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Im a cook and I'd like to start a side line business as a personal Chef. I know the cooking part but I'm not sure how to find clients. Any advice.
Posted by
Asked on April 9, 2017 1:25 pm

Good question and one that many side hustle business owners face.

I would first like to say that cooking is the actual core work or what I like to call the technical persona. That said to be success as a personal chef you will also have to master the roles of the CEO (external and future orientation) as well as the President (Internal and historical orientation). Here is a link to a post that goes into more detail on this topic. Be sure you are willing to undertake the activities of the CEO and President because it takes a lot more than being a good cook to be a personal chef.

With respect to how to find customers, I might recommend starting with a tool called Business Decisions that is available at some libraries. Assuming you have access to the tool, create an account and set a location to start with. Be sure to set up the defined area around the map for as far as you are willing to travel to service a customer. While there are many cool reports you can run, I recommend running the Thematic Map Report. In the Category section, select Landscape to see a color-coded map of the different Landscape Segments within your search area.

Read through the descriptions of each of the Landscape Segments in your search area. Locating the manual in the site is difficult so I might suggest looking in and download the “Business Decisions Landscape Segment Manual”. This manual will help with other market segmentations efforts as well.

Read through the various Landscape Segments and look for ones in your search are that would most likely be your best target market.

When you find the neighborhoods where your most likely Landscape Segment live using a tool like Business Decisions or through other methods, I’d suggest using one of the many free or low cost Brand Awareness strategies to create awareness of your service in that specific target rich area. Here is a link to a post that goes into more detail on the topic of free and low cost marketing idea.

Additionally, I’d go to other businesses where your target Landscape Segment frequents and see if you can create a value proposition for the business to share their customer database or at lease allow you to cross market to them. If you have a brochure you may want to see if these locations might let you place a “Take One” box near their register. Here is a post on employing the Take One box.

At the very lease if you specialize is organic or vegan fare go to markets that specialize in organic or vegan products and spend a Saturday afternoon handing out your business card. If you specialize in heart healthy meals do the same in front of a gym or cardiologist. You get the picture.

Hope these suggestions help.

Posted by Steven Imke
Answered On April 9, 2017 4:30 pm