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This is it! The last week of 2016. We hope it’s been a busy year, filled with exciting challenges, plenty of new clients, and a satisfying work/life balance.

But we also hope you’ve been thinking ahead to 2017 and how you can implement the changes you want to make in all aspects of your life. To do that takes some organization so you don’t get bogged down in the frustrations of the mundane.

We’ve come up with a six-point year-end checklist to help. They’re a mix of big things you can’t afford to ignore, modest but still very important, and things we hope Mom or Dad taught you growing up that are just as valuable in the professional environment as the personal. The idea is to create a foundation of success by taking advantage of the arbitrariness of the end of a calendar year to reinforce the good stuff you should be doing for yourself.

  1. Review and update your business plan: This is more than going over a checklist. This requires deep thought about where you’ve been, where you are, and what you want for next year. What are your priorities now? Have they changed? How do you go about meeting them? Do they involve new marketing strategies? New skills development? A new direction or emphasis in your service offerings? What can you do to implement them? Putting down some concrete steps to achieving your 2017 goals gives you a running start come January.
  2. Change over your annual file system: It’s so much easier to go through life having your essential documents organized–especially anything related to taxes and business records. Everyone has their system. Some still using paper. Some on the computer or in the cloud–or a combination of both. Just take the time to start your 2017 files so you have what you need easily at hand.
  3. Organize financial records for taxes: Fourth quarter taxes are due next month and perhaps your accountant, if you have one, has already sent you forms to complete before you meet to get the 2016 lowdown. This is the time to go through those well-organized files and gather your documents so you can pull everything together to file your taxes. If you’re new to having your own business, ask your accountant what expenses are deductible, how to track mileage, and how to write invoices. If you use Quickbooks, you can print out a record of your income and expenses and use that as a blueprint.
  4. Review your equipment: As a chef, your tools are among the most essential investments you make in your business. Do you need anything new or repaired? Are there utensils you lug around unnecessarily that load you down and you can get rid of? Could you use a better system for hauling your equipment? Do your knives need sharpening? Do your uniforms need refreshing? Hey, does your car need a tune up or new tires? That counts, too!
  5. Review your menus: How regularly do you update your menus? Certainly, clients will have favorite dishes you’ll need to keep in your repertoire, but it’s a good idea to refresh dishes so no one–including you–gets bored. It’s also an opportunity to challenge yourself with new skills and flavor combinations, not to mention wow potential new clients with your versatility.
  6. Say thank you: Before the year ends, get out some nice stationery and send thank you notes to clients. They’re the reason you have a business. Your letter of appreciation is an old-world gesture that will go a long way in letting them know how much you value them and their business.

We’re looking forward to an exciting 2017 and hope you are, too! Candy, Dennis, and I wish you a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

What is on your end-of-year checklist we haven’t mentioned? What exciting plans have you got for 2017?

Not an APPCA member? Now’s the perfect time to join! Go to personalchef.com to learn about all the benefits that come with membership.

And if you are a member and have a special talent to share on this blog, let us know so we can feature you!

 

Enjoying lunch and some San Diego sunshine at a recent weekend seminar

Enjoying lunch and some San Diego sunshine at a recent weekend seminar

Starting up your own personal chef business? Need a refresher on proven marketing strategies or business best practices? The APPCA can help! We’re holding our next Personal Chef Seminar in San Diego the weekend of May 21 and 22. Led by executive director and personal chef Candy Wallace in her home central San Diego, this intimate seminar gives you a thorough and hands-on grounding in everything you need to know to jumpstart or rev up your business. You’ll have plenty of time to dig deep, ask questions, and develop relationships with other personal chefs across the country who are on the same path. It’s an enjoyable, intensive dive into the best practices of being a personal chef. By the end of the weekend, you’ll have all the information necessary to complete your specific business plan, and have a targeted marketing plan and support network to guide you going forward.

We’ve been holding these seminars for more than 20 years, so we know they’re effective. Our proven teaching technique and gold-standard training materials have been assisting and supporting more than 11,000 working personal chefs across North America.

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Here’s a comment from one of our members who attended the seminar:

“Just wanted to let you know that i attended the SAN DIEGO two day live seminar this past weekend. i cannot begin to tell you how supportive, informative, professional Candy Wallace is. And what a joyful persona! We had a wonderful two days together of going through the curriculum; questions/answers; practicalities; computer training; and, great lunches on top of all that. She really cares about what she does and wants to pass on the knowledge (good and bad) that she has gained over the years. I had been looking at different organizations for the last few years and I’m thrilled that I chose the APPCA. I feel it will make all the difference in the ultimate success of my business.”

Regards,
elena b
Cardiff-By-The-Sea, CA

Here’s what happens over the course of the weekend seminar:

Saturday – Full Day – Nov 14, 2015

8:30 – 9:00

Continental Breakfast—Introductions

9:00 – 12:30

“Business Plan & Regulations” & “Finances”

12:30 – 1:30

Lunch (Hosted)

1:30 – 3:00

“How To Market Your New Business”

3:00 – 3:30

Break

3:30 – 5:30

“How To Market Your New Business – Through Advertising, Press Releases, and Media Exposure”

Sunday – Nov 15, 2015

8:00 – 9:00

Continental Breakfast—Q&A

9:00 – 11:30

“A Day in the Life of a Personal Chef”

11:30-12:30

Lunch (Hosted)

12:30 – 1:30

“Intro to Personal Chef Office”

plus Tips & Tricks for Search Engine Marketing with APPCA’S Webmaster

1:30 – 2:00

Q&A – Wrap Up (until ALL questions are answered.)

Continental breakfast and lunch both days also hosted by APPCA.

By the end of the seminar you’ll have answers to specific questions, such as “What level of service do I intend to offer and to whom?” How do I find clients and what do I do with them once I find them?” “How do I structure my business?” and “How do I track and store administrative and client information without being overwhelmed by paperwork and business details?”

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Chef Candy Wallace will guide you through these issues to help you find your path. With years of experience and real-life anecdotes, she’ll give you critical insights that will help you plot out your future. You’ll leave with a package of invaluable materials you’ll constantly reference as you dig further into your business, plus a signed Certificate of Completion for the APPCA two-day seminar. Not only is this suitable for framing, but it also applies to specific education points toward certification through the ACF/APPCA certification partnership. In fact, this APPCA training program and materials are the source material for the written certification exam offered through the ACF/APPCA certification partnership.

This one weekend in San Diego is your fastest and most effective path to success. You’ll leave with confidence in and excitement about your future, new friends and colleagues, and a boatload of knowledge that will help you launch your new career.

To learn more and register, go to our APPCA website. For more detailed information regarding the seminar location and local hotel availability, please phone 800-644-8389 or email info@personalchef.com

Are you ready to take the leap into your new career as a personal chef? Do have have all the tools and knowledge you need to be a success?

Not an APPCA member? Now’s the perfect time to join! Go to personalchef.com to learn about all the benefits that come with membership.