I have never been one of the "first one in, last one out" business owners who sees clocking the most hours as a badge of courage.
Long ago, I abandoned the "I know more than anyone else" and "No one can do it better than me" mindset.
You see, the purpose of owning a business is to have the business work for you, not the other way around.
If that were the case, I’d go out and get a job.
Now don’t get me wrong: I have clocked in plenty of hours and worked many seven-day weeks. But there has always been a goal in mind: stop being the bottleneck in my business and set up systems for the company to run itself.
2 Big Steps to Save Time and Grow Profits
When I opened my first restaurant in 1992, I invested my time and energy in building systems to run the restaurant and catering business. Spreadsheets, checklists, operating systems, marketing programs and the like ensured others could do the day-to-day work.
I wanted to focus on driving sales and profits! That’s the highest and best use of a business owner’s time.
To be a high-priced employee on your own clock just gives you a job. Guess what? The boss sucks!
I understand it can take years to create systems and build sales large enough to take yourself out of the day-to-day grind. But by always having that focus, I have reached it.
Rarely did I work nights or weekends when I owned my Corky’s BBQ franchise.
Last year I hired a Director of Enterprise Sales that closes better than I do. And she is a much better at building rapport. This was the final position I fired myself from.
These days I spend my time - as Michael Gerber, author of the E-Myth says - working "ON" my business; not "IN" it.
1. Hire People to Take Tasks Off Your Plate
My challenge to you is this: what is the one "job" in your business you can eliminate in the next 30 days? It can be a function like bookkeeping or payroll. It can be a daily job like working the line during the lunch rush.
I always start with the tasks I hate or am terrible at.
Years ago, I hired a bookkeeper to just reconcile my monthly bank statements. They piled up until the end of the year. The stress of procrastinating was killing me, not to mention the time I had to spend getting twelve months’ worth completed.
The small fee she charged was a bargain.
After that, I hired her to reconcile/post my credit card statement. Another weight off my shoulders, as I spent just as much time worrying about getting it done as doing it.
2. Create Systems to Make Your Catering Business More Efficient
Besides hiring people, I like to invest in "systems" to standardize procedures and save everyone time.
Let me give you a few examples.
1. I use a service called Receipt Bank. I can take pictures of all my credit cards and have vendor invoices emailed to them. Everything gets coded and synced to QuickBooks. Pics are stored and deleted after seven years.
2. Bill.com is a service I use to cut checks. QuickBooks sends over bills to pay and Bill.com either cuts a check or sends the funds to my vendor’s bank account. This eliminates paper checks and lets me pay bills anywhere on the planet I have a laptop and internet connection.
3. FreshDesk is a help desk software we use to support our catering software clients. Meredith, our Director of Operations, has created over 300 help desk articles. As opposed to writing each client a response, over seventy percent of tickets can be answered with a support article. We have even brought in a team of people to help, freeing Meredith up to work on higher-value projects.
This is just a small example of how I have removed myself as the bottleneck and had systems developed by myself or my team.
We are constantly trying to make the running of our company as autopilot as possible.
CaterZen's Catering Software Systems to Grow Sales
Now at the risk of being self-serving, which I am, CaterZen's catering software was built to help you "systematize" your catering business. You can spend less time on the day-to-day tasks and focus on game-changers like building sales and profits.
Let’s review a few features that can save you and your team time:
1. Online Ordering Interface: Let your clients order catering online from your website at a time that is convenient for them. Eliminate non-answered phones and staff time dedicated to order-taking.
2. Production Reports/Packing Lists: When I started at Corky’s in college, the general manager spent an hour each afternoon writing up kitchen production reports and packing lists for catering jobs. Thanks to the formulas and reports in our system, you can build them once and get your reports in seconds. This eliminates time and ensures everything is consistent.
3. Catering Proposals: I would cringe every time a prospect would ask for a proposal. Yes, I loved the idea of making a sale, but hated the thirty minutes needed to build a simple proposal. Thanks to our feature of unlimited catering proposals, you can build the templates and have proposals generated, emailed to the prospect and an email reminder for you created in minutes.
4. Electronic Signature Contracts: You save time having all your contracts created in our system. You and the client save time signing catering contracts online.
5. BEOs. Banquet Event Orders can take a long time to create for an event. With the ability to create unlimited BEO templates, complete with pics, your team has an event blueprint to work from. And it won’t take your people long to finalize.
6. Email Marketing. We all know it’s smart to send your clients and prospects a monthly email marketing message. Our built-in email marketing system allows you to create campaigns quickly with our easy interface and pre-written email promotions.
I could go on and on, but you get the point.
Better systems make for better, more profitable businesses.
CaterZen catering software helps you systematize your catering business and start enjoying your life.
Life’s too short to work the most and enjoy life the least.
Seeing both my parents work hard their entire life and not enjoy the journey was a wake-up call to me.
Stop being the bottleneck and start enjoying the benefits of owning your own business!
Here's An Opportunity To Make Some Easy Extra Cash
We are trying to find great clients for our catering software and we've launched a referral program that rewards everyone.
Here’s how it works:
- Sign up to be a referral partner for us here.
- When you do, you’ll be given a special tracking link to send out to anyone who may be a good fit. You can also post it to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
- Anyone who clicks on your special link gets attributed to you.
- If they become a client of ours, we will send you $250.
- You also get entered into a Royal Caribbean Cruise For Two valued up to $5,000. We must have 50 new clients from referrals before we draw for the cruise.
- The person you refer will get a new Android tablet to use in their operations with our software.
If you believe we could help any caterers out, please sign up and help us grow in 2019!