I found myself combing the internet for hours, perusing various business plans and trying to figure out what needs to be included in my personal chef business plan. Turns out, it was a total waste of hours that lead to weeks then months of procrastination.
At this point in my career, ten years later, looking back at all that planning, I would call this "analysis paralysis". This is a phrase that describes when overthinking a situation delays ever getting started.
Yes, I fell into the trap of thinking I needed to create a detailed business plan before starting my personal chef business. What tax structure am I going to create? What are my income goals for the year? What is my mission statement?
Wow, looking back, these things are truly unimportant to my first client and do not play a part in the success of cooking for that first client! A detailed business plan is definitely not a requirement to begin a successful personal chef business.
Detailed business plans are for companies looking for funding. Those companies need to draw up detailed financial statements and extensive biographies of their work and educational experience so they can obtain small business loans. As a personal chef, you will not likely need a business loan to get started. The business plan you create is only for your eyes.
Knowing what I know now, I would sketch up a one-page business plan for myself that looks similar to this:
No, I wouldn't be planning out a logo. No, I wouldn't come up with a detailed financial summary of how much money I plan on making. Without real world experience, I won't know if my business concept works or if I'm targeting the right market.
Take the plunge before you feel ready
If I were to sum up the secret to success of any business, it would be to take the plunge before you feel ready. There's always going to be more research to do. If you're nervous about starting, then it’s tempting to turn preparation into a form of procrastination.
It's natural to be uncomfortable starting a new business and feel overpowered with a fear of failure. The first day at any job is scary. The truth is that if you continue to progress forward, you can't fail. Take that first step before you feel ready. The rest will fall into place.
Setting yourself up with a deadline to get started is easier said than done. To truly follow through with your start date, you need to tell other people about it so you'll be held accountable. Being held accountable will make you much much more likely to get things done.
It's wonderful to see perspectives on how others run their personal chef business. If you'd like to share your personal chef journey, I'd be honored to have you as the next guest post.