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Check out your competitors’ menus, their list of services, prices and customers.Visit their websites and see if you can quickly find their unique selling benefits.Yes, you can do most of your research in a week or so, but you really don’t need to move that quickly.
These include getting a business permit from your town or city, getting a post office box, setting up a website and email address, looking into setting up a corporation and buying liability insurance.
You’ll need to check with your town to see if your business will meet any zoning requirements and check your home owners’ association rules, if you’re part of an HOA.
Find more tips on small-business startup basics with our guide, How to Write a business Plan the Right Way.
In addition to these general tasks, you’ll need to contact your state department of health to determine how to get a food service license and what you need to make sure your kitchen, storage, transportation and serving equipment meet the necessary standards.
Set multiple deadlines to finish each section of your business plan, or you might never get started or finished—but don’t set just one end date with no road map to get there.
Work on your plan when you’re excited and interested in doing the work and you’ll be surprised at how soon you can determine what it will take to launch your catering business.
How to Brand Your Business: A Beginner’s Guide provides valuable information on how to determine your niche, develop your product or service to target specific customers, and manage your brand once you launch.
You can go very narrow (corporate events) or offer a wide variety of catering services.
Let them know you are not selling anything and simply want to ask a few questions about what they would like caterers to offer.
But be sure to take time to find the appropriate person at each company to contact, otherwise you’re likely to get the brush-off.