It’s no secret that starting your own business is no easy feat. If it was, everyone would be doing it. In fact, the statistics regarding the number of businesses which fail in their first year alone is proof enough that this is not an easy thing to do. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Far from it.

The number of new business in London is on the rise. Entrepreneurship has never been so popular. And this is as true for the catering industry as it is for all others. While all of the budding entrepreneurs behind these new business have much in common (an exciting idea, a drive to be their own boss, for example), there are some things which separate the successful ones from the ones who never quite make their dreams a reality.

In our years of working with budding entrepreneurs in the food and catering industries, we’ve noticed that there is one thing that really separates the successes from the failures; scale.

Scale is one of those business buzzwords that you’ve probably heard a thousand times but never really understood. Well, there’s a reason everyone’s always talking about it and we’re going to explain that to you in the simplest possible terms, so you can ensure you’re business is scalable.

As your catering business grows, the way you run it, the facilities you need, the labour you require will all change. Think of scale in terms of phases. Phase 1 for a catering business usually begins in a home kitchen, using a family car, with maybe a little bit of help from family and friends.

At this point, you don’t require much capital or access to any specialist facilities. You can manage as you are. But what happens when word spreads about how awesome your food is and suddenly you’ve got more clients than you can keep up with? Welcome to phase two.

Now you’re going to need a professional kitchen, although you probably don’t have the capital or need to acquire this on a full time basis. You’re also likely to need access to larger ovens, a bigger workstation and better storage facilities. So, naturally, you choose to rent space at The Olive Grows and all of your problems are solved.

But what about labour? You can’t rely on sporadic help from your friends and family any more. And even if you could, they’re unskilled in cooking, food preparation etc. You need someone with skills, experience, knowledge to help you take your business into phase 3.

We could go on an on here, because the truth is that there is always a next phase. From running a catering side project in the kitchen of your London flat, to being the CEO of a multinational food chain, there’s always room for more growth and more scale.

The important point to note here, is that the entrepreneurs who make a success of their catering business are always thinking about the next phase. They’ve got one eye on the present, and one on the future, and are always making plans for that next phase. This can seem exhausting and scary to someone just setting out in the catering world. Thankfully, at The Olive Grows we have the experience, knowledge and understanding of the industry to help you think about the future, so that when you find yourself suddenly in that next phase, you’re ready to jump in with both feet!

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