Signs of Growing Pains
You'll know you're experiencing growing pains when you get calls to cater events and you have to turn them down because you're spread too thin and you just can't be in two places at once. While growing pains can be difficult, they're a great sign that you're ready to go to the next level as a business owner and entrepreneur. Other signs of growing pains are:
You're exhausted from working too much. You're catering five or more events in one week.
You need to hire someone at a higher level than a server or prep help.
You need to buy a new, dedicated delivery vehicle.
Your weekly food orders are two to three times larger than they used to be.
Paperwork is bogging you down. You have so many proposals to get out, so many bills to pay, and so many invoices to prepare.
You need a larger line of credit from your bank.
At least half of your business is coming from referral calls and repeat business.
You need to install an extra phone line.
These factors indicate that you've been successful in your primary goal: starting a thriving catering business. One of the first considerations in making your business even larger is increasing your marketing and promotion budget by at least 10 percent. Take your marketing and promotion plan to the next level to continue building your brand. Sponsor a local cooking competition for kids, raising money for their school. You'll be doing something very worthwhile and hopefully generating good public relations at the same time. Print a color brochure if you haven't already. Rent a booth at a couple of appropriate trade shows in your region to promote your services and raise awareness of your name.
In order to continue your success, attracting new clients is only one of many priorities. You need to consider how to expand your business without compromising on any of the personalized service or quality dishes that have boosted your reputation.