Similar to any other business, a catering business also works on a business plan and having one ready before you begin a catering business will make sure that you start well and go in the right direction as planned. As with any business, a catering business will also have goals and tools to measure progress as a part of the catering plan. In short, having a solid plan will make sure that you remain focused on your objectives.
A business plan, not only to keep track of your business but also helps when you look for help from outside, especially financing. If you are looking for investors in your business, the first thing that an investor would like to see is a very solid plan – be it your future business partners or financial institutions (banks).
Writing a plan for your business is not as easy as it sounds, it does need a fair amount of research and a good bit of thinking. In fact, you can get a sample business plan from a well-run catering company and use it to write your own by inducting your own parameters. The business should consist of the following components:
a. Executive summary: This part of the business plan should explain your business and consist of a brief outline to the reader.
b. Objectives: this part of the business plan should describe the short to long term goals of your catering business (ideally for the next 4 to 5 years) in financial terms. These goals should outline the objectives to be achieved with a time-line.
c. Mission statement: This part of the business plan should define and explain the catering company’s values and ideals (in short, business ethics and ambitions).
d. Ownership: this section go the business catering plan deals with ownership structure of the catering company, whether it is a proprietorship, partnership or a limited company and the details thereof.
e. Start-up requirements: This section should contain information about the catering company’s start up needs. What is the cost of start-up? What is the working capital required? What is the equipment required? Etc.
f. Market Information: A catering business also has competition and it is necessary to include the information pertaining to the same in this section of the business plan. This would contain a brief summary of the competition along with analysis and the plans that would be followed to get ahead of the competition along with details of new markets to be explored and services to be offered.
g. Strategy: This part of the catering plan should contain the marketing strategy that is to be followed to achieve the objectives. This section would also include forecasted financials for sales.
h. Management: For your catering company to succeed, it would need a highly skilled management with hierarchical control. This strategy and working needs to be integrated into the business plan in this section.
i. People: Hiring would be a key factor in the catering business and therefore the plans for hiring and man power costs need to be estimated well in advance and put forth into the business plan in this section.
j. Finances: Last but the most important, the financials of your catering business needs to be put on as per in this section of the plan for your catering business. Projected profit and loss statements need to be prepared depending on estimated costs and revenues for the nest 4 to 5 years. Understood that the market is never consistent, however having some optimistic as well optimistic estimates would help plan your business better. Once this is done successfully, it is easier for you to understand and underline the break-even point for your catering business. Once you know this, the objectives are frozen and all you need to do here is to put your best foot forward.
A lot of generic business plans are available; you can always grab one and customize it to suit your catering business. Although this is easier, it is always good to begin from the scratch and make your own catering company business plan since it would help you to understand your business better and will surely put you on the right path to success.