Tuesday, 30 July 2013

HOW TO START YOUR HIGHLY PROFITABLE


CATERING SERVICE





People with money seem to be on a binge to prove their status and



flaunt their wealth by staging large, catered parties. As a



matter of fact, in some circle of affluence, a party or social



get-together isn't considered an event of any significance unless



it's a catered affair.





With the same kind of reasoning, businesses of all sizes are



using catered lunches, cocktail parties and dinner meetings to



build their images and increase company sales. It's a matter of



keeping up with the competition in promoting a company and/or



product.





On a smaller, but just as busy marketing scale, more and more



working mothers are paying to have catered birthday and



graduation parties, as well as wedding receptions handled by



caterers. The reasons are simple to understand--if she's working



outside the home, today's mother just doesn't have the time or



the energy to do all the planning and staging of a memorable



party.





Besides those reasons for turning everything over to a caterer,



working mothers feel a little guilty about the time away from



their children they lose because of their jobs. Thus, they're



ready and willing to make it all to them by paying for a lavish



party the child will remember for years to come.





Caterers handle everything from birthday parties for children, to



breakfast in bed and intimate candlelight dinners for two, to



company dinner parties for 50 and wedding receptions involving a



thousand or more guests. This kind of entrepreneurial business is



definitely growing and becoming more popular with people of all



income levels.





An imaginative caterer in a large metropolitan area can easily



gross $150,000 per year, while a small part-time caterer in a



small town can count on at least $10,000 to $15,000 per year. One



small, but very ambitious caterer is reported to have grossed



$250,000 after only 2-years in the business!





You don't need special education or training to become a



successful caterer. You do need a affinity for people and a kind



of intuition as to what people enjoy in different environmental



settings.





A quick survey of successful caterers across the nation shows



that began with zero capital by working out of their homes. The



basic starting up investment would appear to be around $500, with



some big spenders capitalizing their idea with as much as $15,000



in order to get off to a fast start.





This seems to be an ideal business for an ambitious couple to



start and operate with very little capital investment required.



One person can spend his time hustling up business while the



other would do the planning, organizing and actual catering.





As with any business, your success will be directly related to



the soundness of planning and the working of that plan.



Understand exactly what your client wants, and give him what he



wants in the way of service that reflects upon the client in a



complimentary manner.





Basically, you can start with an advertisement in your local



newspapers. This advertisement need not be much more than a



simple announcement: Creative Catering-Specializing in personal



service- We can handle any party or special event from start to



finish-no idea to small or too large- Your satisfaction is always



guaranteed! We can handle everything for you.. Call us, and let



us make your parties worth remembering...





Naturally, the first thing you want from anyone calling to ask



about your services, is that anyone calling to ask about your



services, is that person's name, address and phone number. Then



you want to know what kind of party or event they have in mind.



As soon as you have this information, relax a little bit and



inquire to find out about the person or the company--the



people--sponsoring the party and their ultimate goals or reasons



for the party.





If it's to celebrate birthday, graduation, anniversary or a



wedding reception--finding out about the interests, background



and ambitious of the guest of honor will be of value to you in



your planning. Taking a few minutes to learn everything you can



about whoever the party is for, and the people giving the party,



will also make it much easier to close the sale than any sales



pitch or special persuasive tactics.





People like to talk about themselves, and they especially like to



tell everyone why they're honoring someone, even when they



pretend to keep it a secret who initiated the idea. So, it's



important that you be a good listener, that you have the ability



to get people to talk about themselves, and that you take notes



on the things they tell you.





This same principle applies to business people, regardless of



who's talking to you or the purpose of the catered affair. The



more polished and adept you can become in getting your prospects



to talk about themselves, the more information relative to their



background you can elicit, and the more you listen; the better



your parties will be, and the greater success you'll attain in



the catering business.





You take the information you glean from this first interview and



plan/organize the event on paper. This means you're going to have



to have contacts or at least working relationships with



innumerable service businesses.





If your client wants to stage a birthday party for a 12-year



old---he or she greets the guests as they arrive, makes sure



everybody knows who he is---then what about party favors---a soft



drink and a conversation leader until all the guests arrive--the



opening of presents--ice-cream and cake--and games to play, a



thank you gift for coming, and a reason to end the party at a



pre-determined time...





Do you greet the guests, does the mother or father, or the little



boy or girl? Where do you come up with the party favors at less



than regular retail prices? Where are you going to get the soft



drinks-your cost and the glasses or paper cups to serve them in?



What about ice? What kind of games to play? Who'll be the



conservation leader? Will there be a clown or someone special to



keep everything moving according to plan? Where do you get the



ice cream and cake? What games to play? How to get everyone



involved? And finally, a feasible and polite reason for ending



the party and sending everyone home...





All this takes planning, organization, and if you're going to



make a profit, a definite awareness of cost control. Get it all



down on paper as a proposal to the people who want to pay you to



carry it off. Figure out your costs, the time involved in putting



it all together, and then get back to your prospect.





Always leave room for changes in your proposal. In fact, expect



them--invite input and suggestions from the client--and always



have an alternate idea in your mind for each of those on your



written proposals. Discuss your proposal with the client just as



you would a script for a television show, make the suggested



changes and ask for a 50-percent advance deposit. From there,



it's just a matter of following your plan.





Regardless of size or type of party--whether your client is a



working mother or a giant corporation--the format is always the



same: initial inquiry, interview, your proposal, 2nd interview



for any changes, agreement, deposit, staging the party itself,



and your final payment. As mentioned earlier, success in this



business comes from your planning--having a lot of contacts--and



working your plan.





An important word of caution: Try not to get "boxed in" to



setting or even revealing a tentative price until you've had a



chance to listen to what the prospect wants, to study your own



capabilities, and to make a formal written proposal. If a



customer wants to know how much you charge--and if you feel it



necessary in order to eventually close the sale--you can tell him



50 to 100 dollars per hour, plus expenses, and of course,



depending on the type of event the customer wants.





As for how much the average party costs, again tell him that it



varies anywhere from 50 to 5,000 dollars.





Always keep in mind that you are a professional, and that if the



ordinary person had your knowledge, contacts and ambition to do



it himself, he wouldn't be calling you on the phone. He needs



your help for any number of reasons. You specialize in this kind



of work or service just as a doctor specializes in medicine and a



lawyer in legal matters. Therefore, you should, and do expect to



be paid accordingly.





Something else--this business thrives on word-of-mouth



advertising--referrals--and thus, is direct "freeway' to the kind



of customers where money is of no concern. However, on order to



gain access to this market, your business emphasis has to be on



service.





This means the capability of handling everything for the



customer, from having the invitations printed and sent out to



cleaning up after the last guest has left. Businesses and people



in the upper income brackets, like to pick up the phone--tell



someone they want a party on a certain date--and then forget



about it, knowing everything will be taken care of without



further worry or time involvement from them. Once you've



developed your expertise and clientele to this level, you'll have



a business in the $200,000 to $250,00 per year range.





Definitely arrange for a display ad in the yellow pages of your



telephone directory. You'll probably get 40% of your inquires



from this source alone. Generally speaking, radio and/or



television advertising will be too expensive when compared with



the immediate results. However, it is recommended that you



consider these media prior to special holidays.





Working with restaurants, supper clubs, bridal shops and



entertainment business in general. can bring in hundreds of



referrals for you. Rubbing shoulders with, and circulating as a



part of your area's civic and service clubs, should also result



in more business for you.





Keep your eyes and ears on the alert. Where ever you go, and with



whomever you associate, always be ready to promote and sell your



services, if not on the spot, at least make a note to follow up



when conditions are more in your favor. Promoting and selling



your services will require at least half your time, and that's



why two people operating catering services are so successful from



the start.





The actual selling is quite simple so long as you emphasize the



service and time-saving aspects. The more time-consuming work you



can handle for the client, the easier it's going to be for you to



close the sale.





Handing out business cards is one of the least expensive ways to



advertise, promote and sell your services. One enterprising



caterer makes arrangements with the sponsors of all his parties,



to see that each of the guests gets one of his business cards.





Another gives each of his clients a stack of his business cards,



and tells them he'll pay them $25 for each prospect they refer to



him. He tells them to write their name on the backs of the cards,



and to hand them out to their friends. And then, whenever a



person tells him that John or Jane suggested he call, and he



presents the card with John or Jane's name on the back, this very



successful caterer sends John or Jane a $25 check.





Another very successful caterer pays commissions to a group of



housewives and college students who solicit--via their home



phones--interviews for him with brides-to-be. They get their



leads from announcements, and pictures of brides-to-be in the



local papers.





Many caterers pay sales people a commission for letting them know



when they hear about a party or special event being planned by



one of their business customers.





The possibilities go on and on, and are seemingly unlimited.



Time is becoming more valuable to a lot more people every day,



which means there are more and more opportunities for great



wealth and personal independence as a professional caterer. In



reality the success for just about any person entering this



field, will be limited only by his or her own imagination and



energy.





There is definite opportunity for great wealth within the



catering field. Anyone with a sense of service to others can



succeed. Very little "ready cash" is needed to begin. Therefore,



the only thing standing between you and the realization of your



dreams, is the action it takes on your part to get started...





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