Building a Strong Support System
Many aspiring personal chefs leave career on corporate America to follow their dream of turning their culinary skills into a profitable business. Not only do they leave behind the stresses and demands of their former careers, often they leave behind the inherent support system of the office environment. Success often depends on building a support system to help you through inevitable dips.
Often you can find your first and possible biggest supporters within your own family. Perhaps it is your spouse and children or your parents or siblings that will be your initial cheering squad. These people who are closest to you can provide a good sounding board for new ideas, a word of encouragement when the going gets tough and a willing ear to evaluate new ideas.
Former colleagues and close friends may also be valuable allies in your new business venture. These people already know you and have your best interest at heart. They can be walking advertisements, telling their friends and family about your new venture in addition to providing encouraging words.
It is also valuable to begin to create a network of associates who can provide a safety net and a fresh perspective for you. You may find it valuable to align with other personal chefs in your area. If you are a member of a personal chef organization perhaps there are already organized groups of local chefs meeting on a regular basis. The United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA) has many local chapters organized to allow local chefs to support each other.
It can be comforting to know that there is back up available should you ever find yourself unable to fulfill a commitment. Local chefs can also provide insight into the specifics of you particular market. Meeting with other chefs on a regular basis allows you to share ideas, goals, and strategies. Rather than worrying about being competitive, I have found that the local chefs in my chapter are a fantastic support for my business.
Another possibility is to gather with a group of local business people to serve as mentors to each other. Consider meeting weekly or bi-weekly to discuss goals, provide accountability and support each other. There are formal groups like BNI who also focus on referrals or you could start an informal group on your own.
Friends and family, business associates or other chefs, there are many people who can form part of your network. The important thing is forming a strong support system – the success of your business may depend upon it!
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