You need customers!
The very first item on your agenda for your Catering Business Plan is to determine who your customer is!
Where you're going to locate them!
How you will get them to select your Catering Service!
Before we get into how to write your Catering Business Plan let's talk about these questions first!
You may have the best food in town but if you don't have customers you will fail miserably!
The competition in this business is tough. You are facing some big names in the business especially if you are in a major metropolitan area. Large luxury hotels are your competition. Many chain restaurants are now offering catering services. You will be fighting all of these for the business that is available.
In case you arrived at this website for the sole purpose on finding software that can assist you with writing your Catering Business Plan, Business Plan Pro is the best in the world at doing just that. They have been rated number one for more than ten years. They are endorsed by many experts in the field. They are the business plan software that I use when I'm creating a business plan. You can't go wrong with them!
Let's get back to our discussion on what goes into a well written successful Catering Business Plan.
Let's ask a couple of questions to get your mind flowing.
Who or what types of people or groups will use catering services?
Let's list some.
This is just a short list and I'm sure you will come up with several more. However, the list should open up your eyes to finding those customers that will keep you in business.
The next question before we continue down this path of locating your customer is what type of catering business are you offering?
Luxury/High Class - Service is in sterling silver chaffing trays - decorations to match the occasion - servers in dress clothes - etc.
Middle of the Road - Service is in aluminum chaffing trays -
few or no decorations offered - will drop off the dishes and return for them
after the event.
What types of menu items will you offer or will you be all things to all people?
Now comes the hard part.
This part can't be done without networking. If you think you can place an advertisement in the telephone book and your phone will start ringing off the hook, you are sadly mistaken.
You are going to have to set appointments and visit with all
types of people, such as, wedding planners, event planners, large corporations,
organizations, etc. Most cities have various types of shows that vendors are
allowed to put up a table and display their product or service. Locate the ones
that fit your catering business the best and attend them! Make sure you have
samples that you are creating right there.
You may want to bring samples of your dishes for them to try! They better be darn good though! This is your opportunity to win them over! Kind of like a food critic for a new restaurant. It better be good.
Having a menu for them to review is also a great idea; however, it needs to fit the type of business that you are providing, i.e., luxury or middle of the road. This will be the tool that the wedding planner would provide to potential customers. In other words, don't bring something that you have written on the back of a napkin. Of course, I'm kidding but you understand, I hope.
With those items in hand your whole Catering Business Plan is now beginning to fall into place.
True enough there are a lot of moving pieces to this, but without knowing your potential customer and the amount of future business you may have it will be impossible to make' any accurate assumptions.
If those assumptions are based on fictitious numbers your entire Catering Business Plan will be flawed.
It may look great in that the sales and potential profit makes you believe that you will have a very successful business. But the truth will spell disaster later after you have invested all your time and money into something that is not going to work!
By the way you can't just visit one wedding planner or event planner. You are going to have to take this very seriously. Until word of mouth kicks in you will be making sales a full-time mission.
If you are not good at sales you may consider bringing on a full time sales person. This is the life blood of your Catering Business. It truly is the foundation that everything else will be built upon.
You know the show American Idol?
How many of those singers would not have been discovered without that show? Your Catering Business must be discovered and the only way that is going to happen is that you must get out there and sell it!
I am taking for granted you already have talent as a Catering Chef. Of course, if you don't you need to pack up your tent and go home. Just kidding!
Let's take it for granted now that you have successfully located your customer and are ready to get into the nuts and bolts of your Catering Business Plan.
Business Plan Pro's financial calculators are the best in the business. Making changes to one element of you Catering Business Plan will carry through the entire business plan. That is a powerful tool to have at your fingertips.
We talked earlier about making assumptions in such things as sales. Sales are the driving force of your Catering Business as we spoke earlier of. If you make an assumption that you will have $50K in monthly sales, it will follow through on all your other numbers from labor to supplies.
Now this may look good but, in the end, if your sales are actually only $15K then your cash flow drops dramatically! This affects everything.
Other items to consider for your Catering Business Plan would be startup cost for equipment and supplies. Is your equipment something that can be depreciated? As an example, are you going to be purchasing things like food warmers, freezers, refrigerators, etc.? Are you going to be purchasing a vehicle for transporting to and from events? These types of items can all be depreciated based on the life expectancy of that equipment.
What type of food service license will you need, as well as, any insurance?
If you are hiring a staff will you need Workers' Compensation Insurance?
As you can see you need many types of information to complete your Catering Business Plan in a way that will help you succeed?
I am a true believer in Business Plan Pro but there is other business planning software on the market so do your own investigating and use what you feel will help you the best.
Thank you and may God bless you!