There are many challenges when it comes to running a business in today's world, but figuring out how to market a small catering company doesn't have to be one. In fact, it's relatively simple to market a small business, considering most new clients will likely come as references from existing ones.
- Figure out your target market. The first thing you need to do is decide who your customers are. Do you want to cater for business meetings, parties or weddings? If you don't know who to market to, it's pretty hard to do.
- Be realistic with your resources. If you're catering out of a one-bedroom apartment, you may not have the resources or manpower to cater large events. Don't bother hanging up fliers outside a convention center that holds 500 people.
- Set a marketing budget. Whether it's $250 or $25,000, you need to set aside a certain amount of money dedicated to marketing your business and stick to it.
- Get with the times. The way of marketing is digital, so jump on the information highway and get with it. All those social networking sites your kids or little brothers are talking about–you need to be on them, too. Today's businesses need a presence on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, just to name a few. Just set up an account and allow the program to search your email for addresses. Many of the people you already talk to will probably have an account as well. Once you have an account set up, you can send out digital notices about promotions for your business. It's free marketing–just do it.
- Network in person. Never underestimate the power of relationships in business. People want to do business with people they know. Make sure you always have business cards handy when you go to large events, whether it's personal or business. When you're a business owner, every event has the potential to bring you face to face with future customers.