Ok, so your cooking is great and you make a great steak and kidney pie, but are you really good enough to open your very own catering company and make a success of it? Maybe, maybe not, but you need some kind of plan to figure out if it’s going to work and then to be able to continue in the long term. There are some steps that should be followed and hopefully these will help you assess if you have what it takes.
- You need to find out who else is out there offering a similar service to yours. What do they have on their menus, what is their customer base and how much are they charging for their services. A quick check of their website should help you with this and also show you their marketing plan. It isn’t all just about food, however. You could be the best cook there is but if you don’t offer convenience, style, silver service, exciting menus and better prices then you are finished before you started. If it is your intention to do outside catering then ask your friends if they have used catering companies before and if they have, get them to tell you what they liked and disliked.
- Your local community of business people might have used catering companies before. Go ask them why they picked them and what kind of service do they expect from them. Talk to them about how much money they have spent on these events and did they like finger food, buffet style or silver service facilities. It’s no good thinking you know what people want, go out and find out exactly what they want.
Find Your Niche.
- You need to find out what slot is available to enter this market, build your food reputation, target what customers you want and then build a brand around your hard work. Don’t try to be a part of everything. If you put too many eggs in one basket you could end up offering a poor service and your business could fail. Do one thing that you’re good at and stick with it.
Preparation Is Key.
- Research how you are going to begin and what it is going to cost you. Decide what equipment you need and go look at an online catering equipment company for prices and choices. Don’t try to organise everything quickly, take your time, but set yourself deadlines, so you finish your business plan. Get excited about this new chapter in your life and go into it with your eyes wide open.
Remember, if you have a love for cooking and a head for business, then starting a catering firm is well within your reach. It’s not always about big corporate events where you are serving two hundred people, but it’s about the small dinner parties here and there that will build your reputation. Once you get established, then the bigger contracts will come and then you can decide if you want to stay small or go big. The choice is yours.