20 percent of small businesses fail in the first year of operation. Now, this might sound depressing, but on the other side of the coin is the fact that 80 percent of them go on to succeed.
In the U.S alone, there are 15 million self-employed entrepreneurs who are calling the shots in their own businesses. And yes, the world of entrepreneurship is competitive, but in today’s day and age, there’s never been more opportunity to become your own boss.
If you’d like the same opportunity, check out the rest of this blog on how to grow a catering business with these simple tips.
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How To Grow a Catering Business: Market It Creatively
If there’s one thing that every business owner/entrepreneur is doing it’s maximizing the power of traditional marketing. This includes spreading awareness of their business via email marketing, SEO, social media, in local publications, and through promotions.
However, you might want to consider these creative ideas:
- Unusual/quirky sponsorships, i.e. promoting your brand in a way you haven’t thought of before
- Joining in/maximizing on trending hashtags
- Follow your competitors and watch what they post and what garners the most attention
- Use video marketing to create behind-the-scenes content
- Host competitions on social media
While it’s super important to concentrate on traditional marketing, you also want to think outside the box. Relying on traditional means of marketing won’t always help you stand out from your local competition.
Get the Funding You Need and Control Costs
Ever heard the saying: ”you need money to make money”? While some entrepreneurs have found incredible success without a financial stepping stone, they are very few and far between.
If you’re looking to grow your catering business, you’re going to need the financial means to do so. There are myriad different types of business loans out there, but you need to choose the right one for your needs. Be realistic about repayment terms and the financial predictions of your business.
Once you have the funding you need, it’s imperative to control your costs from the get-go. You might not make a huge profit in the first year of operation, but breaking even is important — you don’t want to operate at a loss. Don’t underprice your services and your food. And avoid giving away too much for free!
Use Tasting Events as Self-Promotion
This is one of the best ways to market your skills and food quality to your clientele, in person. Nothing beats a real-time, in-person experience and it’s also a fantastic way to build rapport with your customers.
In order to create a tasting event, do some research on who your local catering clientele could be. This might include corporate clients, engaged couples, pregnant friends, etc. Set your budget, put together an email invite, and send it out to your potential new customers. Let them know the event is free-of-charge in exchange for some social media sharing.
Consider a Rewards/Referral Program
Sure, repeat business is fantastic, but the best way to grow your business is with new clients through word-of-mouth, i.e. referrals. You can leverage the customer base you already have with a rewards program in order to grow your customer base.
In order to establish the referral program, get in touch with each client after they’ve placed an order with you. Follow up with them on how they enjoyed your food and the service. Then, ask them if they’d like to join your referral program which includes a reward for each new client they refer.
This reward doesn’t have to be huge — it could be as simple as a 10 percent discount on their next order or a $25 gift card. Don’t be too pushy though, the last thing you want is to drive away existing customers!
Get Your Business Knowledge Fix, Right Here
These are just a few tips on how to grow a catering business that work. To summarize, the most important aspects of business growth include marketing, funding, building strong customer relationships, and referrals.
If you’re looking to expand your business knowledge further, be sure to explore the rest of this site!