Whether you live in Peoria, Illinois, Tallahassee, Florida or elsewhere, there are a few common steps you need to take to find out what the requirements are for your area and how to obtain whatever credentialing you need to make your dreams of becoming a personal chef a reality.
Today what you're going to learn is:
Where to start.
Who to call.
What to ask to get your ball rolling.
Where To Start
Before you make any moves and start dishing up food for clients start by mapping out your geography of operation and the scope of your business venture, offerings and desired growth.
Which areas/cities/counties do you plan on doing business in?
This is an important question to ask yourself. Each area may have its own way of categorizing/classifying, licensing and permitting your business. You want to make sure that you're following their guidelines when you're operating in their domain.
What all do you plan on offering your clients?
There are some things that you can offer in your services that would not fall under the structure of a personal chef; and, the things you offer that don't, may need further licensing and permits for you to be legitimate and/or legally add them to your business. A great example of this would be catering, where you're preparing foods off-site and transporting them to your client/event location. Most of the places I've checked state that if foods are to be prepared off-site, you would have to prep them in a commercial kitchen [a kitchen that has been inspected and licensed by the health department to run commercially].
Who To Call
Call City Hall. That's always a great starting place. Here's why...
City Hall can always point you in the right direction of the department[s] you need to contact in order to do legal business in their jurisdiction. If they don't know a specific answer to your line of questions, it's their business to know who to direct you to. Start there and expand on your research. You may find along the way that you get extra added, business building, bonus tips and resources.
I was surprised back when I contacted my city to find out that they didn't even require a food handler's license in my county. The state I lived in before required the license and then some. It pays to make the right call.
What To Ask
These are probably your easiest and most profitable set of questions in this whole process and ones that can get you the best information for your profession to exponentially multiply your growth potential; but there's a catch, there's a specific way you have to approach it!
When you contact your city or the cities you plan on doing business in, approach it from this direction:
I want to offer my personal chef services in this city and need to know where to begin and what to do. Can you help me?
Let me tell you what this approach does.
It allows the person on the other end of the phone to:
- -be your hero,
-feel useful and needed
-engage their specialized information [which increases their personal sense of value]
and most importantly...
-it opens the door for them to share business building, road map shortcuts with you [it can come in these forms]:
- key organizations to get involved with
key contact people
major/minor event days [where potential clients will be present], etc.
- key organizations to get involved with
and it sounds like this, "If you think that information was great, let me really blow your mind with this!"] many, many people like to feel that they've made valuable and valued contributions to those they interact with. When you give them the platform to do that for you, more often than not, they'll shine. [This isn't 100%, but it's always worth the invitation.] You just have to be willing to wade through hearing the information you've already heard, for the umpteenth time [without interrupting and finishing their sentences. What that will do is shut down the well of their desire to help and, in turn, create a wall. At that point, you'd be lucky to get anything else out of them that's of future value to you]. Keep their information flowing on your behalf and harvest the gems along the way.
Now you know the components of making the right call for you. You know where to start, who to call and what to ask.
As always, it's been my pleasure sharing these business building tips with you. Until next time...