Starting a catering and event planning business can be a lucrative and rewarding venture if you understand the step-by-step process for doing so. In this article, we will outline the basic steps that are necessary in order to start a successful catering and event planning business. So if you are thinking about starting your own business in this field, continue reading.
Here are the steps you can take to get started on building your very own catering & event planning business.
This article deals with ten steps that will tell you how to start a catering and event planning business. They are:
- Choose your type of catering and event planning business.
- Name your business as creatively as possible.
- Develop a business model.
- Decide on a business structure (see below).
- Develop a business plan.
- Permits and licenses.
- Assemble a budget.
- Acquire necessary technology.
- Market your business.
- Acquire clients.
10 Steps to Launching a New Catering & Event Planning Business
1. Choose Your Type of Catering & Event Planning Business
The first step in launching a catering & event planning business is to identify the type of catering & event planning business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
-Corporate event catering
-Social event catering
If you find a niche or specialty for your catering & event planning business, it can help you to stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
2. Name Your Catering & Event Planning Business
Give your catering & event planning business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your catering & event planning business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your catering and event planning business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so that clients will be more likely to use your services. If possible, your business name should be creative and compelling
3. Determine Your Catering & Event Planning Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for a catering & event planning business including:
- -Full-service catering & event planning businesses: These businesses provide a comprehensive range of services from conception to execution.
- -Partial-service catering & event planning businesses: These businesses provide some, but not all, of the services required to plan and execute an event.
- -Do-it-yourself (DIY) catering & event planning businesses: These businesses provide clients with the tools and resources they need to plan and execute their own events.
No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the services you offer.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your catering & event planning business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your catering & event planning business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common catering & event planning business structures.
5. Write a Catering & Event Planning Business Plan
All catering & event planning business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.
Read our article about how to write a catering & event planning business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your catering & event planning business.
For example, if you will be handling any type of food preparation or service, you will likely need to obtain a food handler’s license. You may also need to obtain a business license from your city or county.
Check with your local government office to determine which permits and licenses are required for your catering & event planning business.
You must also register your catering & event planning business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.
Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.
Read our article about obtaining the proper catering & event planning business licenses.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your catering & event planning business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your catering & event planning business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your catering & event planning business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting a catering & event planning business to help you determine if funding is needed.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your catering & event planning business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in customer relationship management (CRM) software to help you manage your client relationships, as well as project management software to help you plan and execute events.
9. Market Your Catering & Event Planning Business to Potential Clients
Before you start selling your services, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your services and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the catering & event planning industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your way of attracting new customers. Catering & event planning businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
– Creating a portfolio of your previous work to show potential clients;
– Getting involved with relevant trade organizations;
– Exhibiting at relevant industry conferences and expos;
– Sponsoring local events; and
– Creating promotional materials like business cards, flyers, brochures, etc.
Read our article about how to market your catering & event planning business for more tips.
10. Get New Clients & Grow Your Business
When you promote your services, you’ll start to get interest from potential clients.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these clients. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency of product and reduction of costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your catering & event planning business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your catering & event planning business to learn more.
Starting a Catering & Event Planning Business FAQs
Catering and event planning businesses offer a lot of personal benefits, including the ability to be your own boss, setting your own hours, being creative and working in a fast-paced industry.
Moreover, catering and event planning businesses can capitalize on the growth of the industry by expanding their services, targeting new markets, and using marketing and promotional strategies to attract new customers.
To start a successful catering & event planning business, you need a strong understanding of the catering and event planning industry, as well as the ability to market your services and build relationships with clients. You also need to have access to the right technology and software to run your business efficiently.
You can start a catering & event planning business from home by following the steps outlined in this article. You’ll need to create a website and start promoting your services through social media and other marketing channels. You should also consider exhibiting at relevant industry conferences and expos, as well as sponsoring local events.
You can start a catering & event planning business online by creating a website and start promoting your services through social media and other marketing channels. Allow clients to book services online.
Here are some tips for starting a catering & event planning business:
- Understand the catering & event planning industry.
- Have a strong marketing strategy.
- Use the right technology & software.
- Train your staff properly.
- Focus on building relationships with clients.
A simple checklist to use when starting a catering & event planning business is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Catering & Event Planning Firm: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
- Name Your Catering & Event Planning Business: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your Catering & Event Planning Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write a Catering & Event Planning Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your Catering & Event Planning Business to Potential Clients: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the services they truly need.
- Get Clients & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your services.
Starting a catering and event planning business can be a great way to make money. By following the steps in this article, you can get your business up and running in no time. Remember to have a strong marketing strategy, use the right technology and software, and focus on building relationships with clients. With these tips, you’ll be sure to find success in the catering and event planning industry.