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How to Add Success to Your Financial Formula with Sarah Delevan - Honest Ecommerce Ep. 149

Sarah is the CEO of Sarah Delevan Consulting and host of The Good Food CFO Podcast. 

A former good food business owner and buyer, Sarah has a talent for understanding, diagnosing, and improving the financial performance of food businesses. 

From the ingredient sourcing, to product and menu pricing, to building scalable systems for long term success, she’s able to see what’s going on in a business’s day-to-day operations just as clearly as she can see the big picture. 

After years of building proven, repeatable methods and systems, she founded Sarah Delevan Consulting in 2017. 

Since then she’s helped good food businesses across the country achieve financial sustainability and profitability, and remains steadfast in her mission to change our food system one profitable good food business at a time. 

In This Conversation We Discuss: 

  • [00:00] Intro
  • [01:10] What got Sarah to the financial side of food
  • [03:15] Are bars and restaurants easy to go bankrupt?
  • [05:04] Where Sarah’s consulting business step in
  • [06:43] KPIs that you should take note of
  • [08:56] The Financial Success Formula
  • [09:36] Common mistakes of Food/CPG brands
  • [11:49] When you should raise your price
  • [13:01] The entrepreneurial pitfall of pricing
  • [14:56] Don’t price yourself based on Amazon
  • [17:06] Sponsor: Electric Eye electriceye.io
  • [17:26] Sponsor: Mesa apps.shopify.com/mesa
  • [18:11] Sponsor: Gorgias gorgias.grsm.io/honest 
  • [19:38] Sponsor: Rewind rewind.io/honest
  • [20:10] Sponsor: Klaviyo klaviyo.com/honest
  • [20:57] The next step: Problem solving
  • [23:28] Focus on one thing at a time
  • [25:18] Playing with AOV depends on certain conditions
  • [27:18] Think ROI for everything you spend money on
  • [28:46] Food-related businesses are fun and unique
  • [30:17] Figure out product-market fit first
  • [30:56] The most surprising part of consultancy
  • [32:00] How to determine your financial health
  • [33:07] Where to find Sarah

Resources:

If you’re enjoying the show, we’d love it if you left Honest Ecommerce a review on Apple Podcasts. It makes a huge impact on the success of the podcast, and we love reading every one of your reviews!

 Transcript:

Sarah Delevan  

“‘They charge this much for a similar product so I'm gonna do that too.’ And I often say, number 1, you have no idea how that company is performing financially [and] internally.”

Chase Clymer  

Welcome to Honest Ecommerce, a podcast dedicated to cutting through the BS and finding actionable advice for online store owners. I'm your host, Chase Clymer. And I believe running a direct-to-consumer brand does not have to be complicated or a guessing game. 

On this podcast, we interview founders and experts who are putting in the work and creating real results. 

I also share my own insights from running our top Shopify consultancy, Electric Eye. We cut the fluff in favor of facts to help you grow your Ecommerce business.

Let's get on with the show.

Hey, everybody, welcome back to another episode of Honest Ecommerce. I'm your host, Chase Clymer. And today, we welcome to the show, Sarah Delevan

She is the CEO of Sarah Delevan Consulting. They help build the profitable food business of your dreams on your terms. I am a man that loves food. 

But we're also going to talk about the nerdy side of food: the financial side of it. Sarah, welcome to the show.

Sarah Delevan  

Thanks so much for having me. Happy to be here.

Chase Clymer  

Oh yes. We're gonna have a blast. So take me back. What got you into counting pennies when it came to food?

Sarah Delevan  

So I owned a food business myself, 2010 to 2012. Long story short, it was a total passion project. We were doing good in the world. 

We weren't doing good for ourselves financially. It was the classic story of trying to hit the "right targets" for a food business. 

They really weren't the right targets for us. We worked ourselves to the bone and just decided after 2 years, we couldn't see the future of this. We couldn't see how it could work and we were exhausted. So we closed that business. 

And that was sort of a seedling part of it. But I went on to work for a really great catering company here in LA and I was a buyer for them. But in that role, there were a lot of interesting things happening. I would say. 

"What's my budget for the week?" And [they would say] "No budget. As long as you hit 30% - 35% food costs, we're in good shape." And so I lived with that for a little while. 

But then there were conversations around me, that sounded a lot like. "Ugh. I don't know if we're gonna be able to make payroll this week. I have to shuffle some money around. Don't pay this vendor this week. You're gonna have..." 

So [I] was like, "Wait a second. I could get more strict with my food budget if that would help the overall company profitability." 

So that's really where it started. And that was the gateway into really digging into their financials and understanding how could we, --from the food sourcing and from the recipe costing and pricing perspective-- really have a positive effect on the financials of the food business. And so I got hooked. 

I had this very Instagrammable, beautiful job. I was at farmer's markets all the time and I was visiting these really gorgeous, sustainable farms. But I really wanted to be back in the office at my computer solving problems. So that was the start.

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. Well, first, I have to commend you for your passion for helping these entrepreneurs that I think are choosing one of the most difficult uphill battles. 

I think that as far as small businesses go, bars and restaurants are probably the number one that go belly up the quickest. Do you have any data on that? That's [just] where my assumption is.

Sarah Delevan  

Yeah. I don't have a lot of data on that. And I'll tell you, I don't work with many restaurants and bars pretty much for that reason. 

I, early on, looked at the financials for a few of those businesses and it was really like, "I can't help you." I don't... I can't in good faith say "Yes, pay me to consult for you because I have the answers for how to turn this thing around." 

Especially in LA, rent and just like the general overhead to run one of these businesses is so high. I don't know how they survive. And many of them don't survive for long. So my work really focuses on CPG brands. 

I also work with a lot of caterers just because I love that industry. And I love that business. It's sort of like a puzzle. You can build a super profitable catering business if you kind of do it the right way. And then meal delivery... 

And we do have a few like smaller pizza shops, cafes, smoothie shops that we work with. But I leave the restaurant and bars to industry veterans who have a lot of experience in that area.

Chase Clymer  

I think that's a great call out in isolating the different types of food businesses that are out there and that you help a certain type of them. 

And maybe someone listening here was thinking about a bar or restaurant. It's like "Wait, maybe I'll look into this other industry. It's still food. It's still my passion but maybe there's a little more margin... 

Sarah Delevan  

Yeah, 

Chase Clymer  

...which is always, always fantastic. 

Sarah Delevan  

Yeah. 

Chase Clymer  

So obviously, a lot of our listeners are more in the Ecommerce, direct-to-consumer space, which lends itself beautifully to consumer packaged goods. 

So obviously, the first struggle is conceptualizing and coming up with an idea and seeing if there's product-market fit there. 

I'm assuming, do you help at all with that? Or do you come along a little bit further down the journey?

Sarah Delevan  

Yeah, once there's sort of a vision and a concept and even after sort of that testing phase, right?

Chase Clymer  

Mm-hmm.

Sarah Delevan  

There's viability for this product. People like the taste. It's connecting with people... Once... I like to say once people start to get serious about it, and they say, "Okay, the product makes sense. And we want to turn this into a proper business that makes money." 

That's where I step in. And so I think at that point, it's really important to say, what does the financial model of this business look like? Where do I want to sell it: Online, brick and mortar, wholesale? How do we want to go about it? What is it going to cost me to operate this business? What's it going to cost me to grow this business? 

You could really get a really good sense of what your financial future might look like. And that often turns out one of 2 ways for folks: They're like, "We're on board. We can do this. We believe in the possibility of the business and we're going to move forward." 

Or "This is overwhelming. I would have to make, for example, so many chocolate chip cookies that I would never be able to sleep. And so I'm out. Or I'm going to reimagine the model." 

And so it's a really informative point in the business where I step in and make sure that people feel really good about moving forward.

Chase Clymer  

What is that exercise? Are you just running through their initial KPIs? Or what are the numbers people should be really considering at that point?

Sarah Delevan  

Yeah, we do a high level or --I like to call it-- a bird's eye view of the business. So if you've been generating some revenue over the last 6 to 12 months, we want to take a look at that. 

And we want to take a look at how much have you spent to produce your product? So what are your inputs? So even if you're listening and you're not a food brand... You're not a CPG brand. But you've got inputs to produce your physical goods. 

And then you've got your packaging, and you've got your labor, and then you've got what we call other COGS: your merchant fees, your shipping costs, things that fall into the creating and delivering your product. We want to look at those. 

What have they been historically? And what are your operating costs? And we'll just see how has the business shaped up to date? And we do that. 

We've got some custom tools to make it really super easy for people. You plug in your numbers and then there's this really cool template that gives you this bird's eye view. 

And once you see just what my business looks like now, it becomes very easy for you to visualize. "Where do I need certain cost targets to be in? And "Where do I need my revenue to be for this to make sense?" 

And once we've got that foundational financial model built, we can have fun with it and say, "If I want to make $50,000 a year from my business, how much do I need to sell? If I want to make a million dollars?.." You know what I mean? 

You can start dreaming and making that dream sort of a reality, at least in terms of the modeling for your business.

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. I run through... I don't know how similar it would be. But we focus on 3 main KPIs at the agency from a high-level perspective. It's like, alright, everyone comes to you [and] pre-describe what their problem is. 

But at the end of the day, you ask them why 3 or 4 times and they are just like "I want to... Let's grow this thing. Let's make more money." 

Sarah Delevan  

Yeah. 

Chase Clymer  

So a fun equation that we run through is just conversion rate, average order value, and sessions, and then we just extrapolate it out. 

It's like, "This is where you are. Where do you want to be? Okay. Now, let's work backwards from there." Because it's... 

That's why I love Ecommerce. It's all math.

Sarah Delevan  

Yeah. So similarly, when we build out this model... What we call it is your financial formula. 

So what is your current financial formula? You get your revenue minus all of your COGS, but we do it as a percentage of revenue, not in dollars, because you get a more robust view of your business that way. 

And if the end result is not positive net income --it's negative or its break even-- then it's not a financial SUCCESS formula. It's just your financial formula for now. 

And we can say, "Okay, what is the financial SUCCESS formula look like?" So those are the targets that we're shooting for. 

And then yeah, it's similar to what you're saying. It's like how do we get from where we are now to those targets into those goals that we want to hit?

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. So when you're working through this with your clients, what are some of the common pitfalls that people are having with where they're not in that green, that they're breaking even or potentially losing money? 

What are some commonalities that you see between those, the conversations that you want to help people avoid that are into this Food/CPG space? 

Sarah Delevan  

Yeah, that's a great question. 

One of the most common things we see is that folks have created a profitable product but the margins that they've built in for their business are not quite enough to produce a profitable business. 

So no matter how much investment you have, no matter how quickly you try to grow that top-line revenue, there are many instances where you're just going to be chasing the next revenue goal and the profit margins aren't going to come. 

So we focus a lot on... Yep, you want to understand your COGS, you want to know that you've got a positive gross profit margin. but then what else does it take to run your business financially? And at the end of the day, is that profitable? 

And if not, again, what does the formula look like for it to be? So that's a big one that we see a lot. And I think... And I don't know if this is the case, but I assume that it is in other types of businesses where you really focus on the per unit cost of something. 

What are the inputs physically for my product? And then what is the labor cost per unit? And you really drill down. 

And that's important and you need to know that. But I always recommend that you then zoom out and say, "Okay, big picture, what does this really look like at the end of the day?" 

The other really common thing that we see is that labor is grossly underestimated. So oftentimes, when you're thinking about your labor costs, you're thinking about the cost to produce your product. 

Well, who else are you going to have on the team? Are you going to have a marketing person? Are you going to have an accountant? Are you going to have a sales team? 

So thinking about that more holistic view, that big picture view of your business is important to know that your margins can help you cover those costs now and as you grow.

Chase Clymer  

So this is gonna sound like a very obvious and dumb question, but I'm going to ask it. 

Sarah Delevan  

I welcome it.

Chase Clymer  

How often is your advice "You need to raise your prices?"

Sarah Delevan  

That's a good question. I should tally that and get an actual amount. I'm going to go with 50% of the time. I'm gonna say that because I think the way we analyze that is... 

First of all, what's your gross profitability? If it's not positive the majority of the time, we've got an issue. And so either you've got to raise your prices or you've got to get your COGS down. And so you've got a choice. 

And if your COGS are as low as they can possibly be, then you've got to raise your price. But a lot of times, there is an opportunity to lower the cost of goods sold, especially for a small business who's producing on their own. 

Oftentimes, we see an initial lateral move with a co-packer where your costs stay consistent. But then as your revenue grows, your unit costs do go down. 

And so you've got some economies of scale there, which is good. But I think people rely on that --these future economies of scale-- a little bit too much. 

And so when we don't foresee a reduction in unit costs or when your ingredients and your other inputs are as low as possible, that's when it's time to raise your price.

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. I think that this is an entrepreneurial pitfall that I see all over the board. It doesn't matter if it's food, or if it's a clothing brand, or sneakers, whatever. [It's] that they go in and price themselves to what the market is already doing, which is oftentimes catastrophic... 

Sarah Delevan  

Yeah.

Chase Clymer  

...as a choice. Because first and foremost, what you just said, is they've already hit economies of scale and they can do it at that price. 

But second of all, I think you want to price the value that you're delivering to your customer. I think that your competition is  secondary to that point.

Sarah Delevan  

One of the things that I preach as often as I can is that your financials --your business in general, but in particular, your financials; including your price-- are going to look different than every other business out there. They're totally unique. 

And so one of the biggest pitfalls --I'm going to echo what you just said-- is pricing based on your competition with the other folks on the shelf or the other folks in your products category, in your industry. 

We see it a lot in the catering side of things. It's like, "Well, they charge this much for a similar product so I'm going to do that too." And I often say, "Number one, you have no idea how that company is performing financially, internally." 

They might be selling a ton of products, but it doesn't mean that they're profitable at the end of the day. 

Doesn't mean if they're a smaller business that their founder and owner is making any money. We see that all the time.

I can't tell you how many times people come to meetings with me and they say "So and so sells at this price and they're great. And I happen to know so and so's financials and I know that they're struggling." 

And so I bite my tongue and I just say "You never know what's going on inside another business." So yeah, you've got to price your product based on the value but also based on what makes sense for your business to succeed long-term.

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. And that's actually the Jeff Bezos quote, "Your margin is my opportunity." I think people take that as... 

Stop listening to Jeff Bezos. He is the exception to the rule. 

He doubled down and tripled down on that concept and made his money in Amazon Web Services, not so much the books. 

You guys should really research the background of Amazon and how the money is made. But people that are coming to market with trying to price products... 

And if you go off of what's on Amazon, Amazon's a race to the bottom because it's a giant marketplace. That is just not a way to come up with pricing models.

Sarah Delevan  

Yeah. I totally agree with you. Yeah, you can't... I think you've got to put blinders on to a certain degree and say... 

In my opinion, you always want to be driving toward the most financially efficient business, the most efficient business in terms of your operations. 

The more you can do with the least amount of effort, the better because it means there's more money at the end of the P&L, if you will. 

But I struggle to recommend playing the margin game. We talk a lot about building a business on your own terms. 

And for CPG, we're talking about building via online sales, utilizing Shopify, utilizing Amazon, when and where it's right. You might not choose to ever go into brick-and-mortar retail because your margins in that channel are small. 

It's going to be your least profitable margin. And so if that's not the way you want to grow. If you want to stay at a higher margin, do it. 

Build your business the way that you want to and learn from other people's wins and losses, if you will. But you gotta stay focused on your business and what's happening at home.

Chase Clymer  

Oh, absolutely. I couldn't agree more. And then I'm actually just gonna play devil's advocate on the other side of that. 

There are reasons that businesses do the wholesale play right off the rip because of economies of scale or brand awareness. 

And that's the right choice for their business. So what we're really saying here is there's no one way to do it. 

Sarah Delevan  

Exactly.

Chase Clymer  

No true one path to take. 

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Chase Clymer  

So you're analyzing these brands' numbers and you're playing with the what if's and what could be's. 

What's next? How are we going to solve some of these problems?

Sarah Delevan  

So when we do... We call it a Profit Assessment, initially. 

So if you've got some historical numbers, we're going to do this profit assessment and we're going to identify where in your business changes need to happen or maybe should happen in order to produce better financial results. 

So if we're thinking about brands that sell online, let's say via Shopify... I actually have a client who's experiencing this right now, her shipping costs are astronomical compared to her shipping income.

And when we look at that cost as a percentage of her online revenue, it's about 20% and it's really shrinking her margins. 

And so we've identified this one specific cost category within her business that needs our attention. 

And so then we can zero in on that and say, “What can we do to improve this? Do we need to increase our shipping charge to our customers?” 

“Do we need to increase the price of the product to cover this a little bit depending on whether or not your customer is sensitive to paying shipping fees for example?” 

“Do we need to investigate different partners for shipping? Do we need to... Are there... Is there a flat rate box option that maybe would work for our product?”  

So we go into examination or investigation mode and think about what are the options and opportunities for us to hit better numbers in this area. And that's just one example of what you do across all of the key cost targets for your business. 

So for example, if you're seeing labor costs that are laid out 40% - 50% of your gross profit, for example, or of your top line revenue, you might want to pay attention to that. 

You might start to investigate that particular area of your business and say "What's causing this? Is there a bottleneck? Is it a functionality issue if we're producing in-house? What can we do to not slash pay for our team? Not cut team members?" 

Because that's going to hurt your business in a number of ways, potentially. But how do we make this all more efficient so with the folks we have on the team, we can produce more revenue? 

So that's a long way of answering your question to say when you identify maybe what's not working or what could be better, you dive into that area of the business and start figuring out "What can we do to improve it?" 

And I always recommend that you focus on one area at a time if you're small. Don't try to do it all at once. And also don't expect the changes to happen overnight.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, I say the same thing to brands all the time when it comes to marketing. I'm like "Pick one channel, we're gonna do it." 

Sarah Delevan  

Yeah. 

Chase Clymer  

That's it. Until it's figured out. And then we can move on and expand and grow the team  and continue expanding upon it. But when everything's important, nothing is important, and nothing gets done.

Sarah Delevan  

Yeah, we'd like to pick 1 to 3 top financial focuses or key strategies. And the assessment lays that out for us. And we sort of go top to bottom. So okay, you're bringing in top line revenue. That's great. 

Do you have positive --what we call-- real revenue? So after your COGS are removed, what are you left with? And how does that amount of available funds compare to your operating expenses? 

If your operating expenses regularly exceed your real revenue numbers, that means you're not going to be operationally profitable. So then you start investigating. 

Do we need to sell more? Are our COGS too high? And that's why our real revenue numbers are too low. Or are we maybe overspending are not as financially efficient in terms of our operations as we could be? 

And that goes for marketing and stuff, too. When you talked about KPIs earlier, if operating costs seem to be the area of focus for a business, we started talking not about slashing costs, but return on investment for everything. 

So when you're thinking about marketing, what is your ROI for these efforts? Start looking at "What is the activity on your website? Do you need to drive more traffic? Or are you getting all the traffic that you need but it's not producing checkouts?" And I don't have all the right lingo...

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Sarah Delevan  

 ....for it, but investigate that.

Chase Clymer  

That's where I come in.

Sarah Delevan  

 Yeah. Yeah.

Chase Clymer  

Oh no, that's oftentimes... So the 3 that I pulled up earlier is... There's usually a major problem in one of those areas. 

So most people go straight into the sessions element of its traffic, right? 

Sarah Delevan  

Yup. 

Chase Clymer  

They want more people to [visit] the website. But if the website is junk and it's a bad customer experience and the mobile [site] is bad... 

The best Facebook marketing team in the world can send you the cheapest traffic but if the website experience is bad, they're not going to convert. Yeah. 

So there's just a lot of education around. Let's take a look at all these things. 

The one that I love playing with is average order value, though.That's especially... Upsells, cross sells and bundles. That's something that most people don't think about and people love to buy so... 

Sarah Delevan  

Yeah. 

Chase Clymer  

...you just gotta do it in a way that feels natural.

Sarah Delevan  

We've got a... I've got a podcast myself called The Good Food CFO Podcast and I just had a conversation with someone who introduced me to this idea of average purchase  amount or whatever you call it. 

And she was talking about how it doesn't make sense to advertise --to do paid promotions, if you don't have... Her recommendation was an average cart value of like $20 or more.

Chase Clymer  

I would even say it's higher...

Sarah Delevan  

Right.

Chase Clymer  

... especially now with Face[book costs]... Well, it depends on... I hate being like this. But it depends on your business... 

Sarah Delevan  

(laughs) But it does. (laughs)

Chase Clymer  

...it depends on your... It depends on your customers, it depends on products... But if you're in an extremely competitive field, for example, women's fashion, you're going to be looking at a cost per acquisition for a new customer in the $25 range on Facebook.  

Well, that's what it used to be. Now, who knows because Facebook and Instagram have gone wild lately with all this privacy stuff. 

But when you're in super competitive stuff,  the cost per action is very high. So you have to be cognizant of that. 

If you're spending $25 to make $75, your margin better be awesome or it's not profitable to win that customer. 

Or you can take a step back and be like, "Well, they're gonna buy three times, and now I'm going to make it back over the lifetime of this customer." It really  depends on how you want to take a look at all those numbers with it.

Sarah Delevan  

Yeah. It's so interesting, because the more I learn through the conversations that I have on those podcasts and through partnering with several of my clients have --what we're now calling executive teams-- where they've got consultants in different areas of expertise, we come together once a month to have conversations, just like that. 

If the business owner can answer the question, "What's your return on investment for your marketing efforts?" 

For example, I can see that their revenue is not growing in correlation to how much they're spending. But they don't have the details for the "why" or the "what to change". 

We need to pull in another expert who can speak the language that you're speaking, so that they can help the business owner to fix things so that... We want it from a financial perspective... 

And I'll say this, again, it's not about cutting costs just to cut costs. And maybe that's some folk's strategy, but that's not my strategy. It's like, let's make sure every investment that we're making is having the biggest return possible. 

And if not, let's do the work to figure out why and fix it. You know what I mean? 

And if at the end of the day, we determined it's not the right fit for the business or "You know what, this isn't going to produce the results we thought." then sure, then we can eliminate that investment, and focus on something that's more aligned, or a better fit for the business. 

But I just think it's really important to get business owners thinking about return on investment, literally, for everything they spend money on.

Chase Clymer  

Oh, absolutely. And then I guess the only other thing that I really wanted to bring up with you was how I think unique food is. It's perishable and consumable. And if you can get a customer... 

The lifetime value of that is through the roof. And it's pretty cool. And then more specifically in our space where we play with Ecommerce and all that stuff, subscriptions and owning a customer and reselling to them just makes things so much more fun.

Sarah Delevan  

Yeah. Yeah, I'm a huge fan of subscriptions. Automatic. Automatic charges and redelivery to your customers in the food space, I think, is amazing. I encourage that for a lot of our brands that we work with. So yeah. 

Yeah, if you get the branding right, if you get that relationship piece right, there's so much opportunity. We talk a lot... There are some other experts in the food space. Katie Mleziva does branding and Alli Ball is really great on the retail side of things. Brick and mortar focus, but she also talks a little bit about the online sales channel. 

But we talked about the 3 pillars. As you started out this episode, it's like, you gotta prove the concept, you got to have the brand... 

And without that you really can't be successful. Your financials could be amazing. But if you aren't connecting with people, if you aren't feeling that need, what can you do?

Chase Clymer  

That's the hardest part of business right there, it's finding product-market fit. 

Sarah Delevan  

Yeah.

Chase Clymer  

It's just no consultant, no agency, no college intern is going to help you find product market fit. That's a founder's job. And that's the founder's journey. 

Sarah Delevan  

Yeah. And once you have that, you can't go "Well, I've got that. And so now, I'm good." You still have to... Then you say, "Okay, now my finance... Are my financials in line?" 

"And now that I've connected with the people, and they're gonna come and they're gonna keep rebuying, and we know that we can grow this business, let me make sure that we can do this in a way that makes us money, makes our team money, makes our community money, whatever the mission of your of your business is." 

And it gets really, really exciting. So I'll say that I think one of the most surprising things after being a consultant now for a little over 3 years is how collaborative it is and how much I want the input of other experts as we build businesses. 

It's been really fun.

Chase Clymer  

Oh yeah. Playing nice with other consultants is how we have the best ideas and we just have the most fun with our clients and produce the coolest results. It's truly what it is. 

So get people that like to work with other people and you'll have some really fun stuff. Especially these days with just like... Ecommerce is fun, because... 

At least the clients that we hang out with, they're smaller teams and they have more decentralized partners for specific elements of the business. And everyone's goal is to, "Let's make this client a bunch more money, because...

Sarah Delevan  

Yeah.

Chase Clymer  

...[if] they got more money to spend, we're gonna make more money." That's what it is. So we get to meet a lot of really cool people. 

Sarah Delevan  

Yeah. Totally. 

Chase Clymer  

Awesome. Well, is there anything I forgot to ask you about that you think would be worthwhile sharing with our audience,

Sarah Delevan  

I think just echoing something that we said earlier, just to drive home the point of your financials are going to be unique. 

And I think the first step [is] if you're unsure how you're doing, for example, or if you're unsure [with] "What can I do that will really make an impact on my business financially?", do an analysis. 

Take a look at your numbers. you can do this really easily by pulling your P&L or income statement and just looking at, "How are my top... My key cost categories, where are they at?" 

And if I reduced one, for example, what would the impact be on my bottom line? I think it's a really great exercise for any and all business owners to really understand where I am at and if I'm wanting to pay myself more. 

If I'm wanting to have more money to invest in growth, are there any areas that I can see where I can investigate, make an impact, and create a change? 

And 9 out of 10 times there's something clear that that sort of shines... You shine a light on it during this process and it's pretty exciting.

Chase Clymer  

That's fantastic advice. Now, if there are any food brands, or people that are getting in the CPG space that are listening and they're like, "Oh. I need to get a hold of Sarah and talk to her." How do they do that?

Sarah Delevan  

So you can visit thegoodfoodcfo.com or sarahdelevan.com. (laughs) The Good Food CFO is easier to spell. So I always give that one out. And we share a lot of free resources, both on the website and then on Instagram. It's my favorite social platform. 

So that's sarah.delevan.consulting. We're working on some really great new tools and things that are going to launch in early, well, January. 

So early 2022, which is super exciting. But yeah. Reach out. Connect. We also have a free community. It's called the Profitable Food Business Community

It's totally free. We host it on Mighty Networks. We do live Q&A sessions once a month, which is my all-time favorite thing. 

So you can bring any questions you have about financials, anything in the realm of financials, and get some feedback and get your questions answered, totally free with a really awesome group of fellow food biz owners.

Chase Clymer  

That's fantastic. Thanks so much for coming on the show today.

Sarah Delevan  

It's my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Chase Clymer  

Alright. I can't thank our guests enough for coming on the show and sharing their knowledge and journey with us. 

We've got a lot to think about and potentially add into our own business. You can find all the links in the show notes. 

Make sure you head over to honestecommerce.co to check out all the other amazing content that we have. Make sure you subscribe, leave a review. And obviously if you're thinking about growing your business, check out our agency at electriceye.io. Until next time.