Start-upStories: Bestowed Kitchen explain what goes on behind the scenes for an event-based start-up

IN: Guides

After a busy summer of events for fledgling catering business Bestowed Kitchen, September has finally given the star of Aldermore’s Start-up Stories series a chance to focus on what goes on behind the scenes.

undefined“We had a two week break, which was nice to have a bit of breathing space from doing the events and have some time to catch up,” comments co-founder Jeremy Wood.

Alongside continuing to create a website and co-ordinated marketing plan for the business, Wood has also been hard at work developing new business.

“We’ve been doing a couple of quotes for things recently, for several catering enquiries we’ve had,” states Wood, admitting the process can be fairly time-consuming the first time around, particularly when individual events can vary so much in nature.

“You have to think about all the logistics around it, how long it’s going to take to do everything and how many staff you might need and things like that,” elaborates Wood, “It’s an element of being a new business that you get asked to do things you haven’t done before. In my day job I do quite a lot of business development and drawing up quotes, so I’m used to doing it, but it’s in a very different context.”

There are also important choices to be made in terms of costs, and deciding whether spending to fulfil a specific need for an event will prove worthwhile in the long-run.

“We’re doing some catering at the weekend for a film shoot, a local film funded by the council, and the company wants food for three days.” Wood begins, sharing an example. “We have to think around the logistics of, for example, keeping water warm for drinks. You get asked to do events and you’re always slightly changing what the service is, so you don’t necessarily have the right equipment. Then you have to invest more to do that and you’re concerned about whether you will use it again.”

A second unique opportunity has also come up for Bestowed Kitchen recently, with Walthamstow council accepting the business’ application to take over a local pop-up event space for two weeks in March 2015.

“That’s something that seems really far away and it is quite far away, but at the same time there’s a lot to do for that,” reveals Wood. “We’ve got to temporarily set out and furnish the space and we’ve got to be as creative as possible to do that on a budget. We’re thinking of approaching vintage furniture shops or craftsmen to see if they want to put their furniture in the shop and sell it, so it’s advertising for them as well.”

Wood is committed to making full use of all the sources of information and support available in order to make crucial decisions like this, believing that not having colleagues to discuss ideas with is one of the biggest challenges for early-stage entrepreneurs. In particular, he cites SME resource websites like Enterprise Nation and Start Up Donut, and the advice of mentor Christian Honor as invaluable, alongside having one eye on competitors’ activity.

What resources do other new business leaders rely on for guidance? Share your suggestions with Aldermore on Twitter.

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