When you’re busy managing your team or cooking for clients, it’s not always easy to see the big picture. If you were to stand really close to a painting, you would only see patches of color, but if you take a step back you can see the whole picture and see it for what it truly is. I believe the same applies to your culinary business. Why is it important to see the big picture? Because as a business owner, you need to know what you are doing well and what you could improve on. You need to be constantly evaluating your efforts and be aware of what might be lacking. When you’re too close to your business and involved in it day in and day out, it’s easy to get lost in the hustle.
That’s one reason why so many entrepreneurs hire business coaches, because they offer an outside perspective. To help you see how your business measures up, I’ve created a culinary business worksheet where you can self-evaluate in twelve different areas of your business. You will rate yourself based on a scale of 1-10, 1 being “not in place” to 10 being “exceptional.”
1. Vision/Mission – Can you with confidence, recite your vision and mission of your company and share that with others? Do you have these statements written down for your employees to see? Does your website communicate your vision and mission well?
2. Product/Services – Are your services and products received well by your target market? Do they sell? Are they bringing in the revenue you think they should? Are there missing parts to some of your products or services?
3. Marketing – How much effort do you put into marketing? Do you have a mixed marketing strategy that includes things like email marketing, digital marketing, print advertising, etc. What is your ROI on your marketing expenditures?
4. Sales/Conversion – How easily do you convert leads into sales? Could your sales dialog/approach be improved? Do people fill out the contact forms and other call to actions on your site? (conversion)
5. Retention – On average, how long do clients typically stick with your service? Do you lose more clients than you gain?
6. Money management/Cash flow – Are your profit and loss statements balanced? Are your food costs higher than 40%? (about the industry standard) Are you losing money with one particular product or service?
7. Lifestyle Design – Are you happy and satisfied with the type of lifestyle you have created or are you married to the 9-5?
8. Client/Customer care – How is your customer service? Do people issue a lot of complaints about the service? Do you frequently ask your clients how they are enjoying their service? Do you make restitution for any mistakes made?
9. Delivery/Results – How is the quality of the food or service/product you produce? Are people generally happy with it? Does it truly reflect the upscale food business that you are?
10.Team Support – How are your team dynamics? Is there clear communication? Team work? Conflict? Enough staff members?
11.Testimonials – Do you ask for testimonials from happy clients? Do you use them in your marketing/on your website? Do you share these testimonials to potential clients as case studies?
12. Referrals – How many referrals do you get? Do they make up the majority of your new clients or hardly any?