Starting a Catering Business

Starting a Catering Business

different aspects of your life; from your family to your finances. If however, you have a
passion for fine dining or a love of delicious cuisine and believe you have the business
acumen to support your dream; starting your own catering business could be an exciting and
rewarding experience.

There are many considerations which must be addressed when starting up a business; no
less so than one within an industry full of strict regulations that must be adhered to. What are
the areas to consider when taking that first brave step into the business world? Here are a
few examples of just what you would be undertaking and what you must be aware of:

Plans

You should never embark on a business venture without knowing exactly what you aim to
achieve. Knowing what your mission statement will be and what the structure and aims –
both short-term and long-term – of the business are will reduce the risk of failure. Having
concrete plans in place also makes it considerably easier to secure outside funding and
allows you to be more realistic in what you can hope to obtain from your ventures.

Finances

Money is crucial at every stage of a business’ life, particularly during its initial setup. Draw
out a detailed business plan and seek professional business advice to help map out exactly
what finances you will require and compare this to the budget you have available. For your
money to run dry at the cusp of your business’ creation would be a disaster. You also need
to ensure that your family and personal life will not be in jeopardy if cash was to begin to run
low.

You must secure any additional funding you believe you will require – be it a loan, grant or
otherwise – before you put your plans into motion.

Experience

Starting up a business within an area you have no prior knowledge or experience of is a big
risk. A huge variety of jobs are available within food and catering, providing the relevant help
to make a successful break into the industry; from production to handling to cooking. With an
insight into how a catering business works and all the different areas involved, you will have
a far better understanding of how to make your own a success.

Contacts

Sometimes who you know can be just as important as what you know. This again brings
us back to the importance of experience; as building up links with suppliers, caterers and
food outlets can be invaluable when it comes to finally going it alone. Whether these prior
contacts are to become partners or rivals, being aware of them and having an understanding
of how they operate can be vital to your success.

Permission

When setting up a catering company, you must make sure that all necessary paperwork and
permission has been taken care of. For example, you must register your intended premises
with the environmental health sector of your local authority. This applies whether you are
using a new build, your own home or a catering van. Details of this and all other relevant
protocols you must abide by have been outlined by the government; highlighting their
importance while also making everything clear to you before you start your business.

Marketing

In order to be a success, your business will need a positive presence within the market.
People need to be made aware of you and what exactly you offer; they need to know
why they should opt to use you rather than your rivals and most of all; they need constant
reminding of your presence so your business will not be forgotten and fade into obscurity.
Distribute leaflets; pin-up posters; use social media; invite locals to the launch and draft in
friends and family to use word of mouth.

A particularly effective marketing technique involves offers and discounts. If during the early
stages of your business’ establishment you can draw in consumers using special deals, they
can become hooked on your products and invested in your service; helping maintain loyal
custom in the long run.

Family

Particularly if you are running the company alone, it can be easy to forget about the impact
it has on everyone in your family. They too are adjusting to a new way of life; financial
difficulties as a result of setting up a business will affect them as much as it affects you.
Making sure that everyone is prepared and remains involved throughout the process can
make things run much more smoothly.

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