Growing your charcuterie business can often feel like an overwhelming task. Many amazing food artists struggle to get started or achieve lasting traction because of how confusing it can be trying to figure out what to do next. But by breaking down your business into 6 easy charcuterie business stages, we've simplified the planning process for you.
Often what people discover is that making a charcuterie board or grazing table is one thing, but knowing WHAT to do WHEN in terms of licensing, social media, marketing, websites, and commercial space is totally different and VERY confusing.
Here's the good news: Every stage of business growth can often be predicted when certain “growing pains” begin showing up. From there, the steps required to move up and forward can be easily laid out.
NOTE: The stages listed below are meant to be general guidelines to help illuminate the path, NOT an exact replica of what you can expect every day. Every charcuterie business is different. Many may notice they have elements of a few stages happening at once. This is normal. The income goals and timelines are also totally subjective. Always go at the pace that makes the most sense for YOU! Use these as examples and a helpful guide only.
Stage 1: A Hobbyist Starts To Dream…
Moving from stage 1 into stage 2 can often be a very scary proposition. After all, you're probably a totally normal person and have never built a business before! It's possible all the business related aspects will often feel new and quite awkward.
The good news is that you CAN start a successful charcuterie board business! Just don't let yourself get stuck over-thinking or worrying about any single question or problem. Don't worry about being perfect, just focus on getting it done. Keep putting one foot in front of the next and pretty soon you'll find yourself at…
Stage 2: Lifting Off…
Once you are fully in stage 2 everything can start feeling more real. Keep your eyes on your goals, track your momentum and make sure to document ALL your vital processes! It's important to keep in mind that growth requires you to take on a “mentor” mindset.
WATCH OUT! Many small business owners get stuck in stage 2 because they forget to document and end up growing their sales before they grow their team! Remember, a strong strategy for getting more customers should be at the front of your mind.
Stage 3: Taking Flight…
Because you've been following your SOP's (standard operating procedures) for both social posting as well as customer follow-up, you should be experiencing a nice flow of sales.
You have kept your “mentor” mindset and are actively helping someone take over the day-to-day aspects of your business.
BIG THINGS ARE COMING: Because you are licensed, certified and honing in on your commercial location, you are on the cusp of breaking into a whole new world of fantastic business…
Stage 4: Cruising Altitude
It's happening! You have built a real charcuterie board business! First off, be proud of what you've accomplished. This is a big deal and not many people are willing to put in the work it takes to get here.
Now that you've given yourself a pat on the back… get back to work! Your goals are to keep sales flowing, keep quality at apex predator level and continue to mentor your team. Now that you have all the day-to-day aspects handled by team members, you'll want to keep expanding your sale sources (maybe even your menu of offerings!)
Stage 5: To The Stars…
You've overcome major obstacles, grown like a weed and kept your mindset right! Keep growing your sales channels. It might even be time to think about trying a 1 week vacation while you let your team run the show.
At every turn you are looking for ways to work “ON” your business rather than “IN” it. You are looking for ways to help your team celebrate their wins and create purpose and meaning in their lives as well.
Your brands culture is stunning and that joy radiates out to all your customers.
Stage 6: Legacy Business…
As in all of life there will be doubts, losses, setbacks and failures. Your roll as a business owner is to know this, accept it and find your purpose in taking on all of them with relish. None of this will be easy but it is all possible.
Always remember, your charcuterie business is YOUR business. Grow it as large as you like. These stages are simply laid out as an example path and to help shine light on what is probably coming down the road at you. Being aware makes seemingly insurmountable hurdles suddenly seem far less difficult.
If you need help or want the support & connection of other like-minded charcuterie business owners, read how the International Charcuterie Association can help.