Growth Strategy Workshop for Farm Businesses

If you’ve been in business for 5 years or more, you’re ready to re-vision your business and your kickstart your growth strategy. Join Julia Shanks (author of The Farmer’s Office) and Rebecca Frimmer (Kitchen Table Consultants) for this 8 session class where we’ll review your past successes and create a vision for your future growth. This workshop delves deep into numbers and marketing strategy to give you a comprehensive plan for growth.

In this workshop, we will help you build your toolbox from strategy formation to cash flow and profit assessment with our proven financial planning systems. Together, we can guide you to envision your future, step out of your comfort zone with support, and prove your concept’s potential. Our hope is for you to walk away from this workshop with new momentum in your business and a solid understanding of how to plan for profits and measure performance.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a big idea yet… we’ll inspire the next evolution of your farm business through these sessions.

Group sessions begin Monday, November 8th and meet twice a week for 4 weeks (with a break for Thanksgiving). Each week we will discuss the process for creating a plan and then implement these processes with your business.

Julia and Rebecca have a combined 35 years’ experience in the farm and food space, helping hundreds of business owners advance their enterprises to a more profitable place. Our goal with this workshop is to spark change and give you a framework to launch a strategy to radically improve your satisfaction with your farm business.

Is this course right for you?

Are you driven to find new energy in your business? Are your profits not growing as you hoped? Feeling burnt out and ready to make space for change? Maybe everything is going great, but you’d like to explore a new concept or increase your personal abundance in your business. This workshop is a perfect space to test-drive the next evolution of your business alongside professional and expert support! Join us to explore the profitability and possibility of your future.

Course Topics

Course Outcomes

At the end of the program participants will have:

  • A strategy for how to grow their business profitability in the coming years
  • Financial analysis to decide where to focus their business
  • Guidance on how to evaluate financial statements
  • A new approach to brainstorming and ideation
  • Evaluation tools for your business model, financial feasibility and market assessment that you can come back to anytime
  • Templates for projecting cash flow and enterprise budgets that you can use again and again!

In other words, you will have a plan to increase profits!

Historical Analysis

We will use a case study of an actual farm to look at some real historical financials. We will share tips and techniques for reading financial statements to evaluate the health of the business and begin to spot opportunities to improve profitability and grow.


We will work through different exercises that will help stimulate thinking around new opportunities, give you the tools to evaluate them, and address any challenges you may face.

Evaluating Opportunities

Now that we’ve come up with a few, good beginning ideas we will go through 3 different evaluation tools for:

  • Business/Mission Fit
  • Financial Feasibility
  • Market Feasibility

From this session, you can narrow down the possibilities and choose a concept for the next session.

Planning for Growth

We will walk through step-by-step how to create:

  • Cash flow projections
  • Enterprise budgets

In this final module, you’ll create a beginning budget for your new opportunities.

Class Schedule

The group meets twice each week beginning Monday, November 8th, 1pm – 3pm ET (10am – 12n PT). We’ll take a 1 week break for American Thanksgiving.

  • Session 1 (Monday, November 8th): Historical Analysis: Learning with case study
  • Session 2 (Wednesday, November 10th): Historical Analysis: Work through your own numbers
  • Session 3 (Monday, November 15th): Ideation: Practice SWOT analysis and brainstorming techniques with a case study
  • Session 4 (Wednesday, November 17th): Ideation: SWOT analysis and brainstorming on your own business.
  • Session 5 (Monday, November 29th): Evaluating Feasibility: Learn the principles of how to evaluate operational, financial and market feasibility.
  • Session 6 (Wednesday, December 1st): Evaluating Feasibility: Apply the principles learned in Monday’s session to your own business
  • Session 7 (Monday, December 6th): Creating Cash Flow Projections
  • Session 8 (Wednesday, December 8th): Begin creating cash flow projections and business plan for your own growth strategy.
Will there be homework?

Each week, you will be given exercises to reinforce your learning and apply the concepts to your business.

How much time should I spend outside of class?

You can expect to spend 1 – 2 hours per week outside of class-time reviewing the content and doing the homework.

What kind of support is available outside of class?

There are several options for getting additional support:

  • Julia and Rebecca are always available by email for questions.
  • Julia hosts regular office hours, so you can pop in and ask questions.
  • If you need more support, you can always schedule a one-on-one coaching call with Julia or with Rebecca; or purchase additional coaching time when you register.
What if I miss a class? How can I make up the material?

There are several options to catch up on missed material:

  • You can watch the self-paced videos online.
  • The slides will be posted to the website as well as the recording of the session.
  • You can visit Julia during office hours to ask questions.
What kind of technology do I need?

The classes will be hosted via zoom. To make the most of each session, we recommend you log in from a computer that has a strong internet connection, microphone and video. This will allow you to fully participate in the class, ask questions and get to know your fellow farmers.

Who are the instructors?

Julia Shanks brings a broad range of professional experience to her clients, from pilot to chef to serial entrepreneur.  She combines the practicality of an accountant with the creativity of a chef.

Julia works with a variety of clients to help them grow their business. The methodology varies: from writing businesses plans and creating financial feasibility models to recipe development.  Some of Julia’s most intriguing projects include developing a Cricket Cracker recipe for Aspire Food Group and refining the growth strategy of Boston’s first rooftop farm.

Julia received her professional training as a chef at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, her BA from Hampshire College and an MBA, Magna Cum Laude in Entrepreneurship, from Babson College. Julia authored two books. The Farmer’s Office coaches farmers to think like entrepreneurs so they can build a financially sustainable business. The Farmers Market Cookbook highlights the joys of local produce; and helps consumers make the most of local farmers’ bounties.

She sits on the advisory board of Future Chefs and Mass Farmers Markets.

Rebecca has always been passionate about entrepreneurship and small business, the thrill of starting something from scratch, the excitement of turning a dream into something tangible. She thrives on coaching a business owner to develop the pathway to their goals, building relationships and business systems, and educating via conferences and webinars. She strives to make the financial nuts and bolts of the business approachable and enjoyable.

Rebecca has owned all or part of 4 businesses, holds an MBA with a specialization in Small Business Development; and has also worked with over 100 businesses in farming and the local food supply chain on business plans to improve their profits and understand how to approach financial performance.

Some notable projects include: leading San Diego Farming for Profit, a finance focused training program for farmers; Beefing Up Appalachia, a feasibility study to develop local beef focused business models in West Virginia; and Farm to Institution Grower Sessions, a multi day annual financial training for farmers sponsored by The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Kitchen Table Consultants’ goal is to pursue a more sustainable future of food by strengthening the resilience and financial viability of farm and food businesses. We have real-world experience and bring that to our work every day. In 2020, KTC’s impact supported 190 clients representing over $123M in sales, over 1000 employees, and over 16,000 acres of farmland.

“I finally have a better understanding of financial management. It’s been so helpful to have a formula for future planning!”

Sign up to stay in the loop!

We’ll send you a promo code for early bird registration, and a free copy of our pricing calculator tool.

So often, pricing is the first hurdle we must overcome to bring in a new customer or attack a new sales channel, whether it’s a grocery store, food hub, or other re-seller. Everyone wants a piece of the pie, and your customer will need to meet their own markup and margin goals in order to successfully onboard your product.

But WHAT is that margin that my wholesale customer is seeking? How do I calculate that margin to markup, and retail price? And if I’m selling directly to a school district or restaurant, what does MY margin look like at this new, lower price?

This pricing calculator tool is a quick and easy way to answer those questions, test price points for your product, and answer these burning questions. The tool will also give you a special cheat sheet on those retail and distributor target markups!

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