That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles??

Shelley and I believe so strongly in our mantra of “no starving artists” that we take it literally when we speak publicly. We feed our audience cookies!

When we started down this path, we spoke with our good friend, Flo – an exceptional baker and home-chef.  She offered to create a prototype cookie for us that would not only taste great but could also operate as an edible business card.

After lots of experimentation, Flo shared her product with us.  We were thrilled with the taste and the look. These cookies screamed the professionalism we were after.

The next step was to figure out the cost to S2 Seminars for all this yummy goodness.  Flo agreed to let us walk her through our maker pricing process to arrive at what she should charge per cookie.

Here are the steps we used for Flo and the cookies.

Step One:  Figure out the material costs to produce a batch of cookies. 

How much were the ingredients and the packaging to produce a dozen final-product cookies?  Taking into account the cookie and icing ingredients, the plastic sleeves and the ribbon, and any spoilage, Flo used her receipts to calculate that 12 finished-product-worthy cookies could be produced for around $9.

Note 1: Flo defined spoilage as cookies where the royal icing surface was not level or flat, the edges were too brown, the bottoms too dark, the icing letters smudged, etc.  She felt roughly 9 in every 12 cookies she produced were acceptable to represent S2. This meant each batch had to contain a minimum of 16 cookies to make sure she got a full dozen of her final product.

Note 2: For those with an accounting bend reading this blog, please know we purposefully kept this story simple. If Flo were going to make and bake full time, then we would definitely need to expand our pricing process to include sunk and operating costs and possibly some amortization too.

Step Two: Figure out the cost of labour required to bake, ice and package a batch of cookies. 

Including shopping and cooking time, Flo estimated the labour was around two hours per dozen worthy cookies.  She did feel her labour estimate would become lower over time once she developed a production system  but for now, this was the number.

In Alberta where we live, minimum wage was $13.60 when she was producing the cookies.  Multiplying two hours times $13.60 gave us $27.20 for the cost of labour.

Step Three:  Figure out the price to charge per cookie.

Now we knew the ingredient and packaging costs and the labour costs.  It was time to do some more math and figure out the price per individual cookie.

Herein lay the crux of the problem.  S2 Seminars had a budget of $1.50 a cookie.  $3.02 per cookie was more than double!  To get the price per cookie to meet our budget, it meant the material costs, labour costs or both needed to shrink.

Flo looked at her material costs and decided that, with our mutual eye to a quality product, there was not much that could be done to get the cost lower.  Next, she determined that meeting the goal of $1.50 per cookie would mean she’d only be able to charge $4.50 per hour until her systems were in place.  This put a lot of pressure on those systems to become ultra efficient so her labour rate could reach the minimum wage per hour target. Her chances of success were extremely low.

We then came to the mutual conclusion.  Although we all loved the finished product, it was cost prohibitive for either of us to pursue further.  We sure had fun finishing up the prototype cookies though!

If you’re a maker and struggling with setting your price, write us and we’ll write back.

Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer
www.S2Seminars.ca

S2 Seminars, Grow Exponentially – use both sides of your brain!, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, contact us today.

 

 

Left – Brain, Right – Brain

The creative side of the human being is housed in the right side of the brain. Logic and reason live on the left-side.

We all have both sides (at least in theory! Some people do leave one to question this!) but we each use the two sides in varying degrees.

Most people tend to favour one side over the other. An accountant will use the left side for most of his thinking. A dancer uses mostly the right.

The accountant might be stumped when asked to come up with new ideas to promote his business. That activity requires the imagination of the right-brain.

The dancer’s eyes might glaze over at the mere whiff of a spreadsheet, which is the domain of the left brain. That doesn’t mean the dancer can do without spreadsheets. (The dancer needs a good accountant!)

Most of us require both left and right-brained thinking in our businesses. The logical thinkers tend to chirp, “I’m not creative!” when right-brain tasks are suggested. The creative thinkers will declare, “I can’t do math!” when tasked with analyzing data.

But we CAN expand our brains. The lefties can learn to let go and loosen up. Their imaginations can be ignited. The righties can be taught to focus on numbers that matter in their businesses and learn skills to make those numbers work for them.

The partners in S2 Seminars know the importance of using both sides of their brains. Shelley has decades of marketing and business experience, which has caused her to exercise both her creative and business senses. As a project management professional (left-brain tasks) and artist (over on the right), Susan knows the challenges of balancing business with creativity.

These right/left brain challenges are why S2 Seminars was born. Shelley and Susan saw a need to teach business skills to artists to help them stop suffering from “starving artist syndrome”.

Join us for one of our workshops.

Shelley Goldbeck, 
www.S2Seminars.ca

S2 Seminars, Eradicating Poverty in Artists by Teaching Business Skills, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, attend our workshop, 3 Must-Have Tools to Market Yourself on a Shoe-String Budget.

 

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Happy New Year!

S2 Seminars partners, Shelley and Susan wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

We’ll be spending time with family, eating copious amounts of delicious food and contemplating the New Year.

Our wish for you is that you’ll recharge your batteries during this traditional and much-needed winter break.

As you reflect on the past year and look towards 2018, a good resolution is getting serious about your business.

We’re serious about our goal of eradicating poverty in artists.

If you’re serious about eradicating YOUR poverty, consider enrolling in our first class of 2018, 3 Must-Have Tools to Market Yourself on a Shoestring Budget.

Procrastination is the enemy of New Year’s resolutions so we suggest you jump right in.

We’re covering the basics: business cards, Facebook, and web sites. When the workshop is done you’ll have three tools that will make an immediate difference in your business.

What a way to start the New Year!

S2 Partners,

Shelley and Susan

S2 Seminars, Eradicating Poverty in Artists by Teaching Business Skills, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, attend our workshop, 3 Must-Have Tools to Market Yourself on a Shoe-String Budget.