Whatever the economic climate, there’s one type of business that continues to be successful. Catering companies, whether providing sandwiches to offices or three-course meals to wedding guests, are always needed. Furthermore, the relatively low start-up costs mean these businesses can flourish even when budgets are tight.

The Four Musts of Starting a Catering Business on a Budget

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However, that’s not to say that if you decide to start a catering business it is guaranteed to do well. No one can promise your business will take off. But if you do decide to start a catering business on a budget, there are four essential considerations that will help it do just that.

1. Know the Market

As in every business, the first question you address shouldn’t be about which service you can provide but which service is needed. In cafe and delivery catering, this is doubly true as your stock has a shelf life. Make sure to do your homework to identify any gaps in the market before you decide on your company’s name.

2. Write a Business Plan

A business plan is essential when working on a budget. Included in this plan, alongside all the financials, should be the how and the when of all your licensing applications. Small businesses need to keep the reins tight, and getting permissions wrong can be costly.

3. Shop Second-Hand

Kitchen equipment is expensive, but fortunately you can easily acquire it second-hand. Check out food machinery auctioneers such as http://www.clarke-fussells.co.uk for cheaper options compared to buying new. Auctioneers and second-hand dealers can also be great places to pick up plates, cutlery and glasses too.

4. Network with Providers

As with every small retail business, success is a numbers game. You might wish to become an exclusive celebrity-wedding caterer, but for now you need to appeal to the masses. Get business cards printed and network at free-entry catering conferences. Call up local suppliers, offices, venues and wherever you intend to be and ask for a meeting.

Starting a catering business is no small feat. The hours are long and the work is hard, but if you have a good amount of experience, running a catering business can be a very achievable goal. Remember that staying within in your budget is essential for success, both when starting up and for the duration of your time in business.