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I have been involved in the food industry since my youth, when I worked in my parents’ food business. I then went to university and worked as a teacher for a few years before moving back to Whakatane with my family.
In 2007 I helped a friend with her catering service for a wedding. This was an enjoyable experience for me and I received very positive feedback from patrons. The desire to start my own catering business developed soon after.
I developed a commercial style kitchen on our property in 2011 and registered it with the local City Council to gain my Certificate of Registration as a Food Premises. From there I was able to expand my business by operating on a commercial basis. I'm responsible for all aspects of office administration, staff training, marketing, customer service quality and OSH compliance issues.
In the beginning, when I started my business, I did a very brief business plan and I had enough business activity to keep me going. Earlier this year I met Dean when he presented his seminar on business planning to a local community group. I enjoyed what he said and how he presented his ideas so I contacted him to help me to grow my business to the next level.
Because I am very hands-on in my business, I feel as though I have to do everything and therefore it is difficult for me to find the time to work on growing the business. I needed help with time management and tips from a professional on how to achieve greater efficiency. Developing a balance between my business activity and my personal life was a priority so I needed an appropriate business model to help me get there.
In regards to the figures, I think that the DaltonPlan Benchmarks make a lot of sense and they are a good reference point for me. It makes it easier to work out the ideal gross profit and overheads. Now I know that I probably need to change some prices.
It was also very interesting to get to know which products are the more profitable ones and which ones are the least profitable so that without changing my products, I can prioritise and focus on the more profitable jobs.
Dean introduced me to flow charts. I find them very interesting. They will help me to bring the volume of activity to a satisfactory and profitable level while maintaining a good work/life balance. It can be tricky to achieve this when you’re operating a busy catering business.
It was great working with Dean. It was a lot to go through but he made sure I understood everything and now I can refer to his Workshop Manual at any time for information. He also offers great support and I can call at any time.