The Business of Maximizing My Environmental Impact
Between Christmas and mid-January, my work life consists of examining numbers, looking for mistakes and successes in various spread sheets, and hoping to identify the most sustainable path forward.
The Kitchen Garden Series is still small for a business, but has the potential to reach a six figure revenue. To achieve this magical goal, I maintain a steady climb upward by intentionally controlling my growth so that I remain completely independent (self-funded) and make measured decisions about production, materials, and business priorities, while carefully considering personal financial risk. I continue to work outside the business to support myself alongside producing and engaging for the company. In contrast to the traditional model of keeping profits high and costs low by any means, I strive to maintain a balance between cost and profit that benefits everyone I work with, including the urban farms I strive to support. The result has been a slow, but steady journey upwards and 2019 revenues show that my hard work is paying off. My work now as I evaluate exponentially growing sales is to stay true to my ethics while continuing the climb. One great way to remain accountable and to stay centered on the key mission of the business is to share with you my realities and future goals.
Expressed in percentages my business model looks like this:
This is the way the numbers balance when I sell directly to you (the consumer) either online or at market. When I sell wholesale, the gross profit decreases to a razor thin 10%, which means I have less to give back to the community, more income to generate outside the business, and less profit to re-invest in the business. As I analyze this past year, I am reminded that my overarching goal is to maximize the positive environmental impacts my business creates while continuing to support local urban agricultural ventures and pay myself a living wage.
In light of the growth I hope to achieve, I’ve identified several priorities for my business this year as follows:
- Increase direct to consumer sales
- Grow sales of produce bags, coffee filters, tea bags, tea towels, and lunch bags
- Make all other products from 100% remnant, possibly made to order
- Expand the number of restaurants & caterers that rent or carry my textile products
- Create more time to design new products
I feel all of these points are in service to my business goal to help people reduce reliance on single use disposables in their kitchens, at their grocery stores, and in their local restaurant communities. I believe that through my commitment to these ethics and continued alignment with these goals, the kitchen garden series will continue to grow revenue, provide good jobs in my community, significantly contribute to the urban agricultural community, and provide me as a small business owner with adequate income to pay it all forward.