Maybe among all your peers, you make the best chicken Kiev, and your BBQ skills are unmatched. How about the awesome buffet you made for your friend’s party the other day? Chances are, by now you have started considering opening your own catering business. However, just because you have superb cooking skills does not mean you have what it takes to run a successful business.
Skill is one thing, and running a business is another. To start and run a successful catering business, you need a plan and a guideline. Based on investigation and research, you can come up with a formidable cater if you employ the following basic steps in starting your own catering business.
Scrutinize the Marketplace
The first thing you want to do before plunging yourself into the business world is to research your market. Get to know your competitors, what they offer, their menus and what makes clients go to them. You need to know what you ought to do better than them to win over clients.
Catering is more than just food and more about the convenience, uniqueness of the menu, affordability and the quality of services offered. You could have your friends take a survey for you about their best catering service experiences and draw ideas and inspiration about the market from there.
Pinpoint Potential Customers
You can do this by asking your friends about what they would want a caterer to offer. You can find the right people in businesses to ask questions about what their company looks for in a catering business (regarding setting, staffing, bar and the likes). You should specify that you are not offering services but only asking questions, so you don’t get brushed off. This way you can identify potential customers and know how to attract them to your new business by offering what they expect.
Select your Business Niche
Once you identify your customers, your next focus should be selecting your niche. Catering is broad, and you cannot cover all of it. You ought to narrow down your options to settle on one part of the business. For instance, you can choose from; weddings, children parties, corporate events and the likes.
Get Certifications/Permits and Insurance
Handling food requires you to be a certified food manager. This is the part where you seek various certifications for your area of business. You should research on the certifications need for caters and be in touch with the responsible authorities to get certification. Also, you may need insurance to protect your business from lawsuits.
Run your Numbers
To know how much it would cost you to start the business, you should have a budget of what you need. Remember, apart from the permits you need to upgrade your kitchen and cooking ware. And do not forget marketing your business. A budget will help you work with a clear focus towards your goals.
With all those steps in place, you cannot achieve them if you do not have a plan. The only thing that could sabotage your startup is lacking a plan. For that, you need a business plan to guide you and to aid you in planning what needs to go where and when. Additionally, a business plan would be vital if you need investor assistance or to take a loan from a bank to start your catering business.