Catering is one of those businesses that can be totally absorbing if you have lots of bookings because it is a hands on business with very little work that can be short circuited. Catering is one of the types of businesses that has many different aspect to offer a business owner and so that the business stays on track it is most advisable that there is a catering business plan in place.
Preferably a catering business plan should be written up before the business is started to help the owners focus just on what type of business should be operated. This then will help in their purchasing of equipment and stock, never mind the fact that a business plan will help in the sourcing of finance. But it is never too late to write one and it should be reviewed every 6 months.
Many people are scared of even attempting to write a business plan because they feel that it is not possible for them to do so due to lack of knowledge. The interesting part of all that is that what they do not know they probably should. By that I mean for example, that if they do not know what their competition is doing then they have missed a crucial piece of information that they should know before starting to outlay money.
People should not get intimidated by a business plan. It is just a matter of working through some logical steps from beginning to end.
What a Catering Business Plan Incorporates
A business plan is basically like a set of chapters in a book.
1. The mission statement
2. Goals and Aspirations
10. Administrative Aspects
Finance should be written in such a way that a lender can see just exactly what the business is about, the cost of set up, the running costs and the break even points. If finance is being sought for the business then there will need to be supporting facts and figures as required by a lender.
Premises could be freehold or leasehold, or even none at all in that the business owner intends to work from home. All details of leased premises should be in the catering business plan.
Staffing is always an interesting situation and all the relevant Union rules and pay rates should be in the folder.
Competition should be listed in such a way as to what and who the competition is, what type of product they produce and what type of marketing they are doing to get their customers.
If a person is seeking finance for a business, no matter why type of business it is, a bank will want to know that there is a marketing plan in place. Ideally the marketing plan should be in a separate folder from the catering business plan and should be quite detailed with dates, times, how, what type of marketing, where and who the target audience is. Lenders want to know that a business is not going to open up and just sit there waiting for business to come to them.