If you are a great cook—and you love to have dinner parties—perhaps you have thought about starting a small catering company. This is actually not a bad idea, particularly if you can find a way to work out of your own home (or get hired to work at large events where they have their own industrial kitchen). This is a great way to keep costs low (so you can focus on the extremely sensitive food costs and tight profit margins).
As with all businesses, though, one indispensable area of investment is marketing and advertising. It cannot be underscored enough the importance of effective marketing. But advertising is expensive; or, rather, mass media advertising used to be very expensive.
The good news is that you can market your catering company in even the subtlest, but clever, ways.
One of the easiest ways to market a catering a company is to do tasting events. When you find someone that might be in need of your service you can give them your card or, better yet, collect their information with the expressed purpose of contacting them later to do a free tasting. Then you can schedule a day where you can cook for them in their home, invite them to your kitchen, or whatever arrangement you find appropriate.
And you can save money and energy by anticipating heavy catering seasons (late spring to late summer, thanks to weddings, graduations, family reunions, etc). Have an open house with your specialty menus on feature. Have a bridal/wedding tasting event where couples who are planning a wedding can all come in at the same time to sample your menu.
You can also find a community event where you could open a booth to provide members of the community with a few samples of what you do. This helps, also, to spread your business through word-of-mouth in a restricted and controlled environment.
CLEVER EVENT TACTICS
When you are actually hosting or serving at an event—particularly a wedding—you might consider wrapping party favors, gift baskets, or other simple items (maybe even the silverware rollup) with Double Face Satin Ribbon that has your logo or company name emblazoned across it. This is particularly helpful when you use it with an item that someone will take home.