Fast growth within your catering business is an exciting time. You should never accept having a stagnate business, because it will eventually fail. Employees get bored and your customer service starts to fizzle out. Growth happens at different levels and at different times for caterers. If you are experiencing rapid growth and you’re not sure how to handle it, don’t get overwhelmed.
We explore a few tips below that will help you manage fast growth within your catering business.
If you are experiencing fast growth then you could be overworking your current employees. In order to have a successful catering business, you need to try and keep the employees you can count on. Take a step out of your shoes for a moment and into theirs. Are they losing valuable time on nonessential tasks? Is the customer service suffering? Are they expressing feelings of stress? Listen to them and see what level they are at. Next, look at how long you expect to see rapid growth within your business. Too many businesses owners get in trouble by staffing up before they have experienced the necessary amount of sales it takes to keep those employees. Don’t hire too fast, and if you need to, get creative with the pay and job roles of your staff.
Reinforce the Principles Your Company Was Founded On
Too many times do companies veer away from the reason they started their business in the first place. While it’s important to grow and learn new principles, you should not forget what makes your business unique. Say you started your catering business with your family, continue to stress that in your marketing and in your customer interactions. People will love that you work with a big book of business and can give the family style service.
Manage Client Expectations
Don’t bite off more than you can handle. This can be a very tricky concept for caterers who are experiencing rapid growth activity. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the volume of clients coming at you, and you don’t have the resources implemented yet to handle all them, it’s ok to tell them your booked solid. You wouldn’t want to cater an event or multiple events you are not prepared for.
Just because your business is growing like mad doesn’t mean you need to go out and spend a bunch of money on any and everything. Control your costs through what you plan to deliver for the future. There are 5 deadly costs that can hurt fast growing companies; order-fulfillment costs, outstanding-debt costs, customer-service costs, customer-acquisition costs, and regulatory and tax costs. There are many tools out there that can help you keep these in check. If you plan on doubling your bookings than plan out the necessary costs you will need to make that happen.
Real Estate/Office Space
Many catering businesses are started from home kitchens because commercial spaces can be expensive. When massive growth happens in a short amount of time, you need the space to be able to handle it. You can start with renting additional spaces for cooking and additional work spaces for employees. It’s recommended that you don’t give brand new employees the option to initially work from home. You need to initiate structure with them so you can build trust with them over time.
Business Management Software
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if your business is experiencing fast growth. Your day to day may seem extremely chaotic and you’re not sure how you can stay organized. The best thing that can help organize your growing business is having a management software. It can automate a large amount of your business so you can increase your overall efficiency and have the time to take on more business. Management software can handle just about everything from tracking your sales to managing your staff scheduling. It has many benefits with the overall goal of helping the efficiency of your business.
Explore New Verticals
When your catering business starts to expand at rapid rate, you may get some client requests you’re not used too. Instead of just catering the traditional wedding, you are asked to cater a Game of Thrones reenactment party or even just an outdoor festival. It’s the perfect opportunity to explore things like adding a food truck or using non-traditional type venues you would have never thought of using. You never know, exploring new verticals could be something that sets you apart from the competition.
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