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How To Start A Profitable Catering Business in 2021

If you can cook and you want to venture into the catering business, then there are things that you need to know. Catering is far more than knowing how to cook alone. I am not saying its a tough call. There are some things you need to put together to say you are properly into the catering business. And here are most of them;
hot steamed jollof rice.
photo credit: loveweddingNg

1. Hone your skills

In catering, it takes more than knowing how to cook to do well in that industry. Things like how to measure ingredients, how to cook for large number of people while still keeping the great taste, the method and techniques that should be applied on certain occasions to make your cooking efficient and effective. All these, you must learn. How do you learn all these? That brings us to number 2.

2. Try to understudy

Starting out in a field like catering can be overwhelming. So you would want to under study people that had been in the business for some time now. You can get a mentor in that field, register under an already existing school or follow up online caterers. There are many catering schools in Nigeria. I attended one myself and it helped shape my measuring skill. I advise that you go for option one or two; as no amount of YouTube videos can quantify the experience you get from hands-on practical. Any which way, you must learn the secret of the trade.

3. Do giveaways

One of the best way to get people interested and talking is to do giveaways. Offers to help cook at a friend's party (but start Small and build your way to bigger parties). And of course, some of them would still reward your financially. Plus you get to know no more people, learn from your mistakes made without getting shouted out or queried,since you rendered the service for free. 

Finger foods for party from just food up

There are other times where you have to offer your services at a very affordable price to get the gig. All these is just for you to network, build a name for yourself and learn more in the process.

4. Get your acts together

Catering job is not usually a one-man job. So you need to start building your team. Building a team can be full of stress. But it shouldn't be. For a start, you don't necessarily need professionals with paid labour. Just look around, there are friends and family that would be interested in helping out in exchange for a little token, food, knowledge or just for friendship. Though I don't usually recommend family and friends because of professional reasons, they still come in handy in the days of little beginning. I still bring my brother along for decorations. He won't get much but he likes being helpful ( oh I just like that guy's spirit 🥰)

5. Networking is key

In the catering business, networking are in two folds. First of all, you must know where to get ( or should I say rent) equipment like pots chaffing dishes, spoons, plates and the likes. Why, do you need this, because in the beginning, getting all of these can be overwhelming and costly. You just have to start out renting. Your family members or friends might have all these or some. Just make sure you know people in the rental business and they know you. As you work, you can go on to buy one or two stuffs hear and there. *Note*- don't be too obsessed with buying all the equipment at the same time. If you have the money, fair enough. But I advise that you just start out by buying the important ones, then work yourself towards getting others. Remember you need to save for branding and workers remuneration.

The second and very important part of networking is getting clients. Most times, getting jobs in this country of ours demands knowing people who knows people. These is where networking comes in play. I am very sure that with the free or cheap services you rendered in the beginning, you have been getting referrals here and there. That's cool, but that is not all you want. You are to put your services out there. Let family, friends and foes ( yes I said that loud, enemies too😂) know you are in this business, and for the money this time. Also go online and publish it. That's is where we go into our next agenda.

6. branding and packaging

Catering is one field where until you build a name for yourself, you will still be getting cheap offers. How do I create a name for myself you would ask. Start out by really creating a real and catchy name (this I believe you already have). Then get it out online( I will be teaching you how to do an online branding soon). Also print Business cards and flyers if possible. Tell friends to help you paste them in strategic locations and don't stop talking. Follow up on occasions and offer your services immediately the needs arises. Branding and packaging is a continuous process but you have to start from somewhere right.. like I said, I will dwelling more on this in the nearest future.

7 get your paperwork ready

As you see me ehn, I like formalities oh, so I don't like to leave any stone unturned in the place of professionalism. So I advise you do the same. Get your business ( or company as the case maybe now) registered under the corporate Affairs Commission, put your tax together and pay them formally. Also, there are communities that until you join their union of caterers or an association, as the case maybe, you won't be allowed to work there. I for one, I don't really like to do association stuffs. I advise that you check it out, as it has it own benefits too. So look before you leap.

8. learn to grow

Growth, as simple as it sounds is one aspects that startups are failing at this period in Nigeria. So please learn to grow. have a growth mentality, work toward improving yourself and your company and pray for increase because in the end 'it is not by works, lest no man boost.

That is not all that is to know but that is all I have for you now. You can also check out this post on How to Start a Food Delivery Business in Nigeria. Feel free to drop any question you have in the comment box, and I am very happy to answer them.



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