Catering Business Information – Foolproof Success Strategies

If you’re like an ever-growing number of small business entrepreneurs today, perhaps you’ve considered the benefits of starting a catering business. Even folks who don’t consider themselves to have a knack for cooking have been drawn to the freedom and flexibility of catering. For those who do like to cook, this could be a match made in Heaven.

In any event, a catering business can help you break free from the monotony of a desk job, or any other 9-5 for that matter, but you need to get your hands on some solid catering business information. The good news is that catering services are actually in growing demand. More and more people, businesses, and government establishments have recognized the benefits of having their events catered.

Catering for organizations is a win-win situation. Outsourcing the food allows organizations to focus on the event itself. And it presents a great opportunity for you and your new catering business. The forums are numerous and diverse. The event could be a conference, wedding, retirement celebration, or graduation party. You name it, and food is an integral part.

A common misconception is that it takes a certain type of person to run a catering business. There’s no question that it helps to be an extrovert. And a little business background couldn’t hurt. But the truth is that anybody can learn to be a caterer, and this exemplifies why you need to get your hands on solid catering business information before you begin.

Perhaps the best attribute you could possess as the head of a catering business is simply flexibility. Consider that one day you might be sponsoring a business meeting with executives in three piece suits. The tone would be more formal and “professional,” however defined. The very next day you could find yourself at a party of sorts, where perhaps someone is celebrating the end of high school, the completion of college, or perhaps the culmination of a forty year work career. Juxtaposed against all of that joy and exuberance could be the sadness that typifies the funeral you cater the following weekend.

As the breadth of catering opportunities grows, caterers find that they are dealing with folks in an increasingly broad range of circumstances. All told, simply being adaptable to adjust to the sentiments of a variety of clients can go a long way. Ply your trade with a sensitivity to the reason for the event and you’ll meet your customer’s needs better than if you simply showed up with great food without an appreciation for these “unspoken” factors.

Your business will live and die in accordance with your ability to bring aboard new customers. The best place to start is simply by creating a network of folks who know what you have to offer and are willing to spread the word. Remember that there are other people in the services industry who serve the same clients you’ll be seeking. You may want to introduce and align yourself with wedding planners, florists, bakers, card shops, and wedding stores. If you have some of your basic catering business information, such as promotional material, you can leave with them. This will help them remember you. But, rather than counting on them to refer you or use your services, you can make it a point to stay in touch, whether in person or by phone (or both).

If you really want to impress, consider the impact you’d make if you whipped up some samples of your best dishes and dropped by for a visit with a sampler plate. If you drop by to visit these folks after making a few contacts, actually sharing some of what you’d be providing to your common clients might just be what it takes for them to have faith in your abilities and to tip them over the edge and cause them to “roll the dice” on your catering business. Especially after doing something impressionable such as this, be sure to follow up with a phone call to “button up the sale.” When all else fails, simply ask them to use your services at their next event.

Share Our Business Information With Who?

Business information has traditionally been kept hush-hush. Typically it is only trusted to upper management and the finance department. Sharing such information was once an unspeakable sin. Today, things are quite different in the workplace. With authority and decision making being redistributed across the organization, employees at all levels find themselves deeply involved in the day-today running of the business. This increased involvement creates a need for more information.

Teams need good information in order to function effectively. A key role of today’s management is to make sure the team gets adequate business information in order to function effectively. Getting business information to the team that is timely, credible, relevant, and understandable presents a number of challenges. These challenges maybe internal to the team or external to the team. The benefits outweigh the challenges. Many organizations now have a practice of regularly sharing business information with all of their employees. Advantages include:

– Sharing business information will help employees to understand business fundamentals.

– Sharing business information helps employees see how their work contributes to the goals and objectives of the organization.

– Employees are better able to think beyond their job, department, or division.

The numbers can have a dramatic impact on the employees feeling of ownership.

These advantages help improve the teams’ problem-solving and decision-making skills. Managing the information needs of the team is a critical function of the team leader..

Sharing business information with an entire team requires asking some difficult, self-reflective questions. Taking the time to answer those questions will create the proper environment for the team. Successful team leaders know how to make the information meaningful for their team. They give meaning to the numbers so the team can answer the question, “How does this affect us?” Team leaders must think very carefully about what they want to do and why. They should consult some of the many books, articles, seminars, that are available on the topic of sharing business information.

The team leader must decide precisely what should be shared with the team. Team involvement is critical at this point. Take the time to introduce the topic at a meeting and explain why it is important. Allow people the opportunity to ask questions or raise concerns. Next, ask the team members what kinds of business information they need. Be prepared for a lot of silence at this point. Since few team members may have had access to business information in the past, they may not know how to answer the right questions.

As a minimum, most teams need the type of business information that allows them to monitor and adjust how they are performing. These teams also need information on the goals of the larger organization so that they will be in sync with the company’s strategies. Above all, the team must have information that will help it understand the business in order to make good day-to-day decisions. If receiving business information is new to the team, the team leader must start with basic information and slowly work up to a broader understanding of the numbers. This is an educational process and the intention must be to create a foundation of business literacy within the team.

Only when the foundation has been created, can the team leader help the team think about its ongoing business information needs. Quality, cost, delivery,safety, and employee morale, are examples of typical indicators. – What are the primary indicators of how the team’s business is performing?

– What type of information will help the team track these indicators?

– What is the source of the information?

– How often should the team receive this information to be timely in its decisions?

– Who is responsible for obtaining this information?

It is simply not enough to bring business information to the team. The team leader must also understand the principles that underly the effective management of business information so that it feeds good team performance.

Planning about how to sustain the business information effort is just as important as implementation. Without continued attention to maintaining adequate business information on the day-to-day operations, the effort will simply fade away and become another “Flavor of the Month”. It is crucial to design a business information system that will function independently of the team leader. This is especially important if the organization is not totally committed to sharing the business information or if there is a turnover in team leadership. In these instances, it is best to leave behind a sustainable system.

The road to sharing business information with the team has a number of ups and downs. The team leader must be persistent. It is essential to not allow the team to get discouraged by a few setbacks. Obtaining the type of information that creates energy and drives excellence take work. Remember, you must maintain a reasonable pace. It may require a little time for team members begin to trust the numbers, let alone use them!

Expect that you will face obstacles as you plan and implement the business information sharing strategy within the team. Some of the obstacles will be external to the team while others will come from within the team. The assumption in sharing business information is that authority is redistributed within the team. Rather than the organization sharing information on a need-to-know basis, it is treating employees more like partners. The team leader no longer holds information as a form of power, he/she is responsible for sharing the knowledge and training the team about the business.

This gives the employees a chance to gain more control over the day-to-day business by understanding business fundamentals. This will enhance employability and give a sense of pride and ownership that stems from being more actively involved in the business

Ideas to Start a Home Based Business Information Centre

If you’re one of those types that aren’t built for life in the office, a home based business is absolutely perfect for you. Get the benefits of having a flexible time schedule and not having to worry about a nagging boss but still get good money out of it. You can try home based businesses that involve the maximization of hobbies like cooking and dress making or even furniture. If you’re not into those kind of things and just really want a laid back type of business, try venturing into a home based business information centre.

A home based business information centre can either be conducted though phone or through email. It works by having your customers contact you for things they need help with. You are then to assume the person is knowledgeable when it comes to providing information to the caller. It is really ideal that you start a home based business information centre based on the things you really know. This is helpful for individuals who just finished college and would want to take a break from all the pressure but still be able to earn a few extra cash. This is also a viable alternative for individuals who seek to retire from their desired field of work. This is good for those people since they already have the personality capital that makes them credible sources of information in the field.

Today, the world is run by information. A lot of areas are in need of people who can supply information for things to be up and going. If you are one of those people who can give quality information about any field, why not start thinking about making money from the things you know. Information comes at a price, selling it is an acceptable venture that the market of the new world embraces with both arms.

Training and Retraining Senior Managers in Business Information Best Practice

There is an urgent need for business information management to be a crucial aspect of management training for executives in any kind of business or any size and in any location. This is a largely ignored aspect of management training with everyone leaving it to IT or information management professionals to deal with what the business needs, what it needs to spend and what it can expect. This will always result in outcomes being attached to output, in this case financial. But there is a fundamental component that is missing and it is time that it was noticed and replaced.

Messy, unstructured computer networks do nothing to support productivity and economic viability or encourage success for the average small, medium and large business. They are also a potential source of business degradation for large companies and government. Messy, unstructured information renders the business unsafe and unmanageable and messy unstructured information masked by document management systems and clever search functions are putting the business at risk, reducing its effectiveness and leaving it without the means to exploit the power of policy, training, resources and business knowledge.

Most business owners and managers are capable of setting out the rules by which their business information is managed but are unaware of both the need to do this and its relationship to their management role. They know they are capable of understanding the needs of the business but are not aware of the benefits of information structure and control. There are limits to their view of what is really available to them by controlling their precious but undervalued business information.

It is this lack of awareness that ensures that they are not in charge. Others are in charge. Those others do not have the interests of the business at heart because it is not their business but they have been given responsibility for all business information only because owners and managers have not been made aware of any other way to manage this precious asset.

Information management technology is usually viewed as simply a tool for creating, collecting, storing and using business information where the technology, having produced the information, is then used to try to create a context for the content. Systems currently used to manage business information will generally focus on creating context at the point at which the information becomes storable and not at the point in which it is determined as being usable. They do this by applying search terminology to enable the business to look back at what has been used. This application of terminology or key words is totally reliant on the person who is undertaking this work and it may or may not be in the best interests of the business.

Business Information Organization (BIO) is a methodology that maintains the context throughout the life cycle of all business information. That context is firmly seated within the operational profile of the business. This simply means that the information is structured to suit the business and not the operator. Any computer or network structure that moves away from ‘my documents’ and represents what the business is and what it is doing is using the power of BIO.

BIO as a methodology on an intelligent network does not rely on the artificial application of keywords and search terms to point to location of the information and return to it at some later date, but relies totally on the context of location of the information from the moment of generation or collection. On a BIO structured network nothing is generated or collected unless it is controlled by a business based location and this means it will be in context. This means that the location is predetermined and controlled by carefully organized folder structures.

The computer and the business computer network has evolved into a default setup that could never be recognized as the tool for location. Many individuals know to do this for themselves and they create order and control in where and how they store the business information for which they are responsible but most businesses are not aware of both the potential and the power of organization as a business-wide strategy.

Much of the current management training focuses on making use of existing systems and software. What if business executives were shown the basics of business information organization (BIO), the power of the intelligent network and how information best practice is one of the options for managing the business?

These are high stakes. The future of the business is being left in the hands of people who may be here today and gone tomorrow. Every business deserves to be told the truth about information management and what they should expect in the way of best practice. What might be the difference if a business could confidently say:

o We have complete confidence in content management on our computers and networks.
o All policy and compliance is in place where and when it is needed.
o Resources to aid productivity are logged and accessible in context of the work being done.
o Training is accessed continually in context of the work being done.
o Every new project is supported with policy, training and resources.
o Attachments are no longer necessary in in-house communications and duplicates are not tolerated.
o Less paper is produced and more information is digitized to maintain a strong knowledge base.
o Backups and security procedures are context based.
o The network is well managed with file naming protocols in place and folder management practices working across the whole organization.
o There are important economic benefits and greater productivity across the whole of the business.