Welcome to our weekly update of the "Founder's Log" a blog dedicated to the progression of American Butchers JERKi, highlighting the things we've accomplished thus far in the past week, paths we are currently working towards right now, and unchartered paths we hope to accomplish in the upcoming week! Starting a business can be a tough decision so I've added this so you can stay up to date with things I've learned along the way! Have a question, don't hesitate to leave a comment below!
A look into the past week
Welcome back to the 2nd week of our little behind the scenes blog highlighting the work we are focusing on to make American Butchers JERKi a reality. A lot has happened in the past week and we are continuing to progress towards launch very soon. With launch nearing each day, I have been on the phone talking with our Smoke Master, as we like to call him, ensuring that production orders are going through and we are stocking up our inventory. The process to make a single batch of jerky (roughly 25 bags) takes about 12 hours to marinade and an additional 6 hours for smoking procedures. All-in-all that is quite a lengthy process in order to build inventory. Today they are officially wrapping up the last of the bags and should be expected to our location for distribution in the next 2 days.
Additionally, this past week provided me with a pretty unique learning opportunity when a beef jerky subscription box company reached out requesting a pretty large production order. As a small company getting their feet wet into the industry when a larger company reached out requesting wholesale/ distribution pricing the gears began turning. The offer fell through as we began explaining our business model and the foundation of donating an additional bag of jerky to soldiers and first responders with every purchase not because they didn't want to help the cause but because of our business models and concepts didn't match theirs. All in all the concept of giving away a product to someone tends to make the product a little more expensive. We understand this and at the end of the day realize the impact that this can have on numbers. Without making this blog super long i'll just present a few quick things I learned and if you have any specific questions you can ask below!
- Ensure you don't wear down your team - could we have accomplished such an order in the time they requested? We definitely could have but our team would have been wiped. In order to put this into effect, many future implementations would have been needed. Custom bags, restructuring of labels and approvals, shipping in such a large quantity, all things to think about.
- Mission - it's important to realize what your objective is and stick with it if you could have sold the bags and not donated a product would you have woken up feeling like your objective as a business was accomplished or are you becoming just another jerky company? We wanted to be different and for that, we ensured the goal to maintain this consistency.
- Factor in manpower - It's important to realize the back workings of your business model, you might have an ideal price that works for you to do the work but when coming up with pricing, make sure you incorporate what it might cost to pay someone else to do that same work. You might be okay with working and not getting paid but would someone else who isn't as invested into the company?
- Don't chase a sale - Brokers do this all the time, realize where your numbers lie and what you are trying to accomplish in order to continue to make some type of profit to keep the business running. When brokering deals with outside businesses it is important to negotiate. Realize that both sides have margins to aim for and sometimes it can be beneficial to work together to accomplish those numbers.
The focus today is on the website. With the website being the face of this business I have put a huge emphasis on making sure it works efficiently and is accurate. I can't tell you the number of people that have assisted me in everything from content to grammatical errors. The website has probably been through hundreds of modifications that even today I find myself adding new features and removing old ones. I removed an old feature of product review and updated it with a versatile one that allows for cross-platform synchronization. If there is anything that I've learned when it comes to monitorization between emails and reviews, the functionality to allow for optimization and autopilot makes monitoring overwatch that much easier. With the click of a button, we have preprogrammed the function to automatically send out product review emails following the purchase of a product as well as integrated product reviews on our product pages to highlight customer feedback.
A million-dollar question has also risen up from the ashes that I will place here in an effort that someone in the comments might help me out with an answer. As a customer who is purchasing a product, do you find it more visually appealing / an effective way to pull a customer if I incorporated a higher price with shipping and offered "free shipping" to the end solution? Or if you offer price at a lower amount and then had the additional price of shipping? In the end, the price would be the exact same in the charge but it just depends if you feel you're getting a win out of something that is marked "free." I have read countless articles that battle for both sides and end up just making it a user preference so I thought I'd put it up here for debate.
Cheers to the Future
So what does the future look like? Well hopefully in the next few DAYS we can anticipate an order of jerky being shipped here so I can continue to build inventory and eventually launch our website. With the anticipation of inventory, I am also fixating on the packaging and ensuring the standard of our product is met. As I am uncertain right now if customers are looking at buying more than one product at a time or one product at a time, the size of the shipping packages I will be purchasing might vary. With that, I think it is the smarter play to purchase a few of each size and we can determine the standard as we continue down this road.
With the goal of posting to social media daily continues, I want to stive myself this week to try and get our Instagram social media following to 10+, what does that mean? Well, currently we have a total of 25 subscribers. If I can successfully bring our total by this time next week to +10 followers, I will take that as a great goal for myself. I want to stress this right now, I am not measuring our business to the popularity of our social media following rather I see it as an opportunity to incorporate some new strategies to market building and if I can obtain the +10 then I would say our strategy is a success and hopefully will be the topic to next weeks blog. Anyways on that note, I think we can wrap up this installment of the Founder's Log.
The Founder's Log is designed to be a behind the scenes of American Butchers JERKi. With that, I encourage you to ask any questions you might have regarding our product or about the business! Hope to catch you next week, Same time?