It seems that I procrastinated writing this article for a reason. Most recently, we have been tossed into a personal challenge that is beyond mind-blowing. The key though, is how can we overcome this as a family and how do we move forward?
Whether it is personal or business related, identifying the issue is the first step. You cannot change what you do not know. Once you have identified the issue, start building a plan.
My catering business is very fast moving. Sometimes you have to make decisions on the fly, and overcoming a road block isn’t always thought out in the best possible way. There are those obstacles that may cost you money; money that you don’t have or that will take budgeting. Then there are the long term obstacles. Having a plan A and B and a possible C will at the very least keep you moving forward.
On a simplistic scale, for us as a company, finding staff was always an issue. How do we have staff on hand for those larger functions yet not have to keep them working all the time? The obstacle for us was having a uniformed staff that appeared professional and clean cut to represent us as a company. Initially, we went to staffing agencies to get staff. This worked for the most part; however, we still had issues as their dress code was not as strict as ours. The other obstacle for us was that we had to pay a higher per hour rate so that the company could take their percentage as well. This was taking dollars out of our event.
We overcame this by starting our own staffing agency. We started off craigslist. That can be scary and you should proceed with caution.
Secondly, we took care of the uniform part by buying a number of chefs’ coats and aprons. This gave us uniformity and professionalism. Then as each function came, we registered the great ones to call upon again. We now have a roster of over 200 employees that we can call upon. More importantly, it has become another business for us as we hire our services out to other companies as well.
A simplistic hurdle to overcome but as you can tell we did it in stages. We didn’t have to hire anyone permanently, nor did we have a huge investment. At the end of the day, it turned out to be a profitable obstacle to overcome. Doing it in stages also allowed us to keep gauging what would work and what wouldn’t.
Article written by special guest author Russell Pohl. Russell, with his partner of 25 years, has 8 kids. Together they own Mr. Moms World. Their catering business and wholesale products, are the bulk of their business. Russell also travels a lot throughout Canada and the U.S. speaking on a variety of topics; such as gay fostering and adoption, gay parenting, and body language. Russell sits on three boards associated with the foster parenting. He co-facilitates the advocacy training program with the BCFFPA and has logged thousands of hours doing support. Russell and his family help to raise thousands of dollars working with a variety of charities.