Calling all PC's...no I'm not talking about your computers Tongue

I am curious how you advertise. Right now all my business is based on referrals, but it's small amount. I thought about newspaper, but then who reads them anymore? Everyone I know logs online to get updates on news etc.

I may be losing my big paying corporate job here soon because the real estate market is in the toilet here.

I know I won't make the money I make in my corporate job, but if I can cover the costs of my daughters college doing pc work I would be thrilled.

  Personal Chefs - Advertising? DFen911 Calling all PC's...n...
In my previous life I spent a lot of my time in sales and marketing - ad layout, graphic design and all that "stuff". It's a necessary evil - and sadly the time it's most needed is the time that one can usually least afford it.

Jean highly recommended that I go with APPCA and it was spot on! With membership they offer a lot of perks, including referrals, web site design and hosting, and lots of other stuff that I'm thinking will really help.

I'm in the same spot you're in, maybe worse right now. Stockton is the foreclosure capital of the US right now. I was thinking this might be a good neighborhood - but the for sale and for rent signs are popping up all around us.

I'm also hoping that for the next 2 1/2 years I hope to work to ramp up the business. I couldn't go full time now if I wanted to because of medical issues. Also in 2 1/2 years Bob will be about ready to retire and come play with me. In the mean time I do have some folks who want me to do special dinners, parties, etc.

I'm sure Jean will have lots more input for you - I'm just getting ready to jump off the cliff!
You only live once . . . but if you do it right once should be enough!

  Re: Personal Chefs - Advertising? Harborwitch In my previous life ...
I have my own webpage already I'm just trying to think of ways to generate more business. I did get an inquiry from my site on Hireachef.com, unfortunately it didn't pan out. But that's the nature of the business. I just need more of those in hopes that one pans out.

Sharon I am hoping for big things for us in 2008

  Re: Personal Chefs - Advertising? DFen911 I have my own webpag...
We will do it! It's gonna be a great year for us, and I'm so excited for both of us!!!
You only live once . . . but if you do it right once should be enough!
  Personal Chefs - Advertising? DFen911 Calling all PC's...n...
I've been a personal chef with the USPCA since 1999 and found over the years that advertising didn't work. Press releases are helpful and free but even that didn't generate much business. The local paper even did a whole spread on my business and the only calls I got from it were from others asking how to become a personal chef.

In the beginning, I picked up a client from a Women's Business fair. Then I got one from Hire-A-Chef. From those 2 clients, I was able to build my business through referrals. It really took a lot of time and patience.

From my standpoint, I really have loved working with the USPCA. Found them to be very supportive and I have gotten many referrals from Hire-A Chef so be sure to always respond to those inquiries.

Good Luck.

  Re: Personal Chefs - Advertising? Dismc I've been a personal...
Ahhhh, the old problem of getting our names out there!! What a crapshoot.

In my case and where I was located, the things that were the most successful were - joining the Chamber of Commerce. got lots of referrals and one-shot opportunities from members and then they spread the word and those I met thru them.

Also, I did a lot of food shows and beer fests and that type of thing. I don't think I ever got any feedback from newspaper ads.

If I had to pick one venue that got me the most exposure and feedback, it was the food shows and beer fests. It cost me food, but I offered simple, but really tasty, off the wall items that got folks attention.

Also, even tho I thot I looked cheesey, I wore a chef jacket almost every time I went grocery shopping - they didn't know I wasn't shopping for a customer!! People (men & women both) would stop and ask me questions about food becauseof the jacket and I'd take it from there just yakking with them about what business I was in and always gave them business cards.

Oh, and I had (well, still have) signs on my car - I've even gotten notes stuck under my windshield about it.

It's a darn hard challenge, Sharon and Denise, I'm thinking you really have to commit fulltime to making a p.c. business a go and get yourselves out in the public selling yourselves continually. Believe it or not, this part I really enjoyed - it was fun talking to everyone and from questions you get, you know what to bring up in the conversations later on down the road.

Good luck to all of you.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.

  Re: Personal Chefs - Advertising? cjs Ahhhh, the old probl...
Somewhere I read or heard about the chef's coat thing. Bob told me to get one NOW. I'm going to email Francois about "partager" and how to properly use it to express what I want. Then I'll work on business cards and . . . . . . study study study!
You only live once . . . but if you do it right once should be enough!

  Re: Personal Chefs - Advertising? Harborwitch Somewhere I read or ...
Well I just lined myself to speak at the Womens Business League in Jan. I have tri-fold flyers that I made, and my business cards. I also wear my chef's coat with my business name and cards in the pocket everytime I go to the grocery store.

My goal is to really create a buzz in 2008

  Re: Personal Chefs - Advertising? DFen911 Well I just lined my...
Oh, it's been so long - I forgot about the brochures!! I had the tri-fold ones also, with sample menus and all kinds of 'garbage' I could fit on them.

Sharon - decide on a company name and get it embroidered on the the jacket. I had it on a baseball cap also.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.

  Re: Personal Chefs - Advertising? cjs Oh, it's been so lon...
Well, I've never done it before, but here's my thoughts.

The first thing the new owner of the Inn did was join the Chamber of Commerce. He's the current President. It has generated tons of business for them.

Jean, I think the Chef coat thing is a great idea, and great free advertisning. As are the brochures, especially in your local area. The post office here will deliver flyers for a nominal charge. We always try to buy locally, so it may be worth looking into.

The local chefs / restaurants that seem to do really well here are the ones that are involved in the community. It may cost a bit at first, but it seems to really pay off.

And that's your advice from a persn who's not in the biz.
Practice safe lunch. Use a condiment.
Personal Chefs - Advertising?

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