111123 ED – Start your personal chef business roadmap
[00:00:00] There is a lot to consider and decide and then do when you are starting your personal chef business. And I’m going to walk you through it all right now. Hey there, Chef Shelly here. I’ve been a personal chef for over 15 years and when I’m not cooking for my own clients, I help passionate cooks just like you so that you can start your own personal chef business, get paid to do what you love on your own terms.
If you want that to hit the little bell and make sure you subscribe so that you never miss a weekly video so the first important thing and the difference between having your own personal chef business and Being an employee is really, it’s a cliche word, but entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, entrepreneuring, whatever.
The point is, why do you want [00:01:00] to do it? Why do you want to have your own business? Is it freedom, or money, or your schedule, or being your own boss, or whatever, it’s a little bit different for everybody. This is important because you will need to know this later. Not only will it help you make the right decisions so that you’re happy with your business, But also, it will fuel you later when things maybe get a little difficult.
It will also keep you focused. It’s really what defines it as being your passion. Because listen, if you really wanted to, you could… If you just wanted to cook and get paid for it, you could cook at McDonald’s. Right? If that’s what it was all about. But I’m betting you don’t want to do that. So, why do you want to do this?
Entrepreneurship is very different than being an employee. All the benefits of it, of being your own boss, deciding your own [00:02:00] schedule, Setting your own pricing, cooking the food you want to make, working so that you make as much money as you want to make all those benefits, right? They also come at a cost and that doesn’t mean cost as a negative.
It just means there is an exchange, right? You do have to make the decisions and you have to be responsible for everything, right? And to be honest, it’s not easy. And that’s why most people don’t do it and why a lot of people who try to do it fail at it, honestly. So set yourself up for success and start working on your mindset, the mindset of an entrepreneur.
Get used to setting goals, work on your time management, be a planner, organize your business. Honor your commitments to yourself and other things like that. That is all under the heading of entrepreneurship and how that’s a little [00:03:00] bit different than being an employee and just showing up at a 9 to 5, right?
The second big area that you need to focus on when starting your own personal chef business is actually the business details. You want to design your business so that you love it. Because… If you, like, don’t want to work nights, weekends, and holidays, then you probably don’t want to offer catering because that’s when catering jobs are.
But, if you get bored doing the same thing over and over again, working by yourself and stuff, then you’re probably not going to be interested in doing regular weekly meal prep services, right? So, Decide on what you want for your business, things like that, that helps you make those decisions that help you build your business the way you want it to be so that you’re happy with it.
And once you decide on the services you want to do and when you want to work, then pick the [00:04:00] pricing that falls in line with your area and your services and will make you the money that you want to make, right? This is your business. You get to make. All the decisions. So make sure you’re keeping in mind that why we talked about before, that’ll help you again, build it.
So you’re actually going to be happy with your business instead of being just as miserable as you are and what you’re doing now, whether that’s a job or no job or Just a career field or whatever, right? Choose a specialty that you love cooking. Decide on who the clients are that will love that food. And that you’ll love working with, right?
Because, spoiler alert, this will help you a lot with your marketing. And we’ll talk about that. Check your more business details, your city and your state. Check because it’s different [00:05:00] everywhere. I get this question all the time. I don’t know what business license you need in John Day, Oregon Do you know who does John Day?
So call your city look on their website find out if they want you to have a business license It will be very obvious and very clear. And again, it is different everywhere. So just check locally and see if you need a business license. If you decide you want an LLC for your business entity that’s run through your state.
You do need, no matter where you are, liability insurance. And you will want to get food safety certified. It’s not a lot. It’s cheap. It’s easy. It’s, I highly recommend it. Finally, you definitely, again, no matter what type of business you’re setting up or any of the other decisions you make, you’ll want to have a business checking account.
These are some of the things you set up so that you have a professional business. So you get all the benefits of being an [00:06:00] entrepreneur and a business owner, like being able to write your expenses off your taxes and all the things, but you need to set up your business properly to be able to do that. And of course a personal chef business.
This is a cooking business. Always be working on improving your skills. Always be working on building your recipe collection, practicing and improving your services, whether that’s catering, romantic dinners for two, regularly scheduled meal prep services, cooking classes, whatever services you’re offering.
Always work to make them better. The third area that you need to focus on is those services. So, let’s decide that you want to do personal chef services, also known as meal prep services. Get a system down for that, right? So, how much do you make for, [00:07:00] how much is it going to cost? How long is your cook day going to take?
How do you shop? What is the packaging system? What is all your paperwork you need for each cook day? Are you going to do labels? How are you going to do those so that they’re going to be consistent? So, I’m going to go ahead and show you how you can make your cooking days consistent every time. All those things so that your cooking days, again, are consistent.
The same thing goes if you want to cater. Decide what type of catering you want to do. There are a million different kinds, and there are similarities between them. Like, there’s similarities between a casual buffet for a hundred people versus a multi course sit down dinner for eight. But there are a lot of big differences too.
So work out some sample menus, figure out your costs So you can decide on your pricing and then what are your systems? For your cating event. What are you going to need ahead of time? What are you going to use for a contract? Are you going to use [00:08:00] contracts? What do you need to know from the client? Are you going to get a deposit?
How much? You know, how are you going to take payment? There are a tons of details and you need to figure these all out before you take a catering job. You do not practice on the paying clients. That is is not professional. And any other service you want to offer, whether it’s cooking lessons or kitchen organization or recipe development, get a system down ahead of time and practice so it’s smooth.
And then, of course, marketing! Once you have all those three down, it’s time to start taking clients! By now you’ve had your specialty decided and you know where you are, so what kind of people like the kind of food you want to do and where are they? So that gives you an idea of where you need to be to be in front of them.
And that goes for whether that’s online, Or in real life [00:09:00] and then put this in a plan, stick to like three different ways about what you’re going to do, how often and what you’re expecting to get for results, whether that’s inquiries or number of clients or whatever, and then evaluate it because listen, if you’re spending 10 hours a week on Instagram and it’s been three months and you’ve never gotten an inquiry, Either Instagram isn’t working for you where you are, or you need to do it differently.
So don’t just keep doing the same thing and not getting clients. And don’t do something for 10 minutes and quit because you think it doesn’t work. The most important thing in your marketing for getting clients for your personal chef business is to make sure you are doing Active things. And this goes again for in real life and online.
Just putting up a website and [00:10:00] sitting back for people to flood your doors. It doesn’t happen. A website is great. It’ll work for you 24 hours a day, sort of, but it just hangs out there and does stuff. It is not the same as actually having conversations with people again. What you can do in real life or online, whatever you decide that you want to do in your business plan to find the people that you know where they are because you know them.
They like your food. Finally, of course, there is sales. When you have people that are interested in your services because you’ve been getting out there in your marketing and having conversations with people, you need to have a solid grasp on explaining your services, what the benefits are to the client, your pricing, exactly how it works so that you can talk about it in a compelling way that gets people excited to hire you.
You need to have a complete onboarding process for new [00:11:00] clients, like if it’s a meal prep services client, a food questionnaire so you can find out what foods they hate so you don’t give them. Whole list of foods that have onions in them. And then they tell you, well, they need a new list of 50 more entrees because they don’t like onions.
Now you figure that out ahead of time. You need. You know, if you’re doing catering, you need an events checklist so that you know exactly what the client’s providing and exactly what you’re doing. So your whole client onboarding process for whichever service you’re going to do. This too helps the client know, like, and trust you as soon as possible so that they are comfortable with you and happy to keep paying you and refer you.
Big helpful in your sales and marketing is get those testimonials and ask for referrals. And that’s it. Just lather, rinse, repeat. Easy peasy, right? Easy for me to say, right? I know this [00:12:00] is a lot to try to keep track of and I know I talk really fast. So I made a handy dandy checklist for you that just lists this all out There is a link by this video that will take you to the page where you can get it so that you can get Organized and start your personal chef business the way you want it to be so that you love it Because I’m telling you the clients are out there and they are hungry for what you’re cooking