatic payment plans. Please note that discount codes cannot be used for payment plans, and you must pay the first installment to reserve your spot.
I run my business with my partner/friend/neighbor. Can we sign up as one participant?
The course price is per person, but I offer 25% off for additional participants from the same company. Email me for the promo code for your coworkers and we’ll get you all signed up.
I don’t live in San Francisco. Can I still take your course?
Yes! I designed this course specifically to spread my services cross-country, and to create a format where producers can work with me regardless of their location. I do lots of consulting for clients up and down the West Coast, in the Midwest, and on the East Coast and find that my services translate perfectly over phone calls, emails, and shared documents.
Still On The Fence?
I stand behind the value of this course and am positive that if you meet the criteria above, you're the right fit for this class. If, however, after finishing the course- having completed all of the homework assignments, contributing to the online group, and showing up to the consulting calls- you didn't find Retail Ready worthwhile for your business, I will refund your full investment, no questions asked. It's worth noting that I've never had to do this before, even to producers who have been hesitant when signing up in the past! What are you waiting for? Let's do this!