How Do You Handle Too Many Clients?

time managementMany of my blog posts focus on how to market yourself better so that you attract more clients; however, I know there are quite a few personal chefs out there who have the opposite problem. They are fully booked, turning clients away, and have absolutely no desire to do anything that would bring in more business.

They are feeling overwhelmed, frazzled, and stressed out by it all. Can any of you relate to this?

So what do you do? Check out the following top 3 tips below to get yourself out of overwhelm so your personal chef business becomes a thriving but manageable one.

Raise Prices

It’s a great time to consider raising prices when you have all the clients you could ever want and a waiting list. With so much business coming your way, there is little risk trying out a price increase.

If you raise prices and all your clients stay with you, great! Now you are at least making more for your effort and that extra money could be spent on hiring some help to ease your workload.

And if a client or two leaves, you can go to your waiting list to fill your open cook days quickly. It is also possible you will cool down the frenzy of people wanting to hire you which can be a good thing. You’ll have fewer but higher value customers, and you won’t need to service as many to make ends meet.  You’ll free up your time while making the same amount of money or more depending upon the price increase.

Get Help

You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) do everything on your own. Take a look at all the things you do to keep your business running and figure out what you can give to someone else.

Do you hate the invoicing and bookkeeping aspect of your business? Hire an accountant or bookkeeper. Do you have a grocery store delivery service you trust? Use them instead of doing the food shopping yourself. Can you delegate some tasks when you are cooking for your clients? Pass on the food preparation, clean-up and labeling tasks to a culinary student or start training someone to take on clients for you.

You can even look at getting help on things you are responsible for outside of work. For instance, can your spouse or partner do more of the household chores? Can you share the responsibility of driving your kids around with a neighbor?

The point is, there are very likely many opportunities for you to delegate to others to free up time in your day. Once you do, you will start breathing a sigh of relief.

Increase Efficiency

Take a look at how you are doing the work you do. What can you do to become more efficient? Look at everything from how you shop at the food store to the steps you take once you get to the client’s home to cook. When you pay attention to improving efficiency you usually find ways to streamline your workflow.  To get ideas on exactly how to free up time servicing your client check out another blog post I wrote called How to Shave Hours Off Your Cook Day.

Another area to look at when you want to improve your efficiency is to make sure you aren’t over delivering. You don’t want to be giving your clients way more than they want or need because that will be time spent that doesn’t matter to your clients in the end.

You also want to make sure you set boundaries with your clients. Many personal chefs don’t do this, and they make their jobs a lot more stressful and time consuming as a result. For instance, you shouldn’t allow a client to totally change the meals they want you to prepare at the very last minute especially if it means you’ll have to plan everything all over again.

Are you a personal chef experiencing growing pains? What are you doing to make all the business coming your way more manageable?

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  1. Good tips once again Sandra….thanks!!! I do NOT have this problem but it was interesting to read your suggestions.

    • Sandra Hoedemaker says:

      Thanks for commenting, Diane. Even though you don’t have the “too many clients” problem now, you are prepared with tips if it ever should happen in the future!

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