How to Get the Word Out, now that you are in business, all is set and you are ready to start. There is just one question, where to start getting the ball rolling. There is the obvious advertising like Newspapers, leaflets, letterbox-drop, handouts, exhibition, mailing-lists, your own catering web-site, friends, word of mouth, special offers, and many more. Let's just have a look at some of them to find out what really suits your business. By now you will have decided in what catering niche you are specializing in. Maybe you have not quite decided yet and would like to try them all before you make a decision.
You will have joy to see them all, from the wedding reception to the clown birthday party, from the business function to the Collectors Annual meeting. This will be so much fun, to see the different expectations and needs. Here we go, how will you let them know that you have the catering service they need. Newspaper advertising - Just how many people really do read the papers, or look at the papers to find out who is doing what. The smaller functions would be well advertised in the local papers, while I personally think that bigger functions would attract more business if advertised elsewhere, possibly special publications.
Leaflets - Leaflets inserted into Newspapers will definitely stand out more than an ad in the paper, however that would also depend on the size of the ad. They have the advantage of being the right size to collect in a notebook or dairy. Letterbox Drop -I find that a letterbox -drop needs to be repeated at least 3 times before it becomes effective, there is always the risk that people assume it to be junk mail. Handouts -A great way to get the word around. If you have school age children, ask permission of the headmaster to hand out some information of your services. You never know, he might offer some space in the school newsletter for your advertising.
Ask if you can leave some business cards in the office for anyone to take if interested. Make sure that you pop in from time to time and restock the business cards. You might want to make some sample cakes (thinking of birthday parties) to present to the staff, they will be visible for a time to anyone entering the office, and creates a talking point. There are Exhibitions you could attend, a booth with all the info you have, sample cakes, photos you have taken, meal suggestions, and much more.
The publicity is great, especially since people come to visit the exhibitions are looking for information on that topic already. Mailing lists - You can buy mailing lists, specifically for this topic of catering. You will have to pay for this, and from experience, you will have to buy and mail a lot to make it worthwhile. I personally have not had much success with mail outs, while others have. Website - You could build your own website; what a great way to go. Here you have photos; you can have menus, introduce your staff if you have any, make your website your own, what your business is all about, what you want to archive, what you promise, what you guarantee. When you take photos of food, make sure that it looks the best, vibrant in colors and artistic. This is so flexible, and most of all, everyone these days is on the net looking for what they need. So why not take the opportunity to do so.
Send me a line if you need help with that, I have had the best help you can get. Remember, your web-site is a digital shop front, not brick and mortar, so go for it. Friends, Word of mouth - never to be underestimated. Invite your friend over for a sample party and show them at your own small exhibitions what you have to offer. This is a great way to get started. Special offers - These are essential to your up-and-coming business. Offers to a current customer - Get a discount on your next booking, to a business - if they book more than one event through your a special price will apply. You get the drift, be creative and get your imagination going. There are lots of ways to attract business and I am sure that by now you have some ideas already and can't wait to start.