How To Automate Your Business Without Much Effort

Are you working hard in your business only to find that you’re not making as much money as possible in your business? I used to feel the same way, so I did something about it. Instead of working on 4 hours a day on my business, I increased the amount of time that spent on my business to over 12 hours.

I know this may seem like a lot, but it’s something that needed to be done because I had just lost my job, I had rent to pay, I loss my girlfriend – all kinds of things were happening to me at the time. So I decided to strike back. In response, I started my own company, and automate everything about it so that I could earn more money than I’ve ever had before, all while having someone do the work for me.

This plan worked fantastically for me. I was able to play golf whenever I wanted to. I was able to sit back and watch TV all day, I had more time for my kids and spouse, and things were just going awesomely. You see in my opinion, automation is the key. The key to automating your business is to pick out certain things about your business and hire someone else to do it for you.

For example, I paid $60 a month for this order taking service so that I didn’t have to be the one over the phone taking orders (very unprofessional). Plus, I hated being on the phone trying to convince people into buying. This is something that I disliked immensely. I used to work at this collections call center and I hated every bit of it.

Anyway, I’m all about automating your business. This way you can spend more time doing the things that you love, all while having your business make money for you at the same time.

One other way that you can automate your chores of answering to customers is with an online help desk. People can submit tickets regarding their problems, and you can sit back and analyze the questions that people ask – giving you some time to think about the solution that you want to give to these people.

Automating your business is a must. Anyway that you can automate your business, go for it. These techniques for making your business a success is vitally important for long term growth of your business.

If you can get a website also, this will be a big plus also. Allowing people to sign up for your business services online decreases your overall cost of getting a lead, and decreases your overall cost of getting a sale.

Hopefully you will take these automation tips to the next level, and be able to really make money with the techniques here presented. They are simple and easy to use, and you should really follow them if you want to boost your sales and profits.

Good luck with using this technique to have the kind of success that you dream of. It will be more than worth it.

How to Build a Successful Catering Business

The catering world is a cut-throat place that requires a special combination of food knowledge, people skills and marketing savvy in order to succeed. There is no magic recipe for success. What it boils down to is hard work, humility, honesty and the ability to self-evaluate. If you aren’t able to view your business objectively, you won’t be able to see what areas need improvement and growth.

Be Humble

The very first thing that you will have to admit to yourself is that you don’t know everything. This is one of the biggest secrets of success for any business and also one of the hardest obstacles for many people to overcome. As soon as you can admit this, you can start surrounding yourself with people that have strengths in the areas where you are weak and your business will benefit exponentially.

Be Particular

Be picky when you hire staff. Remember that every person that you hire is going to represent you and your company in some capacity and if they don’t do it well, your business will suffer. It may cost you a little bit more to hire competent, qualified professionals but don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. The investment in good staff will pay huge dividends because you will have the knowledge that your end product is going to be great. Be confident enough to hire intelligent, capable people that may have strengths that you don’t and you will be able to delegate responsibilities and grow your business. The peace of mind that you will have will make them worth every penny.

Be Client-Oriented

When you are creating a proposal, remember that you are asking to be part of somebody’s special day. This isn’t about you and it doesn’t matter if you think that drinking red wine with fish is appalling or that an outside wedding in July is going to melt the cake. As the professional, it is certainly your job to point these things out tactfully, but if it’s what the client truly wants and it’s not going to damage your reputation, then go with it. Suggest fondant instead of buttercream if you’re doing the cake and make sure that the red wine that you provide is the best that the budget allows. It’s their day; help them make it what they want it to be. Certainly you have the option of retracting your proposal if the job is going to reflect badly on you but if it’s not a big deal, relax and have fun with it.

Another suggestion under this topic that will save you a huge eleventh-hour headache is to schedule a final meeting two or three days before the event. This way, you can review all of the details with the client and make sure that what you are doing is in line with what they are expecting. It’s much better to find the holes in the plan while you still have time to fix it rather than arriving at the event without the shrimp cocktail that they thought you were serving but nobody bothered to mention.

Be Professional

There are several points to be made here. The most important part of building a good reputation is to always do exactly what you say you will (or more) and do it well. Always be early because there’s nothing more stressful to a client than worrying that the caterer isn’t going to show up. Also, don’t be greedy and book so many events that things start to fall through the cracks. This will not only kill your business, it will drive you completely insane with stress. Finally, don’t take on projects that are beyond you. It’s great to expand your business but don’t use your clients as guinea pigs.

Network

Most people in the restaurant and catering business are very good people and you are more than likely going to have to work with them at some point. Build relationships with them by scheduling or attending networking sessions so that everybody can get to know one another.. They may be your competition but they are also your peers. By having your name floating reputably in the network pond, you are providing yourself with the opportunity to gain referrals. Other catering businesses may already have something scheduled for a day that a client has an event but if they know you and like you, it’s likely that they will refer that client to you. This is a two-way street; by referring clients to your peers when you can’t do a job, you appear professional and confident.

Have a Web Presence

The world is a mobile place and most people choose providers off of the internet. If your name isn’t in the hat, it isn’t going to be chosen. A website is no place to be cheap. You want your catering business to be ranked highly so choose a provider that will provide you with quality content. After your website is live, keep it fresh. You don’t need to have a ton of pages, but make sure that what you do have is professional, grammatically correct and interesting and informative to the reader. If writing isn’t your forte, hire somebody reputable to do it for you. A good content writer is a professional just like you are and won’t come cheaply, but quality content will get you ranked at the top of the search page and that’s where you want to be. Again, don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.

By following these simple tips, you will increase the chance that your catering business will be successful. Not every job will go off without a hitch but by being prepared and flexible, you will be more capable of dealing with those hiccups along the way. As stated previously, there is no magic recipe for starting a successful catering business but if you treat all people with fairness and humility and provide top-notch service to every client, you will soon be on your way to being a star in your profession.

Five Reasons Why Your Food Business Isn’t Succeeding

Is your restaurant or catering service completely booked but you aren’t turning a profit? Do you have a wonderful menu, but no business? The food industry is one of the toughest industries to succeed in. Competition is fierce and people are fickle. Because of this, you need to do everything possible as an owner to make sure that your business is running at maximum efficiency and providing the highest quality services in your niche.

Though people in our business fail every day, the reasons for their failure can often be attributed to just a few issues that are relatively easy to resolve.
Here’s a list of reasons why food establishments fade quietly into the sunset and what you can do to prevent it from happening to you.

1. Know your costs! This is probably the number one reason why any business fails. I’m not talking about knowing how much salmon is per pound. I’m talking about knowing how much salmon is per pound plus how much it costs you to cook it, sauce it, serve it and wash the dish that you serve it on. These are all costs that must be considered when pricing every dish. It doesn’t matter if you sell the most luscious salmon in town in quantities that keep an entire fishing fleet busy if you aren’t making a profit doing it.

Also, practice portion control. This is a frequent oversight when estimating cost, and a black hole into which your money silently falls. If you have priced a pasta dish based on an eight ounce portion but your chefs are serving twelve ounces at a time, you are losing money.

2. Advertise efficiently! Sticking flyers on windshields in random parking lots is a waste of time and money. Take the time to know your target group and use your advertising dollars wisely. Participate in activities that showcase food. Many towns have a “Taste of the Town” event. It costs little to enter and you are putting your name out there to people who are specifically looking for what you have.

Pick one business near to your establishment every week and deliver lunch to them for free. Use some of your lower-cost but delicious menu items. You are accomplishing two things by doing this; you are establishing yourself in your community and you are getting people to try your food. Word of mouth is absolutely the best advertisement.

Establish an excellent internet presence. In today’s technological world, people often choose providers right off of their cell phones. If your name isn’t in the hat, it can’t be picked. Make sure that every word on your site is spelled correctly and that the site looks professional. Update it regularly. This doesn’t have to cost a lot but it should be at the top of your advertising list. Offer a member’s list so that you can send special offers and news. Many places offer a free birthday dinner to members. You may invest in one free meal, but remember that people don’t celebrate their birthdays alone! For you caterers out there, consider perhaps offering a discount to repeat customers for parties of a certain size.

3. Make sure that your restaurant or catering business is appealing to customers. This includes having a clean, pleasing environment, well-groomed and well-trained staff and quality literature. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. If a guest walks into your establishment and is greeted by a clean environment and friendly, knowledgeable people, you have already won half the battle.

Make sure that any literature such as menus or brochures are clean and professional looking. You don’t have to use a professional printer, but make sure that everything is spelled correctly and is easy to understand. Define your foods and services well. Finally, keep the place clean throughout service. Little things like stocking the bathroom or wiping down the bar make a huge difference in a guest’s experience. You want your last guests of the day to be just as dazzled as the first.

4. Know your limits! Many people try to do too much. A restaurant or catering business can be tremendously successful with a small menu as long as everything on that menu is fabulous. Trying to incorporate too many choices raises food costs, increases waste and overwhelms the guest. Pick what you do best and do it perfectly every time.

5. Listen to your guests! Talk to them. A glitch in their meal doesn’t have to turn into a disaster. It is how you handle that glitch that will make all the difference. This is where having professional, well-trained staff will serve you well. Use guest comment cards and exit interviews (for caterers) and pay attention. Look for trends, and make adjustments as necessary. People are more than willing to tell you what they think if you just ask, and what they think is what determines whether or not you will succeed. You can’t please all of the people all of the time, but you must please MOST of the people all of the time.

Many food businesses fail simply because people jump into them without educating themselves, or because they are too hung up on their own ideas to listen to what the people they serve are trying to tell them. In order to succeed in this business, you always have to keep one eye on the customer and one on the bottom line. Educate yourself and keep your mind open to suggestions. It can be time-consuming and frustrating to do this but in the end, your business will flourish and you will be proud.