Some of you, who follow my blog, already know that:
1) I moved to Florida (yay!!) and
2) I became a personal chef. How one becomes a personal chef? You love cooking, have a passion for food (and, in my case wine as well), register a business, research all the licensing necessary, obtain all bunch of certificates, join all bunch of associations and basically start cooking!
I have been amazed how, in such a short time, I started to receive requests for my services. Instead of thinking about my marketing approach, I am getting requests from potential customers!!! Yes, you read it right – I couldn’t believe it myself! I must have joined the right industry!
You know, I came to U.S.A. from formerly communist country. Even though there is a democracy the last 23 years, the options I have here in United States of America as a starting business are something my friends back in my home country can only dream of! The idea that owners of the successful businesses would donate their time and resources to help starting businesses succeeded, is something that sounds like science-fiction there.
Because I can compare, having lived in both worlds, I am honestly very grateful for all the opportunities, tools and options I have at my disposal to help me start my business the right way. So I decided to share with you what I found to help me achieve my dream!
The first, absolutely great thing I did was to become a member of American Personal & Private Chef Association. In order to join, one has to be an accomplished chef (professional or amateur), insured as a business and registered in his or hers state. I have done all that and got a lot of tools to improve, learn and start my small business. Just to be able to exchange ideas and experiences with fellow chefs is worth a lot. Not to mention an exchange of tested and proven great recipes, shared among chefs.
Before I even had my own website, I have received a question from some lady, who found me at the APPCA (you can search there for a personal or private chef by state and county) – she was looking for a gift certificate for her parents. She never got back to me after I responded, but at least she “kicked me” to quickly set up my website for Vera’s Home Kitchen. To be a member of this Association gives me another level of recognition, credentials, add seriousness and professionalism to my business.
A very important help presented itself from joining a local Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. The amount of information I can get as a member, the events I can join to meet other business owners and introduce each other about what we do, is simply amazing. That is, if you participate in some of the many different events, classes, courses, breakfasts… etc. that Chamber prepares and organizes. It is easy to build relationships while learning about the community that is new to me. Not to be sexists, but I also noticed that being a female owner of the business has its own benefits and extra events just for us, women in business!
The latest benefit I received from joining Chamber, is a chance to have a 30 seconds of professionally produced promo video prepared (a service, donated by one of the members to new members that joined in the month of July). Of course, I took advantage of that! So here I am, sharing with you my first ever professionally done video … hoping for your comments! Please be kind ♥