Taking the Plunge


My youngest daughter decided to start her own food catering and cooking class business last week. Her love of food and desire to be her own boss has motivated her to get up on the diving board and jump in feet first.

I could not be prouder.

Now I get to offer my daughter many of my marketing ideas so she can put some of them to the test. I will help her get the word out and to find creative ways to market the services she will be offering. She has the cooking chops and personality to be a great success. You can read about her first day hanging out her shingle at this link at Fanfare.

This took me back to the first day when I started working with my wife with our bakery business back sometime around 1975. It was a very different time and we too had helpers and advisers too. Some of the advice we received is still current just the tactics are new.

Here is some of that wisdom I received that I will share with Fanny:

Fanny Slater takes the
plunge and stars FanFare
Food Catering
DELIGHT THE CUSTOMER: Give your customers a fabulous experience with your food. Always over deliver and find special ways to delight them.

KNOW YOUR COSTS: Understand what it costs you to provide your products and services. Make sure you don’t under price yourself so that you are fairly compensated. Price is a signal and a low price can imply poor quality.

KEEP MARKETING: You can't market your business too much. Constantly find opportunities to tell your story and to get the word out. In building awareness and clearly communicating your offering, you will find opportunities coming your way.

NEVER STOP MARKETING: You can never stop marketing your business. Wal-Mart does more than $1 billion dollars every day in sales yet they advertise and promote themselves more than the competition. Marketing isn't advertising but story telling and getting noticed. 

SAY NO OFTEN: Say no to plenty of work that doesn’t fit your core competency or criteria. Run the business don’t let the business run your life. Be clear what business you are in and don’t take every opportunity just because it is in front of you.

DIFFERENTIATE YOUR BRAND: Find ways to always do something unexpected and stand out from the competition. Sometime it will cost you a little but it’s a great investment in making your brand stand for something special. Don't worry about competitors. Find ways to be so different that you aren't put into the same category with them. 

CONSIDER THE POWER OF PARTNERS: When you can work with others who have big networks, you may find a chance to reach into those networks and find new business. Consider this a scaffolding approach where you grow and climb with others.

OFFER TO HELP: Find reasons and opportunities to help others and put lots of great karma out in the world. It isn’t a cliché. The universe is watching. It is the right thing to do.

ORGANIZE AND PLAN: You need to be incredibly efficient and effective with your time. Don’t waste it on things that are non-productive and won’t take you in the path you are heading. Structure much of your day but leave some planned time to day dream. It’s good for the business and your mental health.

BE LIKE A MOTH:  A business that is heading in the right direction is like a moth finding a light. You may go in the wrong direction but always know where your north star is leading you. And when in doubt, follow your heart.

I will report on my daughter’s progress from time to time through my blog. In the first few days of starting to get the word out, she has had close to half a dozen offers to caterer or work with different people over the next few months.

The universe’s stomach has been growling. Time to caramelize those onions and take your leap into your tomorrow. 

Watch these AWESOME videos she created about cooking classes and corporate catering. 

If you are live in the Wilmington, North Carolina area, you can reach Fanny for cooking classes and catering at fannyslater@gmail.com or at http://fanfarefoodie.wordpress.com/

Note: When I am not kvelling (Yiddish for a show of pride) about my daughters, wife or family, you can find me jumping into the deep end of marketing. If you know someone who might enjoy swimming along, please share my blog posts. Thanks. 

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