With most of the world still on pause thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, many have started spending their time on hobbies and projects that they never had time for in the past. People have taken up woodworking, knitting, and other projects, but the one we’re going to discuss today is catering.

If you’ve been on the fence about starting your catering business – whether because you don’t know how, you don’t know how to source your custom tableware, or anything else, then this is the blog for you.

Starting a catering business is like starting any other type of business, which has associated positives and negatives with it. Luckily, this means that there are many guides on the Internet to help you out, but unluckily, it means that it’s going to be a headache and a half to start your business.

But it’ll be great at the end of it, and you’ll be in charge of a new business that you’ve created with your own two hands.

Step One

Know what kind of business type your catering business will be. Will you only do finger foods, cocktail drinks, buffet catering, or something else? Figuring out this decision can help you determine what type of business you’d like to open (one where you’re the sole proprietor, one where you have a partner, etc.) and it can help you determine the name of your business, as well. Make sure that you check the availability of your business name before you look into logos, branding, and other such elements. 

Step Two

A business plan is a great – and necessary – component for succeeding at a business. Your business plan will give you a template/plan that will require you to do research. You’ll need to research information about the products and services you’ll offer, a financial plan, marketing ideas, a market analysis, and even (at the very least) an overview of your company.

Step Three

Registering your business and getting an EIN (if you are in the United States). This is a quick but slightly complicated process, so please go to the IRS website.

Step Four

Get your licenses and clearances. When it comes to a catering business, since you will be working with food, you must ensure you have all of your business licenses, such as a food handling license, health inspection license, and many other licenses that are required for commercial restaurants.

Step Five

Figuring out your pricing might be part of your second step/your business model. When it comes to your business, knowing how viable your business needs to be to succeed will help you in the long run. It can also help you determine if you need to change your model if you’re not meeting your price points.

Step Six

Hire staff, figure out how you’re going to market your business, and do all your prep. This is one of the final steps before you will let your business go live. The more time you spend on preparatory work, the less time you’ll have to fix issues later in the life of your business.

Step Seven

Of course, even if you have all the customers and professional recipes in the bag, you won’t be able to make much of a difference if you don’t have the necessary tools to work at your catering business. One of the best ideas to keep in the back of your mind is that of custom tableware and associated elements.

Custom tableware is as it sounds: tableware that has been made in custom shapes, coloring, or with specific designs that fit your specific vision. When it comes to starting your own catering business, having custom tableware can go a long way towards ensuring that you’re doing your best with branding.

Branding is an important element of running a business, as it’s the way for you to get your name out there and have people remember what you bring to the table. Ensure that you choose the best, personalized dinnerware and utensils, as well as logos and custom artwork that will keep your business in people’s minds.

Step Eight

Get funding for your business. By the time you’ve started thinking about your custom tableware, you likely will already have considered the best ways to fund your business (assuming you are not able to fund it from your financial reserves). Reaching out to lending agents, financing services, and other loan providers can help you with starting a business and getting your feet off the ground.

Step Nine

Plan for emergencies. As scary as it might be to consider, your business is likely not going to be as profitable as you would like it to be, especially in the beginning. Plan for those moments where your business is struggling so that you don’t panic and make things worse. 

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