Time is Your Most Abundant Resource, So Use It
It’s not uncommon for new consumer brands in retail to get caught up in a B2B mindset where founders unwittingly outsource sales strategy to brokers. Then, they’re basically managing the package graphics supply chain and a co-manufacturer.
This situation describes at least ¾ of the businesses I come across. I call them 2P businesses because pricing will not be strategically attended to if you’re letting brokers manage your sales strategy through indifference, exhaustion, or inexperience.
The first food startup I ever worked for did not have money to pay for the half-day sessions I offered back then. So, the founder offered his time (and access to his company records). I wanted to learn more about cash flow cycles, P&L management, and operations, so it seemed like a good deal for my professional development.
What you can afford are time-intensive activities. Honestly, many founders I meet are so exhausted from ops, sell-in, and everything else that they’re out. They’re like, “Nope, I’m out. I’m done. I need to sleep.” And, you know, that’s a personal decision that I would never judge anyone for making. But if you run your company that way, in the first couple of million of sales, I’m willing to bet $1,000 cash you’ll never Ride the Ramp. And maybe you don’t need to. Maybe you’ll grow geometrically at 20%. And as a private business, you’ll be fine if you do. I know people who run $5 million businesses that don’t grow, and they’re happy because they’re stable.
If you want to grow and scale your business and have that big impact with your innovation, you have to be executing a holistic 4P playbook right from the beginning. And that is what is very rare. I see people following that model, not just for reading my book but just from networking. And I’m telling you, if you bake that level of effort into day one of your operations, it’s much less exhausting as you scale than if you get to say a million-and-a-half, and then some annoying consultant comes in and says, “Yeah, you need to start doing event marketing.” Your organization will have a system shock. You may very well not act on that advice at all.
Most of the advanced techniques I discuss in Ramping Your Brand are not that expensive to execute in your home market. The reason is that you can oversupply time in your home market during the early months and years when you simply don’t have the cash to outsource everything.