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(Oct 4, 2020) How long can I work under the table before making my personal chef business legal?

You're killing me here. You should never work under the table when doing something as risky as cooking food that others are eating.

You MUST protect yourself with liability insurance. What if you're cooking at the client's home and burn the house down? What if your client has a lethal allergy and you forgot to read the label on the mustard container to see if it contained the allergen? What if you cut off your fingers, don't have medical insurance, and can't work for a year?

You MUST be a true professional and run your business while holding a business license or tax certificate. A business caught operating without a license could be forced to cease operations. In some instances, a business might have to wait out a mandatory probationary period or worse, a city can refuse to grant a license to the business.

When running a service business, your reputation is everything. Clients are less likely to refer an unprofessional business.

You can't post about your illegal...

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(Sept 27, 2020) What part-time job could I do while building my personal chef business?

You can’t decide to become a personal chef today, then start full-time tomorrow. Not only do you have to work at building a clientele, but you also need time to build up systems of efficiency in your business.

Part of building your business could be gaining education and experience from other food service companies as you get your personal chef business off the ground. Of course you could work in restaurants, but have you considered applying at local catering companies or banquet halls? 

Caterers often have a high staff turnover, so if you can show up and become a reliable, active employee who wants to learn more, you will do well. The kitchen is not the only place to learn.

Being a personal chef is not just about cooking well, it's also offering a service. Working front of house at a catering company will allow you direct interaction with guests where you can get a better understanding of their needs. You can also learn a lot about how events are run by working front of...

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(Sept 20, 2020) Are business cards dead in the new COVID world?

When starting out in business, having business cards printed is at the top of the checklist. How else would you share with someone at a networking event about your business?

COVID obviously changed how we network with others, but really, wasn't the business card already dead?

If you meet someone at a party, you will usually give them your phone number or have them connect with you on Facebook or Instagram. You aren't handing them a card with your contact info printed on it, so why would you do this in your business? Learn more about getting leads into your business, click here.

Surprising to me, going to my first Chamber of Commerce mixer, I was met with a couple hundred people all carrying stacks of business cards. Their goal was to hand out their own stack in exchange for others' business cards. I did arrive with my own stack of business cards as well, but the thought of this whole exchange seemed antiquated. I took my new stack of business cards home, entered them into my...

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(Sept 13, 2020) Concentrate on the business, not the business cards

I heard this line on the Pat Flynn's podcast today, "concentrate on the business, not the business cards."

The statement felt perfectly applicable for many starting a new business. Instead of networking to find clients, a chef new in their personal chef business will spend hours perfecting their logo or the colors on their website. Yes, branding is an important detail, but it doesn't make direct money for your business.

Branding is used to create a memorable impression of your company. It's a way of distinguishing your business from the competitors and clarifying what it is you offer that makes your company the better choice. Learn more about branding your business, click here.

The question is, "at what point in your business should you concentrate on branding?" I'm of the opinion that branding should come later in the business, as much as twelve months after you receive your first client. 

Everything I read about building a business starts with branding as...

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(Sept 6, 2020) Customizing Personal Chef Menus for Each Client

Potential clients may ask, "can you send over a sample menu for my event of 12 guests celebrating a 40th birthday," or "do you have a sample menu for your weeknight dinner meal prep?"

In my personal chef business, the problem in providing a sample menu is that I create a custom menu for each client. It just wouldn't be possible to have one menu for ten different families. One family will be gluten-free and doesn't want to see tomatoes on the menu while another eats vegan and has an allergy to nuts. How would one menu satisfy everyone? As well, produce changes with the seasons and that sample menu would have to be continually evolving.

Clients hire personal chefs for their meal customizing abilities. They want to feel that their menu options are unique to their personal lifestyle. 

The same holds true with a sample menu for an event. There are often allergies or dietary restrictions with one or more guests, so the sample menu wouldn't help at all. 

To overcome this obstacle...

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(Aug 30, 2020) Your subconscious mind is sabotaging your business

You're starting to see success in your personal chef business then suddenly your mind starts rationalizing why you should get out of the business. Your mind doesn't feel safe and wants to shake off the discomfort, escaping back into safe zone. 

Self-sabotage involves behaviors or thoughts that keep you away from what you desire most in life. It’s that little voice saying “you can’t do this."

Your conscious mind is saying, "This is what I want. I want to make more money. I want to bring in new clients. I want to quit my job and do my personal chef business full-time."

Meanwhile, your subconscious mind is saying, "What are you crazy? This is horrible and we're going to end up broke."

The conscious mind wants you to fulfill your potential and the subconscious tries to sabotages you every step of the way. The subconscious mind exists to keep you safe, not to self-actualize. 

When trying to attain a goal you've never achieved before, such as starting a...

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(Aug 23, 2020) 10 mistakes I made at the start of my personal chef career

When I first started as a personal chef, I had no mentor. I didn't know anyone else who was a personal chef and I couldn't find any firm answers online. I had to figure it all out on my own. Obviously, I made a ton of cringe worthy mistakes. I'd love to share them with you so you don't repeat them.

#1 Charging by the hour

For my very first client, I charged $25 an hour.  I soon became more efficient and...wait, I'm still getting paid $25 an hour. I was thinking like an employee and not a business owner. Employees are paid by the hour and now I was a business owner.

After much study, I learned that personal chefs are not paid by the hour. They do not price their services like restaurant chefs either, since food costs are not calculated as part of the meal. More about pricing, click here.

#2 Accepting anyone and everyone as a client

Not everyone is a good fit for your business. You have to take into account whether you can accommodate the client's menu requests following the...

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(Aug 16, 2020) Social Media 101 for Personal Chefs

Social media can be a powerful tool to attract leads, build relationships and possibly earn sales. It can also be a distraction and a drain on your time, energy and mindset.

If it’s taking up all your time and there’s not a lot of audience engagement, it’s not helping attract and engage your ideal clients. Just because other people are doing something on social media, doesn’t mean you have to as well. Your job is to figure our what attracts YOUR ideal client, not to copy what helps someone else attract theirs.

Learn more about getting leads into your personal chef business, click here.

How do you use social media for business?

  • Step 1: Find out where your ideal clients are spending most of their time, not where you like to spend your time.

Make a list of current and past clients that you most enjoyed working with. They are the ones who appreciated your expertise, didn’t question your prices, and received tremendous benefit from working...

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(Aug 9, 2020) Introducing Kiki Coll, Personal Chef

Kiki Coll of Hippe Chick Foods sat down and answered questions I thought would help you in your journey as a personal chef.

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.

Q: Share the name and location of your business, what you do, who are you clients.

A: Hippie Chick Foods, Wilmington, Delaware ~ Serving Up Groovy Recipes serving New Castle County, De.  and Delaware County, Pa. 

Hippie Chick Foods is a private chef service by Chef Kiki Coll,with an emphasis on vintage recipes. My foods incorporate the flavors, feel and most importantly, the memories of past decades.

A Side of Nostalgia with Every Bite! 

I take pride in using locally sourced ingredients from area farmer’s markets, farm stands, and other local product vendors, incorporating the Hippie food movement of farm to table. 

Farm to Table  ~...

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(Aug 2, 2020) Overcome fear of judgment and start your personal chef business

Fear of judgment is linked to the desire to be liked by all at all times. Obviously being liked by all is impossible, but the fear could still stop some from performing in new life experiences or expressing their true selves.

When someone makes a judgment about you, chances are that moments or days later, that judgment will leave their conscious awareness, but may still linger within you. We’ve all been affected at some point in our lives by something someone else said about us. Words can be hurtful and leave us feeling powerless and vulnerable.

In time, negative words and perceptions from others could begin shaping beliefs about ourselves. This can lead to fear of judgment by others and affect our ability to take risks and enjoy new life experiences.

The secret to overcoming fear of judgment is to get comfortable with your strengths and weaknesses. We're all good at some aspects of life, terrible at others. If you're aware of both, you’re less likely to...

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