I am worried and anxious and wondering what the day will hold. Last night I put out the email about closing the shop - Family Meal. It has taken over my life for the past 1 1/2 years. Something I thought I could manage. Something I thought I could do AND raise my kids. I did not realize what energy and committment a small business takes. I know now and wish anyone that wants to do this could talk to me first. I wish I could tell them what I have learned....
That you have to give up your life for 2-3 years - no vacations, no scheduled days off only as they come, no sense of "oh good we made it", constant worry, getting up in the night and not being able to sleep, trying to figure out where more money will come from, trying to price low enough to get the job but high enough to actually make a small amount of money.
And that you will have to fight for everything -
Produce companies send small places the end of the line stuff - after the grocery stores and big mega stores. Be prepared to get a reputation as being a bitch and send it back. You have to be the squeeky wheel - something I don't like to do (a problem that manifests itself often.)
Credit card companies are in fact the devil. In exchange for processing the credit card payments they take an unseemly amount of money. Usually it is a percentage of the charge so if you have a large catering pay by credit card, you could possibly pay over $100 for them to put that money in the back. Get checks for parties if possible! Not to mention all the different sneaky fees for having to punch in the numbers if the swipe doesn't work. Plastic bags have saved me quite a bit of money - that actually works a lot! (Place plastic bag over magnetic strip and swipe again) The fees only lead to higher prices in general! I am going to be a cash only girl as much as I can from now on.
Large distributors have minimums. I guess that does make sense - they can't send a truck with 1 box to your place - but sometimes they are outrageous. Find a good rep - your only saving grace is to have someone that goes above and beyond for you. The rep makes or breaks you!
I have to get back to this later. Must continue through the day!