Almost two years ago, I started this little piece of software for food business owners. I also blogged on the side. While the software didn’t quite work out, the blog was a lot of fun, so I kept writing. Plus, I met you! That was cool, too.
You kept reading and commenting on my posts, too.
As the blog grew, I received hundreds of questions on how to start – and more importantly, grow – your food business. Everything from dealing with insurance and hiring brokers, to pricing (lots of those!) and working with distributors, and even how to expand out of your small hometown.
If you had questions, other food business owners did, too. And you needed answers.
I answered many questions one-on-one or through blog posts. But, I knew there was an opportunity to put down all of my knowledge on paper (well, digital paper). After all, I’ve started three food companies over the past 12 years. Lots of lessons learned.
Enough about me. Let’s get to the meat and potatoes.
Announcing the Gredio Book Series
The Gredio book series started as one giant book. After writing for a solid month, it was over 800 pages (if printed through a traditional publisher). That prompted me to split the book series in to three parts.
Book 1: Launch Your Food Business
This book is the actionable blue-print to take your food product everyone is raving about and build an awesome business. It covers everything from “what are you getting yourself into” all the way to dominating your local farmer’s market, and building a small, profitable list of retailers. Here’s just a taste:
- How to design and print your labels
- Where to produce your product
- Sourcing your packaging
- Navigating through all the regulations
- How to test market your product
- The Ultimate Guide to Selling More at Farmer’s Markets
- How to approach and win over retail buyers
- How to build your retail presence beyond your hometown stores
When you’re just starting out, you have the most questions because you’ve probably never launched a food product before. All of your questions are answered in this book – and then some.
Book 2: Grow Your Food Business
This book is about expanding your product’s distribution nationwide while staying profitable and having a smile on your face. When you have a solid business foundation, how do you make it bigger? This book is all about doubling and tripling your sales by getting smart of distribution, public relations, major trade shows, and co-packing your food product. Here’s what this book covers:
- The Ultimate Guide to Distributing Your Food Product
- The Ultimate Guide to Co-Packing
- Building profitable food broker relationships
- Exporting your food product
- Getting ready for the tradeshow circuit
- How to run profitable promotions with your retailers
- How to find & select a profitable growth strategy
- How to do your own PR – on a fraction of the “big firm” budget
- Finding and securing your first round of funding to grow your food business
And (again) a LOT more. Growing a food business beyond your loyal customer base is hard. And when you get tangled up with multiple distributors, shipping direct, and selling at fairs and festivals, it can be a lot to handle. This book sorts through all the decisions you have to make to take your company to the next level.
Book 3: Boost Your Online Sales
The number one question I received over the past 2 years is “how do I get more online sales?” I have a background in online marketing and increased my online sales 500% in 2014. Some of you may remember the 15-page guide I wrote a few months ago. I took that content and added tons more. Here’s what you’ll learn:
- How to select and build the website of you’ve always wanted
- The importance of a mobile-responsive website
- SEO: What does it mean and how do you do it?
- How to select the best ecommerce cart for your needs
- Using paid advertising to drive your sales (case studies included)
- How to get your website to show up on Google
- How to use Facebook advertising to build your email list
- Get your web visitors to put your product in their cart
- Build loyal, raving fans who buy time and time again
- The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing
This book is dedicated to providing you with the knowledge to grow your online food business. If printed, it’d be over 200 pages. This is your chance to take your ho-hum website and build a profitable ecommerce machine.
These three books launch on Monday, February 23rd.
But I didn’t stop there.
In addition to the books, I’ve also compiled:
The Big Book of Resources:
This is a fully-loaded workbook to get your food business organized and primed for success. It includes start-up worksheets, sales documents, checklists, and more. I used this book to plan and build Green Mountain Mustard from the ground up. When you have a million thoughts racing through your head, it helps to simply write things down. Plus, you get a list of resources and books I’ve used to help make running my business easier as a solo-founder.
You get 23 spreadsheets (with formulas already pre-populated) to help you make decisions about your business. In talking with many of you, I discovered it’s tough for owners to understand – and use – all the numbers being thrown your way. And believe me, there are a ton of numbers. The spreadsheet collection (of which I use every single day) is the key to saving you hours of time and getting a data-driven handle on your business. Here’s a peek at the spreadsheets:
- How to calculate your product cost and price distribution
- Managing your ingredient inventory so you don’t pull your hair out
- Monthly or Yearly analysis of everything you need to know about your business
- The big spreadsheet of contacts (stop searching for important phone numbers)
- Co-packing cost comparison calculator
And more (there seems to be a theme going here). Spreadsheets are a pain to create, so I’ve done the work for you. Use as many as you’d like and get a handle on your business. It’s so important because numbers don’t lie. (Neither do spreadsheets).
How-to & instructional videos
As I wrote the book, I noticed many topics needed more explanation – especially in the “Boost Your Online Sales” book. The web is a confusing world. And it’s one thing to mention a strategy, but it’s another to let you know how to do it.
Here are a few videos you’ll find (it’s over 90 minutes of video tutorials):
- Discover what everything in Google Analytics means
- How to pitch your product to retail buyers (with an example from me)
- How to post your data-entry jobs to oDesk
- How to create and deliver a mailing list opt-in
- An overview of food product and distribution costs
- How to use Facebook Power Editor for better ad targeting
- Navigating through all of the spreadsheets above
And a couple more videos (ok, that’s the last more reference). The videos are simply me and my computer explaining concepts that have worked for my company. I know they’ll work for your company, too.
This project was an enormous under-taking. I can’t wait to share it with you.
If you’ve made it this far, you probably have some questions:
1. Why launch on February 23rd?
February 23rd is my birthday. And just before Christmas I made a resolution with myself to have this project finished and completed on February 23rd. That way, I’ll really deserve that piece of birthday cake.
2. Are the books a compilation of Gredio blog posts?
I included 20 blog posts. The rest is knowledge, information, and strategies I’ve never shared on the blog. I go into immense detail, sharing stories and case studies – with real numbers – not on the blog. While the blog posts supported my writing, it’s almost entirely new content.
3. How much are the books going to cost?
As a small business owner, I wanted the books to sell at a price I’d pay: $49 each. There’s a crazy awesome launch deal (see the next question) and opportunities to buy everything (plus one-on-one business planning time with me) bundled together, too.
4. Is there a special promo if I’m signed up for the email list?
You betcha. During launch week (February 23 – February 28th), I’m sending an unbelievable deal to the Gredio email list. If you’re not on it, get on it. Here’s a signup-form:
3. Where did you find the time?
I made the time. And I woke up early. It doesn’t hurt that I LOVE to write. It’s a passion. So is providing you with the knowledge to grow your food business into something amazing. That kept me motivated. Plus, January is generally slow in the food biz, which made up the majority of my writing time.
4. Are you still going to blog?
Oh, yes. I have 10 blog posts lined up for you post-launch (I just need to write them). They’re a mix of reader questions and my own experiences. Plus, I’m still learning. For as long as I’m learning, I’ll be writing. And you guys are just too cool. How can I not write?
4. Why share all of this knowledge?
There are a handful of books on the market that show you how to start a food business. Many are fantastic resources that cover the basics. However, they lack in detail – the nitty gritty details. The real-life examples – both failures and successes – with numbers to prove it.
I wrote the books to help you: starting a food business is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And I want to help you navigate the rough waters, however I can. I believe I can do that by writing down everything I’ve learned after 12 years in the food industry. It’s taken me years to build my business. I’ve tripped and fallen a lot. I want to pass the lessons to you so you can sprint to success – tripping optional 🙂
One final thing….
If you know food entrepreneurs who would benefit from these books & resources, please share this link with them before launch day on Monday February 23rd.
When am I going to get the launch email?
The unbelievable deal arrives in your inbox at 7am on Monday, February 23rd.