Cooking has always been your passion and if there is one thing you enjoy, it’s preparing tasty morsels for friends and family to enjoy. Friends and family are always thrilled at the prospect of holiday dinners at your house and more than once have asked why you don’t start a catering business. With that thought in the back of your head, maybe now is the time to actually go into business for yourself, but how do you start?
Work from Home or Rent a Shop?
Perhaps one of the first things you would need to think about is whether you can work from home in your state. When it comes to preparing foods for public consumption, every state has different laws and sometimes, county and city ordinances prevent preparing foods in the home. That would be the first thing to check so that you know what you might be looking at in terms of investment, occupational and business licenses, and even liability insurance. All of those things are contingent upon where you are going to be located, so location comes first.
Do You Have All the Equipment You Need?
You may want to start small and only cater to gatherings of 20 or less, for example, if you lack the funds to buy commercial equipment and cookware to work with. If you are working from home, do you have the required appliances and setup that will pass county health inspections? If you don’t have a three-compartment sink, is your dishwasher operational? Is your plumbing in good repair? What about your garbage disposal? Is it humming or making noises that might indicate it isn’t working? This might not be a big problem because sometimes it’s a DIY repair which you can learn to fix on the Mr Garbage Disposal website. Appliances and equipment can quickly add up, so make sure to calculate what you will need to get off the ground.
A Business Plan Is a Must
Whether or not you need financing, a business plan is a must. You can find free templates to work from online if you’ve never had to write one, but a good business plan helps you stay focused in an orderly manner. This will detail the market you intend to capture, your organizational structure, and what kind of income you believe you will make based on the foods you are catering and the market potential in your area. If you find that you do need financing to get started, a business plan is a must.
One of the best things about starting small as a caterer is that you can choose where to go from there. If you want to grow, remember that you will need to do some marketing or offer promotions. In this business, word of mouth is your best and cheapest way to advertise, so offer clients who refer others a discount on their next event or a gift voucher to be used towards a cake or party platter. Just remember, if you are working from home and intend to grow, make sure to set money aside for the expansion. You can only do so much from home, no matter how large your kitchen and growth may mean moving to bigger premises. If food is your passion, this is a great business for you.