Startup Costs and Considerations: List out startup costs and initial operating costs and then calculate the total amount of startup capital that is required before you can open your doors to clients. Make a note of the sources of funding that are available to you and the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
How do you create an effective business plan in this situation? Well, simply stated, place yourself in the shoes of the person lending the money. What would you as the lender want to read in a plan? First and foremost, these individuals want to see that you have demonstrated the ability to repay the loan with the required level of return on investment (ROI) and within the required time frame.
The most important aspect of business planning (the "What does it all come down to?" part), however, is spending the time to do your research ("due diligence") and critically thinking about these various aspects of your business. Of course, it is impossible to anticipate every detail simply by spending time thinking and writing; it is for this reason that plans are referred to and viewed as "dynamic". However, the more issues and scenarios you are able to come up with ahead of time, the more prepared you will be to handle these as they arise.
Marketing Plan : There are many different catering niche markets. Before you start your marketing efforts it is important to have a good idea of your menus and the niches that you are targeting. Try to identify a gap in the market that is not being met by other caterers and go after it. Once you have a better idea of what you are selling you can then look at how you can sell it effectively. Start by packaging your offerings nicely into menus, brochures and a website. Then work out a system for pricing catering jobs profitably.
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