Creating a business plan for a catering business may not be as tough as some of us consider. Moreover, developing a business plan is very important for all of us that are interested in starting their own catering business. A catering business plan helps lay the foundation for the main components of your business. It also serves as a vital tool if you are seeking funding for your start-up; since all lenders will request your business plan. Keep in mind that starting a small catering business is also a start-up option which may only require the use of some of your personal savings.
The benefit of a catering business plan includes allowing you to focus on the mission and goals as well as identify the basic components of your company.
Let us look at the basic points of a business plan for a catering company.
Description of your company.
In this section you need to describe your catering business in a clear and enlightening manner. You will need to include the name and location of the company, owner(s) background and experience, and the type of catering services that will be provided. Note that you would want come up with a business name that accurately represents your business.
Unique Selling Position also known as your USP
Your USP is what makes you different from the competition. When someone is looking for a caterer why should they select you? It goes without saying that you will provide delicious dishes and professional and friendly services; these days that just is not enough. How are you going to stand out from the competition? When writing this section I would recommend that you focus on determining how you will create a memorable and exciting experience for each of your clients. The goal is to have every client think of you when they are in need of catering services.
As the business owner you cannot single handedly take care of every aspect of your catering company; this means that you will need staff to assist you in running the business. In this section you will need to list the key people that will be engaged in your catering business. You not only want to include the names of key people but specific information about their background and experiences, and the role each of them will play in your company.
You need to know what the competition doing because this is what could possibly keep you from getting clients? You will have to do some research to determine which services may be directly competing with your catering business. In this section you will need will need to see how your compare to the competition. What are your strengths and weaknesses; and are there any opportunities or threats that can have an impact on your business?
The first step is to determine specifically who you will sell your catering services to; this is called your target market. You may initially think that you plan to offer your services to everyone, which is fine but it is best to focus on your ideal clients. Taking this approach will also assist in focusing your marketing budget on specific clientele.
Be prepared to include how much money will invest in your catering business and how much income, expenses and profits you plan to generate in this section. Optimism is great but the best approach in this section is the realistic approach. Often times section this can be challenging for the preparer; and you are not alone. Seek help from the Small Business Administration and other agencies like SCORE and the Small Business Development Centers.