Catering Company Business Plans – Why You Need One for Your Catering Startup

Are you wondering if you really need a business plan for your corporate family days? Perhaps you are thinking that as you only plan on starting a relatively small business it won’t really be necessary. Many people think like this and, of course, many people end up failing in their first year of business.

We highly recommend that you avoid becoming yet another business that underestimated costs or found that the market wasn’t ready for what they had to offer. Below we have outlined ten reasons why you must prepare a catering company business plan. We explain how if you do take the time to prepare a plan you will be increasing your chances of being successful with your catering startup.

1) Start in the Right Direction

Many entrepreneurs think that they can start out without doing a lot of planning and research. They feel that they can always pick up a feel for the business as they go. However, some of the early decisions that you make in the life of your business can be difficult to reverse at a later date. You need to have a clear path set out ahead of you so that you can make the right decisions about how to set up the business right from the start.

2) Reinforce Your Ideas

As you slowly get ideas about the catering company that you want to start you will find that these thoughts start floating around in your head. What you imagine yourself doing is often very different from what you are able to do realistically. Nothing is impossible but you just need to work out how to get there.

By putting your ideas down on paper you will be clarifying them in your mind. As you write you will find that you do additional brainstorming. You may get new ideas about what you want to do with your business and you may decide that some of the ideas that you had initially are not really feasible.

3) Figure Out How to Do It

Every entrepreneur has a very idealistic image in their mind of the kind of business that they want. Getting to that point is a process though and you need to work out a path to get there.

One great way to figure out how you will proceed is to first write down what you want to do. Next, write down as many questions as you can about how you are actually going to do it. These will include questions like ‘Will I do on-site or off-site catering?’, ‘How will I get access to kitchen facilities?’ or ‘How many catering jobs will I need to land each month to break even?’. As you slowly work out the answers to the problems that you come across you can write them down in the appropriate sections of your business plan.

4) Know Your Startup Requirements

When you prepare a business plan you will get an accurate idea of exactly what is needed before you launch the company. You will need to consider all of the things that you will need to pay for prior to opening such as catering equipment, initial advertising and so on. When you have calculated the total cost you will then know exactly how much money you need and can look at where this funding will come from.

5) Increase Personal Productivity

You have to be organized when you start a business. Rather than writing things down on loose scraps of paper and hoping for the best you need to have somewhere to compile all of the important data that you collect. A business plan is ideal for this purpose. If you store the business plan as a document on your PC you can simply add new information as you come across it. If you have done your research and have all of you information stored in one convenient location you will be more organized throughout your business launch and you will avoid a lot of unnecessary headaches.

6) Prove the Viability of Your Idea to Others

A business plan is a great way to prove to yourself that your ideas are viable and that the catering company that you are proposing can thrive and make a profit. You will also need a plan in order to prove to other people that the business model that you have in mind is financially sound. Think of your business plan as being like a resume that you can hand out to people who need information about your business. You can always leave out sections that are not relevant to the reader in question.

There are many people who may wish to view your business plan and you should keep them in mind as you put it together. If you are seeking funding then you may have to show the plan to prospective lenders or equity investors. As a caterer you will certainly have to comply with local health and hygiene requirements and these local authorities may expect to see a section in your plan relating to these areas. You may even need to show your business plan to the owner of any kitchen premises that you hope to lease before they agree to sign an agreement with you.

7) Set Goals and Objectives

A business plan is like a road map to success. Your goals are the destinations that you are aiming to get to. They should be fairly realistic and achievable but should also push you to work hard to reach them. You may set financial goals that set out what kind of gross or net monthly income you intend to be earning after your first year. Other goals could also refer to other metrics such as average food cost percentages on catering jobs for example.

8) Identify Weaknesses and Strengths

It is important to assess your strengths and weaknesses and how they will affect you when it comes to competing with the established players in your local catering industry. You may bring competitive advantages to the business such as catering experience or local food and hospitality industry connections. You may also identify personal weaknesses that you can work on improving or weaknesses that your company will face when compared to your better established competitors.

9) Track Your Progress

A business plan should not be forgotten about once the catering business has launched. Refer to the plan regularly to see if you are on track to hit the goals that you set out. Make changes to the plan as you go so that you always have a plan in place for your business going forward at least two or three years.

10) Make Selling Out a Breeze

Many caterers end up selling their businesses if they retire or move on to other projects. A business plan that is up to date can really help when it comes to valuing your business for a potential sale. If your business offers a buyer a blueprint for managing the business and it offers solid proof that the business is making a profit then it could really help you to seal a deal at a favorable price.

Learn about some of the essential elements of successful biz plans with my catering business plan tips and get free access to my catering business plan template when you visit StartaCateringCompany.com. Try to create your own unique business plan.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Robert_Sutherland/306680

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6625385

Before You Adopt A Dog Or Donate Money, Be Certain You Understand How The Types Of Rescues Differ

Donating to charity is always open but make sure your chosen charity is not a scam. Over the past few years, the horrors of puppy mills have received a great deal of publicity. With that publicity has come a growing indignation about the treatment these dogs are receiving. That indignation is causing many people to want to be part of the solution to eliminating puppy mills. Some people are volunteering their time to rescue groups while people who can’t volunteer their time are donating money to rescue groups in hopes of making a positive difference. Unfortunately, there are many issues to consider before one makes the decision about where to be donating money. Rescue groups can be very different in form and function, and not all rescues are what they profess to be. Before you donate money to any rescue group you need to educate yourself about all of the “issues of concern.” This article will discuss the similarities and differences of two types of rescues.

Issue of Concern: Understand the similarities and differences of the various types of rescues.

(1) Shelters.

First, a caution! A very large percentage of Americans believe that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) are umbrella groups for the local shelters around the country. This is NOT true. Americans also believe their local shelters receive funding from one of these supposed umbrella groups. This is NOT true either. Each local shelter is independent. The HSUS and ASPCA publish information to distribute, sometimes coordinate rescue or disaster efforts, and make TV commercials to solicit donations, but these donations are for themselves! DO NOT mistakenly donate to the HSUS or ASPCA believing the money filters to your local shelter–it does NOT. Any organization can use the name “Humane Society” or “SPCA,” so be very careful. To support your local shelters, donate to them directly.

Your local shelters also receive no government funding. They are generally 501(c)(3), which means they are allowed to solicit for donations, and non-profit organizations. “Non-profit” is a tax classification with the IRS that specifies what income must be taxed. It does not mean the organization cannot make a profit.

Your local shelters rely on volunteers, foster families, donations, and adoption fees to function. They are taking in owner-relinquished dogs, abandoned dogs, stray dogs, and, occasionally, rescued dogs. These dogs are usually healthier and younger in comparison to puppy mill rescue dogs, and they are often already house-trained. Shelter dogs can make excellent pets because they tend not to have the extreme physical and/or mental baggage of puppy mill rescue animals. In addition, it IS possible to find a purebred dog at shelters since roughly 25% of shelter dogs are purebred.

In the past, shelters were expected to keep animals for only a few days and then euthanize any that had not been adopted due to space limitations and the lack of a sufficient number of foster families. Fortunately, there is a movement across the country to convert these “old style” shelters to NO KILL shelters. The Nevada Humane Society has an exemplary No Kill program and should considered a model for the entire country. Needless to say, the change to No Kill requires larger facilities, more volunteers, more foster families for dogs, and more money; but it is a worthy goal, a realistic goal, a necessary goal; and it is quite probably the only solution for eliminating puppy mills. Eliminating puppy mills will also require the proper legislation to give these shelters the power to investigate and close law-breaking puppy mills.

(2) Specific breed rescues and small local rescues.

Small local rescues (non puppy mill rescues) generally exist to rescue the dogs about to be euthanized from shelters. They also take strays that people turn in. Specific breed rescues are doing likewise with one or two specific breeds, like Shelties and Collies. Shelters often call breed specific rescues when they get in a dog that is obviously a given breed. Small rescues usually have volunteers who periodically check with nearby shelters to save as many dogs as possible. Very few of these rescues have their own facilities and rely heavily on foster families and donations.

These organizations are also 501(c)(3) and nonprofit organizations and they are almost always No Kill. They receive no funding other than donations and adoptions fees. The dogs they take in are usually younger, often already house-trained, more socialized, and without the extreme physical and mental baggage of puppy mill dogs.

One special benefit of breed rescues is that they know everything there is to know about their breed. They are excellent at rehabilitating the dogs they take in, and they are experts at matching people to the dogs.

Two other types of rescues will be discussed in another article and the nine remaining “issues of concern” for adopting and donating to dog rescues will be discussed in upcoming articles. Do not donate or adopt until you have read this information. If you absolutely cannot wait for those articles to be published, go to my website listed below where you will find a list of all 10 “Before You Donate or Adopt” issues of concern.

Shirley Slick, “The Slick Tips Lady,” is a retired high school math teacher and a life-long animal lover. In addition to her goals about mathematics education, she is equally concerned about puppy-mills, the dog rescue industry, and designer dogs. For more information about these topics, or tips about donating to rescues, visit her website at http://slicktipsaboutdogrescues.com/

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Shirley_Slick/820954

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6692279

Artists Ask Questions About Art Marketing

Storyboard artist film of all levels have similar questions. These are answers I wrote for an interview in author Barney Davey’s Blog.

How is it different for artists these days from a decade ago?

The quantum change has been the impact of technology. It’s a double-edged sword. On the plus side, you can reach more people without leaving your studio. On the other hand, there is more competition and more complexity. Artists need to be able to navigate cyberspace as easily as the bricks and mortar world.

Technology has changed the way people find art. Now there are thousands of web sites to browse and comparison-shop without leaving home.

Technology has changed the way artists, art professionals and galleries promote. A web presence and involvement in social media are no longer optional.

Technology has changed the way artists offer art. It’s now easy to create digital versions of originals on various substrates, in various sizes, on demand without resorting to upfront expense for production or dealing with storage.

Technology has changed the way we communicate. We live in a nano second world where speed can supplant quality.

I remind artists that technology is a tool to spread the word, not a replacement for communication person-to-person.

What things have not changed, i.e., need for an artist’s statement, a résumé, and so forth?

The more things change, the more they remain the same. The human element is still the core of making, appreciating and marketing fine art. Even art mediated by technology starts with an idea in the artist’s mind.

Artists still need a solid body of signature work as the core of their business. They are still in charge of their brand and the audience is still in charge of sales. Exposure is still fundamental to success so the work is seen by the right audience. Consistent marketing is still the key to a sustainable art business. Relationships and trust are still the bedrock of sales.

Are artists having success using social media?

First, you have to define success. If you measure success by numbers, connect with anyone and everyone. The great promise of social media is relationship building. If you want to build relationships, you have to be more selective. Decide what you have to offer and what you want to know. Limit yourself to people who want the same things. It’s Pareto’s Law: 80% of the possibilities come from direct contact with about 20% of the people. Success for me and artists I work with has come from actually having extended conversations with people online and talking by telephone or meeting them in person. I know – it’s shocking.

How can artists maintain balance between creative, business and personal activities?

There are three categories here. Artists often think only about two at a time, which turns life into a teeter-totter. I define balance as a dynamic equilibrium of all the things that matter in your life. It’s dynamic because life is always in flux. There is no such thing as finding the perfect still point if you want to fully live your life. You know things are in balance when your stress level goes down and you get the results you want, most of the time, in all areas that are important to you.

There are no hard and fast guidelines for creating this delicate balance. Like balancing a mobile sculpture, it is a matter of experimenting with different configurations until you find the one that works. Many of the artists I work with have health issues, are caregivers for elders or children or have jobs other than making art.

For some artists, it works better to have certain days for production that are “sacred” – no matter what. If this fits with the rest of your life, that’s great! But not every life is so orderly – and on principle, many artists resist a schedule that is too rigid. In the end, it doesn’t matter what method you use to get it all done. Just make sure that balancing is one of your goals.

Has the internet forever changed the artist-gallery dynamic?

Galleries were never the whole art market but artists can now easily represent themselves if they are willing to do all the work. Online galleries come in various flavors and artists need to do their due diligence to make sure that they know who they are dealing with. There are many reputable galleries with an online presence, but there are always a few that artists need to look out for. My money is still on the gallerists who limit the number of artists they show and have direct contact with each artist.

What is the future for visual artists? Will the digital age overtake traditional forms of marketing art? Have new marketing paradigms changed how artists get their work to market?

Art has survived since the cave days and I don’t think demand for it will disappear in my lifetime. Creativity is hardwired into all of us. We live in a visual and graphic world, so there is always a future for image-makers.

  • The drive to create is timeless.
  • The need to see and interact is human nature.
  • There are more ways than ever to create and communicate.

The challenge remains making the best work and the best choices of marketing. New channels and speed have changed how artists market and how fast we need to respond, but the buying process is still in the same.

What is the most common misperception artists have about a formal mentoring or coaching program, and how do you overcome them?

The most common misperception is that there is a quick fix for every art business. Books, programs and recordings are a great source of information – but you have to apply them for things to change. It takes personal reflection and/or discussion to turn that information into knowledge. Knowledge without application goes nowhere. You have to apply knowledge to see what works for you and what doesn’t. That experience – along with successes and failures becomes wisdom you can take to the bank.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.” Winston Churchill.

Bottom line:

Find the spark that makes you and your work something only you can do. Make lots and lots of art. Make lots of connections. Build a handful of great relationships and nurture them. Art marketing is not as mysterious as it seems – it is simply a series of conversations designed to build abridge between you, your art, and your audience.

Subscribe to our newsletter today and receive a free art marketing guide: “Eleven Tips for Success for Fine Artists” Digital Recording and 15-page PDF Presentation at www.artistcareertraining.com/artmatters-newsletter/

Aletta de Wal
Author of the Forthcoming Book:
“My Real Job is Being an Artist: How to Make a Living Making Art”
Artist Advisor
Artist Career Training
(650) 917-1225 Pacific Time

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Aletta_De_Wal/557043

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6257657