101: Public Coaching Update: Kathryn Lands Her First Customer and Talks Next Steps

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choc chip cookies first customerIn this episode we’re catching up with Kathryn, my public coaching volunteer in Portland. Where we left off, she was starting a cottage bakery out of her home focusing on gluten-free cookies, scones, and banana bread.

The ultimate goals were to be able to leave her less-than-awesome day job and figured with a net monthly side hustle income of $1500, she’d be able to lease some commercial kitchen space and scale up her operations.

When you met Kathryn, she was pounding the pavement, calling on local coffee shops to drum up interest and had set a 2-week goal of landing her first customer.

And she did it!

A local shop agreed to order 20 pieces from her!

Look at that smile with the first $20 earned in her new side hustle!

kathryn first sale

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In this call we talk about:

  • Kathryn’s “sample bag” delivery strategy
  • Narrowing down the product offerings from 15 to 4.
  • Some opportunities with larger coffee shop chains and other potential clients like schools, hospitals, universities, hotels, etc.
  • Questions that come up in conversation with customers, like, “What’s the minimum order for free delivery?”
  • Packing and branding opportunities.
  • Collecting payments cash-on-delivery or via the Square card reader.
  • How to handle potential repeat orders.
  • Goals for the next few weeks.

Kathryn’s goals for the next 2 weeks:

  • Continue to follow-up with Dutch Brothers account.
  • Call on 5 new customers.

Take a look at the sample bags she’s giving away. Each includes a hand-written note to the store manager along with product samples, an ingredient list, and a note that verifies her state cottage bakery certification.

sample bags

I think these are an awesome idea, and something that could be applied to any number of offline or online businesses. I mean, is the sample bag of gluten-free cookies really that much different than Carrie‘s or Bryan‘s or Sean‘s call to give away some value first, before asking to get paid?

If you have any feedback or questions for Kathryn, please leave a comment below!

Stay tuned to follow along with Kathryn’s journey and we’ll catch up with Wellington next week!

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8 thoughts on “101: Public Coaching Update: Kathryn Lands Her First Customer and Talks Next Steps

  1. You are selling a food product which has potential devastating liability issues. Make sure you get the proper insurance coverage and any necessary permits in your jurisdiction to manufacture and sell your food product.

  2. Check out the paid/unpaid intern regulations in Oregon. Started a company recently and using a couple MIT students to help revamp our website (they’re almost too smart, it’s kinda creepy) I’m sure there’s an aspiring baker out there who could use the experience. Plus, if you succeed their resume gets an extra boost! Might even end up being your first employee??

  3. Go Kathryn! Congratulations. I hear some overwhelm in your voice, hon. Don’t drive yourself crazy. You are doing so well. Write down the 1000 things you have running around in your head, put them in the best order, and keep moving. We’re all behind you! :)

  4. Way to go Katherine- your hustle and action is great. The bags are a creative way to stay top of mind with your customers (and potential customers).
    A thought for the future- I think mentioned you were might approach hotels. The hotels might be a good place to have a “deluxe” menu with a higher price point and different items (i.e. the carrot cake which is more expensive to package). It would diversify your brand and give you a higher price point item to increase your revenue (depending on what the hotel price point is).

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