Transcript

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[00:00:00] Can you actually make money with a personal chef business? Today I want to talk about, more importantly, what is it that makes some personal chef businesses profitable and others not so much? Because honestly, I talk to struggling personal chefs all the time and there are reasons that they’re struggling.

So let’s get you working like the success stories, right? I work behind the scenes. I’ve done it with a ton of personal chef business owners and I’ve gotten really good at picking up on these five commonalities between the ones that are successful. And then I see what the ones who really struggly and ultimately either give up or fail or never hit their goals are doing too.

Hey there, Chef Shelly here. I help passionate cooks just like you start and build a successful personal chef business. Without [00:01:00] confusion, without overwhelm, so that you can get paid to do what you love, and you don’t even have to work nights, weekends, and holidays, and you can still make great money. So let’s talk about what do these people have who build a successful personal chef business, and what are they doing differently?

Well, first they make decisions and then they move on. They get through the planning and starting and all the stuff at the beginning and they get to the cooking for paying client. Okay, that sounds really simple. Now, it doesn’t mean they’re not thoughtful. It doesn’t mean they don’t do research. It doesn’t mean that they don’t set things up right.

What it does mean is they don’t procrastinate or as much. They don’t get stuck in indecision like people who struggle do. Let me give you an example. They don’t spend [00:02:00] two months trying to figure out a business name. And then six months more working on the perfect logo with the perfect shade of blue.

They make decisions. They make the decisions on what their specialty is, whether it’s gluten free or vegan or old fashioned classic family comfort food, because yes, that’s a specialty too. So they decide that. They decide on their services, like if they’re gonna do meal prep, or aka personal chef services, or they’re gonna do small catering, or if they’re gonna do both.

They just decide and importantly, strugglers get hung up here so much. They pick pricing. They just pick a price and they move on. That doesn’t mean they never change it later, but they do not get hung up on that. That is a huge one that people who [00:03:00] either struggle or never even get started, get really hung up on.

They either never make a decision in the first place or they just waffle back and forth, waffle, waffle, mmm, waffless, right? Anyway, not the good kind of waffles. They waffle and it just keeps them from moving on to getting good consistent clients. If you want my help, there’s a video here. I’ll put a link to it below all about how to price your services so that you can move on.

And if you need more help than that and you want to work with me one on one in the Personal Chef Business Academy so you can get through that to the fun part cooking, There is a link below for that too. So anyway, successful business owners, they know what they’re going to do to get clients. They make these decisions, they make a plan and they move forward because the most important part is the taking action.

Some do it quicker, [00:04:00] some take more time, but they keep moving forward consistently. Planning is important. Yes. But at the end of the day, we’re only getting paid for the doing, right? The second thing that successful personal chef business owners do that I see is they get help when they need it. I’ve worked with everyone from pros who have a team, decades of a hospitality experience to passionate home cooks who this is their first time in the industry and I talk to a lot of people too who just decide that they’re gonna go it on their own.

Either way, honestly, I’m not going to lie to you. Either way can work. It just depends on you. Some people have great support from their family and or their friends. Everyone’s rooting for you. Maybe you have a partner who has started their own small business doing [00:05:00] something. So you’ve got backup and knowledge in that area and they’re supportive of like being your own boss, having your own business.

Maybe you even have a friend or know someone who’s started their own successful personal chef business and you can bounce ideas off them or ask them about their experience or just basically learn from their mistakes, right? So that you can avoid all that. That’s some people. A lot of people are in a whole different situation.

So, sometimes it’s that they don’t know anyone who hasn’t started their own business, and they don’t have that resource. Or maybe their partner isn’t even supportive of them doing this. I have a student in the Personal Chef Business Academy right now who’s struggling. Their friends are telling them not to do this.

It’s too risky. Or, even worse, that they’re not good enough to have their own business just because of their own crappy opinions. First of all, if you have people around [00:06:00] you like this, get new friends, because those people do not have your best interests in mind, whatever their reasons are, right? So, the great thing about This person though is that they’re in the Personal Chef Business Academy.

They come to our group calls. They hang out with other personal cooks with the same type of business. They get feedback on marketing ideas, inspiration. And at the end of the day, just get to talk with other people who get it. Entrepreneurship can be hard. And so I’ve seen over and over again, whether you’re in the Academy or not, whether you’re doing it yourself, learning someone else.

Learning from someone else, that’s not the thing. The thing is having support of common other entrepreneurs who get it around you. So third thing, and this is again, kind of back to the individual person is experience and gaps. And I don’t mean cooking experience. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about [00:07:00] the thing that really can determine.

Uh, how much money your personal chef is going to make is, uh, your unique experience, what you already know, because like a lot, like I said, of those hospitality pros who have done that thing for years and years and years, they say, you know what, I want to quit my job. I want to get paid to cook on my own terms.

But I don’t know how to be the business owner. I’ve only ever been an employee. And that’s where they get hung up. Or, you know, they just don’t feel like they have the business experience. And the funny thing about that is a lot of business people will tell them that, well, then if you don’t have business experience, you can’t start a business.

But honestly, that is not the case for most people who want to start a personal chef business. I’ve seen it in students, I’ve seen it in other personal chefs I know, over and over. It’s when they know what they, their strengths are and they [00:08:00] know what they need help with. So, uh, I have a student who hates tech.

Bad at it. Maybe you identify with that, right? And they have zero desire to learn anything about it. So they hired someone to do their website for them. That’s great. If you can’t balance your checkbook, I was going to say that to people even have checkbooks anymore. That’s probably not the right. term. But anyway, if you don’t know how to reconcile your checking account or whatever, maybe you need to hire a bookkeeper, right?

So some people, they know the business stuff. They get how to get their LLC, insurance, business checking account going, all that stuff. Like I said, maybe your partner has a small business or maybe you’ve had a small business before, so you get that part. But where you know you’re going to struggle is marketing.

social media, networking, cold calling. I’m totally just kidding on the last one. Don’t [00:09:00] ever, ever do that. So anyway, this is where people can get hung up. As a matter of fact, I would say that’s actually the number one area that makes people either give up or struggle or even fail. And that’s the marketing.

And really all you need to do for the marketing part is just to recap, I’m going to get off topic here just a little bit. Okay. Decide who your client is. Is it families or high income couples or seniors or who? You know, and then where are they? Like suburbs, they got kids in school, they go to the grocery store all the time, or they’re in high rise lofts, they’re going to the stretch lab studio, they get cryotherapy and go to IV bars.

retirement community and go to the community senior center or whatever. Okay. Then what is your plan to get in front of them? How will you know if it’s working and when you should pivot? All those things are just basic marketing. And so if you don’t know where to start with that or how to do [00:10:00] it yourself, how to make a plan, then you need to hire someone to do marketing for you.

Or you need to figure out how and where you’re going to learn it. Again, that’s whether it’s with me inside the personal chef business academy or somewhere else. So, cause the thing we all have in common is everybody who wants to have a personal chef business is obviously a passionate, good cook, right?

But. If you don’t even know how to set up a simple, doable marketing plan that actually gets you paying clients, that’s going to be the bottleneck that keeps you from being successful. Or the other thing I see is they have a plan, but they haven’t actually done any of the things in the plan. And sometimes it’s because they pick a marketing thing that they hate.

Spoiler alert, you don’t have to do social media if you don’t want to. But you do have to meet people. It doesn’t matter if it’s in real life or online. [00:11:00] and tell them about your services and make offers. Again, if you need my help doing it, I am here to help you. And speaking of marketing and getting clients, something I see successful people not do, that new people try, is running paid ads to get clients.

Successful people don’t start immediately with paid ads. They know conversations with people is the best, easiest, fastest way to get started. And I’ve seen this again, more often than you’d think. New people think that they can throw some money at Zuckerberg and they’ll get clients. It’s easy peasy without having to put the work in.

But when you haven’t talked to people about your services in a compelling enough way to get them to hire you, there’s no way that they’re going to be good enough to communicate through an advertisement [00:12:00] to be clear, concise, and have a great call to action. On top of understanding the advertising platform, whether it’s Facebook or Google, even if you’re just trying to list on one of those, um, lead generators, like thumbtack or whatever, each one has its own strategies and intricacies on.

Top of knowing your business and services and your clients and marketing basics. Don’t let that freak you out. If you thought too, that paid ads were going to be an easy solution. When you were ready to start getting clients, there are a million ways that you can get clients. A lot of them are even free, but a hundred percent do not do paid ads until you really know what you’re doing in all those areas, everything in your business, how to communicate it, the platform and stuff.

Otherwise you’re just paying to practice and paying to get better. And it’s going to end up costing you a lot more in the beginning than [00:13:00] what you’re going to make from it. So people I’ve seen be successful, they pick a route to do their marketing. And I’m going to talk about that one after this one. So the next one is, is successful people are focused and they’re focused on their service.

You need to choose your services carefully. So people that constrain to just one or two get successful, successful much faster than people who are, distracted by all the multiple passionate things that they want to do and they put them all on their website and they never really again get that marketing dialed into just one service.

So everything’s kind of scattered all over the place and that just makes it a lot harder to get clients and get consistent money. And I’m not even talking about if you want to be a six pack. figure personal chef or have [00:14:00] a full time income. Even if you just want this to be a passion project and have one or two consistent weekly clients for personal chef services.

If you’re putting up that you do weekly meal prep and small caterings and romantic dinner parties for two and cooking lessons and cooking demonstrations and kids parties and recipe development and meal plans and a whole bunch of other things. That makes it really hard for people to make a decision.

If you know you just want one or two weekly meal prep clients, then only market your personal chef services, aka weekly meal prep services. And that makes it a lot easier for people to know if they’re interested in your service or they’re not. You put your time and energy just like the successful personal chef businesses do into just growing that service.

Let all the other ones be secondary. It doesn’t mean that those people, the successful personal shop business owners don’t do any other [00:15:00] services, but especially in the beginning, they focus on that one. They get really good at it. They get really good at talking to people about it. So they just choose a clear focus again, the more services you offer, the more you’re going to have to market each one if you want to do each one, because if you don’t have a main focus and a main priority when it comes to your income and you’re trying to Think about it evenly distribute your effort and your time and your energy and your marketing and all that good stuff between a whole bunch of different services.

That is one of the clearest indicators to me of someone who’s going to struggle because I’ve seen it over and over. So, you need to actually focus on your service, the main service you want to do, maybe to spend that time and energy dialing your website there or your flyers or your social media posts or whatever you’re doing, and you master your messaging for that [00:16:00] service.

Okay. This is a good one and we’re going to get deep into that marketing. So if you too, if your biggest concern is getting clients, whether you haven’t started, you’re trying to get started or you’ve been doing it for a while and you don’t have the clients you want data versus Drama! You need to live in your numbers.

Now this one’s, all right, maybe a little bit granular and it doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone, but people that are serious, like I said, about either wanting six figures or a full time income or at least one or two consistent clients, especially quickly, you need to know what’s going on in your numbers so you can make decisions.

Not your feelings, your guessing, and your I thinks, like, I think I did a lot last week. I don’t think Instagram’s getting me clients or my personal favorite. [00:17:00] This doesn’t work. Literally things I hear. So if one of your marketing tactics isn’t getting you clients, you need to know how to identify what’s working, what isn’t working, and then be willing to improve it, or change it.

So a lot of new personal chefs come to me and say, I’m really struggling. And I say, okay, tell me about your potential clients. Like, who are they? Like I said before, is it families? Is it seniors? Is it high income couples with no kids? Okay, who’s your potential client? Tell me about your marketing plan.

What’s in it? Like, where are you going to market? What are you going to, are you going to do Facebook? Are you going to post how many times a week? Are you going to do how many calls to actions? Are you, how many clients do you want? What is your goal? [00:18:00] And then where did you get any clients you’ve already had?

And my last question for them is, tell me what you’ve done to market in the last week. Tell me how many people you’ve talked to.

What I hear the most from the strugglers are either they’re just throwing spaghetti at the wall, hoping it sticks. They’re just going from one thing to another, like they’ll post on social media a couple of times, and then they’ll go to one networking thing, like three months ago. And then they, the worst one is that when I see someone who’s struggling because they thought when they put up a website.

They were just going to be flooded with clients. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to who even put off publishing their website because they’re not ready for all the clients yet. And spoiler alert, because I don’t want you to struggle with this. I don’t want you to fall into this trap. A [00:19:00] website is passive.

Talking to someone is active, right? So a website just sits out there and it is a slow burn. It will take time to come up in Google search near the top so that people actually see your website. And that is only if you’ve set up your website right with solid SEO strategies. Otherwise, basically what you have is a digital business card.

Nobody is going to go there unless you send them there. Kind of like handing someone a business card, right? You could tell someone, Oh, you can check me out on my website, but people aren’t going to find you. As if by magic on the internet, again, unless you’ve set all the stuff up properly, really dialed in the SEO, have all the posts you need to have, have the software you need to have, and even then it will take time.

So again, this kind of comes back to not having a plan to follow and being able to evaluate. So basically [00:20:00] these people aren’t doing that. So they don’t really have any idea of what’s working and not working. So they don’t know where to spend more time and energy, or they don’t even have a schedule. And that’s where we start getting into.

And this is just a human thing. And these are just behaviors. I’m not asking anyone to change on a deep internal level. These are just behaviors that we can change. These are just things to learn about ourselves because sometimes. Oftentimes for people, we’re all human beings. It feels like we’ve done a lot and not gotten any results, right?

So we get disappointed, we get discouraged. And that is when I see people, they think either nothing works or it doesn’t work for them, or they blame it on the economy or. blah, blah, blah, or anything except just for the actions that they’re taking or not taking. So I see people who are being successful just do it very by the data.

They have their plan, [00:21:00] they do what their plan says, they look at if it’s working or not, and they are able to tell if it’s the marketing that they’re doing, if it’s how good they’re doing it, and Or if it’s just not something that works for them and or in their area. For instance, let me give you an example.

That’s getting a little, I told you I was going to get a little complicated into the marketing stuff. But, um, if you want to use Facebook. And your plan is that you’re going to post daily on a business page and you have worked on it and you know, you have strong messaging and strong calls to action.

That’s where you tell people to contact you, how you say it, and you’re going to go for 30 days or 60 days or whatever. And after the time that you have decided to do it, you can look back and see. That yes, you did everything you said you were going to do. You did your daily posts. They were good. You had your calls to actions, whatever.

And maybe you only have 35 page followers. [00:22:00] You can see in your analytics that Facebook’s only showing your posts to three people at a time. And. At the end of the day, you know, you have not gotten any clients from Facebook, what you’re doing on Facebook. So you can look at that and you see, you know what, I did not get the results I wanted, which was at least one new client.

So again, if you. you know, learned how to do Facebook and you’re pretty confident that you kept to this posting schedule that you planned, you know, you were doing good, strong content. Then you make an educated data driven decision to put your time and energy into a different way to get clients. Now, this is very different from the people I see who can’t get clients because they go into it thinking, Oh, I’m on Facebook.

I can post about my business on Facebook and that’ll be easy. So they post a couple of times and then they [00:23:00] kind of forget about it. And then a couple of months later they post a couple of times and then they decide that Facebook obviously doesn’t work because they didn’t get any clients. Well, I have to tell you, I’ve worked with people who’ve gotten fully booked doing nothing except for only Facebook or people who are fully booked doing Only with their website.

They don’t do any social media. Or they get clients through one networking group that they go to consistently, or almost any way, like I literally can’t think of it, but there’s so many different ways. And again, the thing they all have in common, it’s not the platform. It’s the experience. They decided on what they were going to do.

They learned how to do it. They committed to it for a reasonable amount of time, which is not putting three posts up. Now, don’t get me wrong. Okay. Then wait, hang on. So don’t like just put up three posts. They do what they say they’re going to do. They give it a [00:24:00] reasonable amount of time and then they can look at it and they can see either I did what I needed to do.

It’s starting to get results. I need to improve or. I am good at this. It’s really working on the platform, but it is not getting me clients and they can drop it and decide to do something else from a place of the numbers. Live in your numbers, not just how it feels until you see the results you want. So again, I’m not saying that they’re perfect, but again, it’s easier to see.

Did they follow their plan? Did they do the work? Did the platform not work for them or did they fall off their plan? Do they need to get better? Do they need to change what marketing they’re doing? People have been successful almost every different way that you can think of. And when I talk to someone who’s struggling again, it’s usually because they don’t have a plan or they’re not doing.

what they know they should be doing. Remember back to that planning and action. Action is the only thing that’s gonna get us cooking. [00:25:00] So that was a whole lot of things, and I said a lot. And let me give you just a quick rundown of what those things were. The people who I have seen be successful have these things in common.

They make decisions. solidly and move on to the doing part. They don’t get stuck up in the planning and stuff. They either have or they find people to support them in what they’re doing with having their own business. They either learn to do a thing they don’t know or they hire out like for the website or the marketing or whatever.

They do not with paid ads. That is a much later down the road strategy. They track and evaluate what they’re doing so that they know it’s working to get clients, it’s going to work, or they need to do something different. So I know that’s a lot. And if you need help with any of these, you can hit subscribe so that you never miss.

It’s one of my weekly videos here on YouTube or wherever you’re [00:26:00] watching this. I also repost them to Facebook. And if you want more help than that, the link to the Personal Chef Business Academy is below. I have completely dedicated my business to helping passionate cooks just like you find success with your personal chef business without confusion, without overwhelm, and basically a lot faster than I did.

Because I’m telling you, the clients are out there. And they’re hungry for what you’re cooking.

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