One of the worst things to happen to any business is that it gets stagnant. This can happen when an owner does not take any steps to grow beyond their current position. The business might be making money and providing a living, but when it’s spinning its wheels, it’s vulnerable if something bad happens. So as an entrepreneur, you should always look to move your business forward and help it grow.
A catering business is no exception. Without growth, you can be overtaken by competition and have no tolerance for ambiguity. As a result, you spend all of your time treading water when you should be trying to swim through it. For some catering business owners, it’s hard to know how to get past the run. Here are five ways to take your catering business to the next level.
1 Diversify Your Revenue Streams
Being stuck in a rut often means doing the same thing repeatedly. One of the ways to snap out of it is by doing something different. If you have a niche that you are sticking to, it might be time to branch out. Diversifying can provide several benefits. For one, you can tap into a whole different section of clients. Secondly, if one of your revenue streams starts to have trouble, you can pivot to rely more on the others.
This will make your business more resilient and adaptable. For catering, this might mean adding big events like weddings to your portfolio if you only did corporate functions. Maybe you can add a daily or weekly takeout meal for the public. There are several options, and it’s up to you to analyze the market in your area to see where there might be a need.
2 Focus on Customer Service
Getting to another level means not just bringing in new clients but impressing the ones you’ve already gotten so that they will use your services again. While many catering businesses offer great food, not all offer great customer service. Ensure all your employees are trained to provide friendly and helpful service. Treat everyone with a smile and make sure that you can provide them with whatever they need for their event or meal. Customers will remember how they were treated by the staff and by the owner. They should always feel like they are the most important customer, even if you have many others.
The benefits of customer service run deeper than simply getting new customers. You will build trust within your community. If you are good to people, then they will be good to you and also give you the benefit of the doubt when there are complaints and issues. Great customer service will help give your business legitimacy and respect.
3 Have a reliable Business Vehicle
A catering business usually means preparing and cooking food in one location and then moving it to another. At the very least, you will have to move ingredients and equipment to an off-site kitchen. Having a reliable vehicle to move everything is a must. You can get it custom-outfitted to serve your needs for keeping ingredients and dishes protected from shifting and falling over in transit. Plus, a business vehicle can be wrapped in branding so that you are advertising your company every time you take it out on the road. It makes your business look more professional and reliable.
4 Get Insured
If you aren’t fully insured, you need to take that step. Many entrepreneurs try to get away without insurance, thinking that they can protect their business and not have to use it. However, this couldn’t be farther from reality. Businesses get sued every day for any number of reasons, so it’s best not to take your chances. The right insurance will protect you, your employees, your clients, and the public.
The other thing is that you can’t expect to grow without coverage. You will be exposed to more risk with more clients and jobs. Plus, with more exposure, more clients will be looking to see if you have that protection so that they don’t have to worry about it. So insurance will protect your business and give it room to grow. Since catering can have unique risks, you can even get customized commercial insurance prices for a catering business that will provide you with the coverage you need without breaking the bank.
5 Overhaul Your Marketing
Getting the word out to more potential clients is one of the best ways that you can get your business to the next level. However, you need to do it efficiently and get the best return on investment possible. Luckily, with a catering business, you can access marketing strategies that revolve around local targeting since you will be going after people who live in your community and area.
Always be active on social media. Answer questions, provide informative content, and interact with your followers. By showing your personality, you are building trust with the audience. Produce targeted ads so that you are only paying for marketing content that is getting in front of the eyeballs of people who can take advantage of your services. Search Engine Optimization is crucial for the catering business as well. You want your company to show up high on search engine rankings when they enter keywords related to catering and your home city or municipality.
Running a catering business isn’t easy. There is a lot of competition, and since the Covid pandemic struck, fewer events are happening than ever before. That might change, but Covid-19 highlights how there are sometimes factors beyond your control that can affect your business. The most important thing is to get your business to a point where it is more resistant to outside forces that could bring it down. Use these steps to help your business move to the next level and find the success you’ve never thought possible.