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Snap Out of It! … Is Next Year Ready to Roll?

Have you set your 2021 revenue goals yet? If not, do it today. You should have started setting this goal sixty days ago. COVID-19 shouldn’t be an excuse.

If you have listened to any of my Catersource classes or read any of my previous blogs, I have always recommended sales leadership start next year’s goal setting process in August to have a revenue number by the end of the year (assuming you run a calendar fiscal year). This allows everyone in the organization to be ready to roll with sales and production for the next year immediately after the holidays the first week in January. Typically, as caterers, our end-of-year is so busy with production that the thought of sitting at a desk and running numbers from October thru December seems impossible. Why August? The numbers created in August go through several rounds of negotiations between sales team members, owners and department heads before agreement; hence the five month lead time.

So what is COVID going to do to your 2021 number? Figure it out. You have to start somewhere. Your company needs structure and guidance to move forward and make decisions. Don’t sweat it either. Numbers typically change throughout the year.  At least you get the ball rolling.  

Sales Leaders: Here are five general tips to get this number done now! 

  1. Confirm What the Company is Going to be in 2021* 
    Covid has given the company the opportunity to change product lines – do you know what your team is selling? 

  1. Identify Your Leadership and Management Team*  
    Do they have what it takes to get you there? Are they already leading the change? 

  1. Make Sure Your Culinary, Service and Operations Team are Trained & Ready*  
    Who, what and when will they be available to produce what your team is selling? 

  1. Determine a Realistic Revenue Number** 
    What are your fixed costs and what are profitability goals? What is already on the books? 

  1. Determine your 2021 Sales Team – Think Tight** 
    Who do you need to get you to that revenue number and how will their role change in 2021? 

*Ownership and other department heads are imperative in developing these first three core decisions that affect sales structure

**Sales Leaders – it is very important to lead these last two steps via history, data, client relationships and trusting your gut!

Bonus Tip!! Be real and honest when setting your revenue number. Over-inflating an unrealistic revenue goal will only encourage unnecessary spending that nobody has the luxury of right now. Be conservative yet bold enough to push your team to sell and not wait for the orders to come in. 

“Snap Out of It!”

I’ve had to tell myself “snap out of it!” every now and then when I’ve had my own “woe is me” moments these past eight months. This year has been brutal since March. Agonizingly painful. No other way to say it. But you know what? I love this industry. I love sales. I love consulting. I love educating. It fuels me. And I am going to continue to do so. How? By practicing what I preach.

I have set my 2021 goals. I have set my 2021 budget. I have worked through similar steps as recommended above. I have also challenged myself to think about our industry and what will become of it. I know this much about myself and my future: 

  1. I will continue to offer Fulton Market Consulting’s existing services to clients while also providing new products to markets that may have not used a consultant in the past. 

  1. In my first three years of business, I have been able to continue my passion for educating as well as travel, allowing me to work with clients all over North America. I will expand this further and am excited for new opportunities ahead. 

  1. I will work on a stripped down, bare bones budget for 2021 to cover my expenses. I will run lean and not overspend until clients start re-investing in training, education and consulting more than they have in 2020. 

  1. Hospitality is in my blood. It has been for 35 years now. I cannot imagine doing anything else and never will. I will continue to support and encourage our industry’s comeback, mainly for the amazing people that are so talented and dedicated to their craft, working long hours & putting in the years as well, creating memorable experiences for us all. 

I am ready to roll. 


Jennifer Perna

Jennifer Perna

Owner, Fulton Market Consulting, Chicago, IL
Jennifer Perna started Fulton Market Consulting in May 2017 after developing an event experience and sales management experience portfolio for over 25 years in the downtown Chicago catering and special events industry. Jennifer presently works with owners, managers and all team players at hospitality-related companies on increasing sales and creating business development strategies, streamlining processes for operations and event production and developing best practices for human resources and administrative management. This is especially imperative as we continue to manage a diverse and young talented pool of employees today. Jennifer brings a dynamic, approachable and relatable communication style to all levels and members...