The Power of Packaging Your Services

TakeawayAre you a personal chef who has struggled with any of the following situations?

  • Not getting paid for groceries
  • Trading hours for dollars
  • Inability to forecast how much you will be making from one month to the next because you don’t have a clear sense how long clients will stay or how often they will need your personal chef services
  • Experiencing scheduling conflicts due to last minute clients calling for help
  • Giving away too much time for free only to have prospects walk away

If yes, here’s what you can do to avoid these situations in the future – consider packaging your services.

Packaging Example #1

Offer all-inclusive pricing so that you don’t charge for groceries separately, and be sure you also get paid in advance. By doing this you are streamlining the way you get paid, and you won’t end up footing the grocery bill if your clients don’t hire you again and can’t be reached.

Feeling uncomfortable including grocery costs? Don’t be. Most personal chefs I’ve coached and talked to have pretty consistent grocery costs no matter the client. I bet many of you do too. And if you don’t, take a look at your average grocery costs over a period of time and charge that. By doing this, sometimes you will end up a little bit ahead and sometimes a little bit behind, but in the end, it will all average out.

If needed, charge a separate price for organic versus non-organic ingredients.

Packaging Example #2

Give incentive to your clients to pay for a certain number of cook days over a certain period of time up front by offering them a special savings. As an example, let’s assume you charge $675 per week for five meals for four people (groceries included), and your client would like to hire you twice per month. Why not give her a 20% savings if she pays for 3 months of service (6 cook days) in advance. That means she would pay $3,240 instead of $4,050 which is $810 in savings.

Getting paid in advance for a period of time is a smart way to do business. And for those clients who don’t want to pay a large amount up front, they don’t have to.

Another tip – Ask clients to schedule their cook days at least a month in advance and if possible, have them pick a specific day of the week you will be servicing them.

Packaging Example #3

Instead of offering a kitchen assessment and meal preferences discussion for free, include these activities into a “getting started” package that includes the following…

  • In-home kitchen assessment
  • Meal preference discussion and questionnaire
  • One cook day

A “getting started” package gives your clients the opportunity to try you out first before making a longer-term commitment. Charge more for your time for this package because you always want to give people incentive to sign up for a longer term commitment, but they at least have the option not to do that if they don’t want to.

What I love about a “starter package” is that you get paid for your time even if someone doesn’t become a long-term client. No more taking the time to meet with prospects for free only to have them not hire you or hire you for just one cook day.

Packaging Example #4

Think of ways you can package your service to help clients with a very specific problem. I’ve mentioned this approach before in previous blogs, but it is worth repeating.  For instance, during tax season, offer an “Easy Meals for Tax Season” package to accountants and tax specialists. In the spring, consider offering a 3-month personal chef service specifically tailored to help your clients get their bodies bathing suit ready for summer. Offer a series of cooking classes so a group of people can learn how to cook gluten free.

When what you are offering helps people with a very specific issue they want resolved, they are much more likely to see how your services are essential rather than a luxury. Price will become less of an issue the greater the value becomes in your prospects’ eyes, and finding creative ways to package your services can be just the thing to increase the value of what you offer.

There are lots of potential advantages to bundling things together. Take some time to think about what kind of packaging ideas might work for your personal chef business and try them out.

What do you think about the idea of packaging your services? Why do you or don’t you like this idea? What, if any, service packages do you offer now?

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