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A written business plan is not a difficult document to create if you work on it one piece at a time.Don’t reinvent the wheel—just follow the steps in How to Write a Business Plan the Right Way (mentioned before) to learn how to create a biz plan that will answer all of your questions before you risk your first dollar. Researching how to start a catering business doesn’t mean you have to commit to doing it.To be a successful caterer, you’ll need to sell convenience, affordability, unique menus, or corporate style or white-glove service.
These include getting a business permit from your town or city, getting a post office box, setting up a website and email address, looking into setting up a corporation and buying liability insurance.
You’ll need to check with your town to see if your business will meet any zoning requirements and check your home owners’ association rules, if you’re part of an HOA.
But if you try to be everything to everyone, you might end up being “nothing to no one.” If you want to offer a broad array of catering services, set up different pages on your website and create different brochures or sell sheets that sell each service separately.
Niche options for a small caterer include: •Corporate events (cocktail parties, banquets, executive luncheons, golf outings) •Weddings •Children’s parties •Adult parties (anniversaries, bachelorette, birthdays, holiday, dinner parties) •Boxed lunches •Concession stands •Festivals, concerts and sports events Within your niche, you can further narrow your service by focusing on a specific type of food, such as barbecue, healthy foods, vegan, upscale menus or affordable menus. No matter what type of small business someone starts, entrepreneurs have a number of common startup tasks to perform.
These interviews or email exchanges will help you launch your business with with a benefit or benefits you know customers will want, instead of ones you they will want (“Everyone will love my dim sum carts! Starting with marketplace and customer research will better help you decide what type of catering you should offer.
Once that you know who your potential customers are, what they want and what your price range will probably be, you can decide what you think you should offer to attract enough customers to make a profit.
Think you make a mean chicken Kiev or create especially awesome buffets?
Others might think so too–enough to the point that maybe you should consider starting your own catering business.
How to Brand Your Business: A Beginner’s Guide provides valuable information on how to determine your niche, develop your product or service to target specific customers, and manage your brand once you launch.
You can go very narrow (corporate events) or offer a wide variety of catering services.