FORECASTING & BUDGETING
This would seem to be one of the most basic "no brainer" elements of your business plan. Unfortunately, sometimes the expectations of many new manufacturers (and their investors!) are not based on reality, but rather on a birdseye view of their category- ie. "Packaged cookies are a $500 million category. We expect to gain just 2% of that within the first 2 years of operation"- translation: $20 million in sales within 2 years. See the flaw here?
At RML naturals, we take a detailed, grounds up view of your business. Using our proven models, we factor in:
your marketing budget
number of "A" independents per region we will target
number of supermarket chain locations per region we will target
number of 'supernatural' (Whole Foods) locations per region we will target
timing for phasing in each of these regions/accounts
conservative estimated movement/store/week/sku
THIS is the basis of a realistic budget, and can be developed for just one year, or looking out ten years. We also try and stress that while Whole Foods certainly plays an important role in your brand's development, you will be bitterly disappointed if your business plan relies solely on this one account! The authorization process can be slow and frustrating, leaving many smaller brands on the outside looking in.
The most important thing in your early days is establishing relationships with customers who are already passionate about your product and will spread the word about your company.
-Andy Berliner, Amy's Kitchen