Cooking your way to a new career is possible without years of culinary school. In fact, a good cooking school probably had its roots soaked in family traditions. The only “cooking degree” greatest cooks know is the temperature to set the oven. Grandmother knew how to sweeten the carrots to make your taste buds think they were eating sweet potato pie. Somewhere in your collection of omelets, casseroles, and dessert recipes, you have the hallmark of a great business idea. Great recipes are like pocketbooks, shoes, and candles – you can always find a need for one more.
Preparing a meal for a small group is more personal than working as a chef serving a hundred people hourly. Chefs work long days away from their family dinner table. Personal time can be difficult to take because of the responsibility. The pay does not equal the hours that are spent preparing meals. However, cooking for those you know can provide rewarding friendships. Follow some basic principles, and you’re in business.
Start With a Business Plan
Before making any purchases, sit at a table with someone you trust who can assist with making a business plan. It needs to be someone who has been successful running a business. They can ask the important questions to identify your niche. In fact, you need to find a single hole in the market and fill it up with service. Cooking dinner at family gatherings will bring a steady profit. Using your pastry recipe for business functions will be an easy way to add to your customer base. Serving at a dinner party will bring a steady cash flow.
Marketing Your Home Cooking Business
Promote your name within your circle of friends, family, and acquaintances to give your career a boost. Churches will need someone to cook for special occasions. A ladies group may need a person to cook for their luncheon. Senior adults may desire to have a local chef make their meal. Schools may need someone to cook breakfast for staff appreciation day. Businesses may need to book a party to celebrate a retirement. The list seems almost endless.
A home based cooking business can offer the financial cushion to help make purchases that do not need to be placed on credit. Entrepreneurs will discover new skills. It is possible to make a successful business out of something you love. Cooking requires the basic skill of moving around the kitchen and bringing imagination to the plate. With this mindset, you can go forward to achieve your dreams.
Plan for Expenses
The start-up costs are less expensive than opening a restaurant. Make it elaborate and purchase all the frills at a very expensive price tag. Keep it simple and watch your budget. Save money in the beginning by cooking in the clients home. Otherwise, you will have more expenses than a business license. If you cook in your home, you will have to buy commercial grade equipment. You must know certain codes to meet the local ordinances. However, renting space at a local commercial kitchen can help you avoid some high ticket purchases and remodeling your garage inside the home to create a kitchen. Besides, some local government agencies do not allow cooking for the public in the home.
Like any business, the cost of insurance for a single individual who provides a service is very reasonable. You will need to consider having some liability. After all, it only makes sense. As a business owner, you will interview customers to find out special diets to help reduce the risk of anyone getting sick after a meal.
Continue to Grow
Once you learn the niche and practice at it, you will become the pro before you know it. When time passes, people will ask how to start their business. You turned fears into stepping stones over a period of time. Now, you are ready to branch out for those culinary students and teach your own class. Your business could host classes at meeting halls for cooks of every age and the Internet even has sites that offer small business owners the ability to have their own web cast. You do not have to be cooking for large groups of people. Small groups can offer entertainment that cannot be found anywhere. It can bring joy to the guest that will fill a huge scrapbook of memories. Earn while learning as you grow as an individual reaching goals that you may have never known that could be accomplished. Don’t settle for second best. You could work at a career that began out of a hobby you love.
The dinner bell is ringing – are you going to answer?
Tim loves cooking and enjoys helping his friends start businesses where the product they sell is their passion. Tim currently works in market at cabledeals.org and loves talking about business ideas with his coworkers. If you would like to talk to Tim about your idea or need help getting this process started message him on Twitter @TimLCooley
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