Guest Author - Jason Hodge
Personal chefs are invaluable commodities for the A-Lister, everyday working person and everyone in between. You don't have to be a millionaire to afford one just as you don't have to know culinary acrobatics to become one. If you're interested in becoming a personal chef, hold onto your hat as we explore the areas you'll need to consider on your quest to wear the motto "Have apron, will travel."
As with every successful business personal cheffing takes skillful preparation and preplanned troubleshooting to keep you out of hot water. Here's a surefire plan, art and science, that will equip you with the 'ins and outs' of preparing to be a world class personal chef.
[Make sure you write these questions and answers down. This will prove to be invaluable to you as you move forward towards becoming a personal chef.]
1. Start with your big picture and build back from there:
Describe what your business looks like fully grown and successful. What do you see? What does it feel like? What's the weather like? What sounds are going on around you? What aromas are in the air? Who's around you? What are you thinking at that time? When does your day start? How do you start your day? What did you eat for breakfast that morning? Why are you a personal chef? What's your vision? What's your mission? What all do you see for yourself and your clients? Who are your clients? What's your specialty?
What is it going to take to get you to that picture?
2. Isolate and itemize the details or components of your big picture by asking questions like:
What does a personal chef do? What does a personal chef need? How will you do what a personal chef does? Do you have everything you need? How do you know? Do you fully understand your industry? If not, what type of research are you going to need to do to understand your industry? Where will you do it? How will you get clients? Where will you shop? How will you insure that you get the best produce? What type of relationships are you going to need to establish? How much business can you handle? How much do you want to be able to handle? Where will you do your cheffing? Do you need a professional kitchen to work out of? Etc.
3. Design and build your structure:
What is the best structure for you? How do you best work and flow? Who are the governing bodies responsible for your industry? What do you need to know from them? How do/will you structure and protect yourself? What type of licensing, if any, is necessary and who do you talk to to get it? Are there any legal and/or health practices you need to follow? Do you need to be certified to do the job? Will you need to carry any type of insurance? If so, what are the costs involved? How do you need to set up your business? Should you have a sole proprietorship or should you incorporate? Where are your weak areas? What can you do about them? What is the process you'll need to go from getting a new client to being able to meet their needs from start to finish?
4. Understand your market and build your infrastructure:
What and who is your market made up of? What are the best ways to make the connection? What things must take place within your business to insure success? What type of paperwork and documentation will you need? What type of education or continuing education will be required? What are the daily, weekly, monthly tasks etc. that you'll need to do in order to stay on top of things and progress? Will you conduct ongoing research? If so, what will your research practices entail and what resources and tools will you use?
5. Connect the dots by filling in the blanks:
Based on your big picture, details, your industry, structure and marketplace you'll have to take your personal and professional inventory, see what's already in your arsenal, what you're lacking, where you can supplement it and take the steps to fill in your blanks. All of this will give you a working foundation and model supplying you with the necessary components to connect the dots and create the perfect picture of a successful personal cheffing business. From here you can take all that you've learned and transfer it over to a dynamic document called your 'Flexible Living Business Plan'.
In following this process you will see your vision, goals and objectives, to own and operate a successful personal cheffing business, mapped out in black and white in front of you. It will allow you to more easily chart your course to unlimited success.
Join me again as we continue to explore the world of personal cheffing together. Until next time...