Catering Business Information and Tips

Does everyone love your food? Do you create mouth-watering dishes that have people talking? Then starting a catering business may be just the breakthrough you needed. Why would a creative person like you who has that kind of talent work for someone else? This is the time to channel all your vigor and ideas into something you really love. Being your own boss can be challenging but running your own catering business will give you the opportunity of a lifetime. The only boundaries that are placed on you are those you place on yourself.

The catering business provides service for small or large parties, weddings, or even private dinner parties. A corporate event such as conferences, meetings, employee morale boosters, and grand openings looks for the services of a catering business.

The most important part of running any business is gaining clients. The ideal thing to do is to hire a sales person with a great personality in the catering business. If you are not the sales type and you are dealing with different clients including corporate executives, party planners, and nervous brides a sale person may very well be accommodating. The main ingredient to close the sale is to convince the client that the occasion will be memorable, the food will be presented appealingly and served quickly and discreetly. Networking with similar business will prove well to create a referral network to increase business. Successful caterers introduce themselves to other people and businesses that are involved in party and event planning as well. Good business in which to network are bridal boutiques, pastry chefs, wedding planners, florists, party supply, card and shop keepers.

Build a relationship with these businesses. Make sure they have your business cards and brochures. Check in with them often by dropping in with some tasty desserts or some hors d’oeuvres. They will remember you for that and may even result in some referrals. Create sales letters and brochure and send them to corporate offices requesting an appointment to talk about your services.

Follow it up with a phone call. Your accomplishment with catering will be directly linked to the strength of your planning, and the execution of that plan. Thirty percent in the catering business is food while the rest goes to delivery, transporting the food, lining up rental equipment, and juggling personnel. You will need to understand exactly, in writing, what your client wants, and deliver that in a way that reflects upon the client positively. Your organizational skills really count here.

To succeed in this business you must prioritize the tasks and devote your best effort to completing each task successfully. Show enthusiasm, discipline, and always aim to keep the clients happy. Have patience and understanding at all times to make the best out of any situation.

Keep Your Business Information Quiet: Loose Lips Sink Companies

We have this idea that computer hackers are ingeniously bright people. We hear stories, true or otherwise, as to how they seem to finagle valuable information from us, using the most sophisticated social engineering techniques. In reality, they often use such tricky questions as, “I’m calling from the IT Department. We’re doing some system checks on your T-3 line. I’ll need to reprogram your current password with a new one. You’re using the one that’s all letters, right?”

And so we dutifully comply with what seems to be a reasonable and logical request from some resident authority figure who surely has our best interests in mind. Often within minutes, we will reveal confidential company or personal information, over the phone, or through an email reply to a complete stranger who talks or writes a good line.

Reading all this and reflecting on your own sense of eternal security vigilance, you’ll swear that you’d never give out a byte of confidential or important data, over the phone, across cyberspace, or even face-to-face. Your motto is: “Hang me up by my thumbs for a week and I still wouldn’t even tell you my first name.”

And all this may be true when you believe the information requester may be a wolf in sheep’s leggings, but how about when the asker-to-be is from your local or national news media? Are you still tight-lipped and careful, or do you get caught up in the glow of the First Amendment’s pad and pen, the video camera, or the microphone? It’s hard for even savvy security professionals not to spill some beans when faced with the often flattering request for information and a chance to demonstrate subject matter expertise.

But just as loose lips sink ships, the desire to provide information to the media must be measured by the impact, or more accurately, the harms a few words or figures can betray.

Several years ago, the Business section of the Orange County (Calif.) Register, featured a two-page photo spread on the history of the Southland Corporation’s reason for being: the 7-11 store. Along with a history of the Big Gulp business, the piece featured an interview with Anaheim 7-11 franchisee Herb Domeño, owner of nine stores, including the site at Katella and Harbor. For those not familiar with southern California real estate, this prime property is directly adjacent to an Enchanted Kingdom knows as Disneyland.

Back then, Mr. Domeño’s stone’s throw-to-Disneyland convenience store boasted the highest sales volume in the country – an average of $3 million per year, clearly above the national sales-per-store average of about $1.3 million per year.

Taking out our trusty calculators, we could have determined that, give or take some up or down days in the boom-boom 1990’s, Mr. Domeño’s enterprise took in about $8,000 per day.

And how did we discern this figure? It’s easy to uncover, especially when the $3 million sales amount is featured boldly in the photo caption of Mr. Domeño in his cash-cow store. (By the way, the new national sales record for one 7-11 convenience store belongs to the folks running the show in Southampton, NY.

So what has the Orange County Register just told every enterprising convenience store robber who can read? This place is full of cash and even if they aren’t cleaning up like they did before Disneyland closed a nearby parking lot to make room for its California Adventure addition, Mr. Stickup Artist has to believe it’s worth a shot.

Even if the daily revenue figure is adjusted for slow days and customers who pay with debit or credit cards, it’s still a substantial amount of cash that is either on the premises or being moved, via some safe means we hope, to the bank.

In times of organizational crisis, it’s wise to have a designated member of the executive team speak to the print or TV media. This person will have the training, experience, and savvy to say the right things, at the right times. News gatherers, on the other hand, won’t always seek out your Director of Corporate Communications (or similarly-titled representative). If they want the juicy details, any gossip, or the “inside story,” they might go to any executive or manager they can find, or worse, to an employee, who gives an opinion as if it was a fact.

In a perfect world, the security professional would also be part of the discussion and review of any press release, placed article, or editorial coming from the organization that has any security-related content. “Facts and figures” statements tossed out like: “Our security system is so sophisticated it only takes one guard per eight-hour shift to operate it,” or “Our jewelry store revenues have never been higher” might be great PR, but they can turn your business into a new target, by people or groups who never considered it as one before.

If you’re tasked with speaking to a media member about any aspect of your business operations or performance, choose your words carefully. Use the technique every politician is trained in from birth: bridging. Bridging simply requires you to “bridge over” to the question you want to answer versus the question you’re asked.

This approach works best when you’re asked the question you don’t really want to answer, i.e. Reporter: “Isn’t it true that your firm’s movement to stricter access control has created a `prison camp environment’ for your employees and customers?” Security Professional: “As you know, our approach has always been to put the safety and security needs of our people and our customers first. As such, we believe in creating the best working environment possible…”

Get the idea? You don’t answer a direct, confrontive question with a direct, assertive answer on point. You vary the response to make sure you cover your points, not theirs.
When in doubt, choose to be bland, especially with any information that hints of having a financial, proprietary, or trade-secret connection. “We’ve got a good handle on our inventory” sounds so much better than, “We’ve got a ton of expensive stuff laying around our warehouse.”

The old adage all publicity is good publicity has its exceptions. Better for people to read about your firm and have to make assumptions about your security, than to know too much detail.

How to Start a Business Information As a Unique Christmas Gift

Starting a business in no “walk in the park” for most of us. There are expenses to consider, the likely hood of success verses failure. A person has to take their time to research their idea, find out every scrap of information they possibly can about this business. In truth starting a business from scratch is a whole lot of hard work. Just when you think you have asked every possible question there is a dozen more pop up. Would it not be a unique Christmas gift to find a way to help your friend or loved one with some of that much needed information?

When searching for a business to start many of us do not have thousands and thousands of dollars in liquid assets to invest in a franchise. Today’s new business owners have had to get creative and find “real” businesses that can be operated from home. This is where the word “real” applies, there are many scammers out there trying to get your money. You will see overwhelming amounts of sites that offer to make you rich while you are lazy, asleep, in your pajamas – you name it! And get this – it will only cost you 29.00 to start your business. Get real; it is not going to happen so easily.

Creative people need to think outside the box to find a business that they can work from home. Look at service businesses especially. Mobile gyms, mobile pet care, mobile car wash, mobile windshield, mobile oil change and mobile lawnmower repair. People are starting cleaning businesses, delivery service and daycare centers in and from their own home. These businesses allow you to start and run them from your own home at a much lower cost than your typical “sticks and bricks” businesses.

Back to the unique Christmas gift, that is easy. If you know someone who is looking to start their own business but needs guidance, support and most of all information why not do a little research yourself and print it out, put it in a binder and present that as a gift? Or better yet, if you can find a “How to Start” manual that applies to the subject your friend or loved one is interested in buy it as a gift. It not only shows that you are a crafty shopper but a person who cares about their dream. It shows your support for their idea.

Just a thought…

Business Hubs: Your Business Information Center

Those who want to harness the power of the Internet for growing their business; a business hub is where they will find a variety of resources as well as marketing tips and strategies. The Internet has changed the way businesses operate and reach customers. Businesses have to match their strategies to this new arena. Most traditional marketing methods will not work online, so they have to learn new marketing strategies for increasing their online presence.

There are plenty of Internet marketing methods-some are niche-specific, while some work across different industries. Marketing online is relatively more affordable than traditional advertising. When approached the right way, they can give your company the boost it needs. But where is the best place to go to learn those marketing strategies?

A business hub, which also known as web hub or vertical portal, is a website dedicated to providing content, information, and services to businesses within a particular industry such as health care and IT. While some serve as meeting ground for businesses and customers, it tends to focus more on the needs of businesses than industry customers.

As a business-to-business website, a business hub can serve as your gateway to essential information on how to grow your business. They typically cover information specific to a niche, but they may also include general marketing information (e.g. Facebook marketing, article marketing). Some also offer industry analysis or business design. Here are some of the most common business marketing strategies covered by business hubs.

  • Article marketing.Article marketing is a method of promoting a business or company by publishing keyword-optimized articles in web directories. When properly done, it is an effective tool for reaching broad audience and showing them your expertise.
  • Cloud Marketing.This is the collection of different Internet-based marketing services, allowing marketing functions to operate more efficient and effectively.
  • Consumer Generated Marketing.This is a marketing method that directly involves participation of audience in marketing products or other activities of business.
  • Facebook Marketing.This looks at Facebook as a platform for marketing one’s business and reaching audience.

Summary of Benefits Business hubs share 3 common aspects:

  1. Marketing resource.Business hubs are great source of information on how a company or business can thrive online. It gives you quick access to different marketing strategies and other relevant information-tools you need to stand ahead of the pack.
  2. Niche-specific information resource.Because it caters to niche markets, you don’t have to sort through millions of web pages to find the information most relevant to your industry. If you’re new to online business and don’t know where to start or what direction to take next, you may find the answers in a business hub.
  3. It serves as a directory of different businesses in the industry. Most keep a listing of companies offering industry-specific services. All in all, business hubs function as a reference center for people who want the ins and outs of an industry in particular and the world of Internet-based business in general.