If your catering business isn’t online, it should be. In the internet age, not having a presence online can kill a business. It has become essential for companies to have some sort of presence online, whether on social media or their own website. Your competitors are online and you should be too. Read below to learn how to take your catering business online.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. When was the last time you searched the yellow pages for a business? Or waited to get handed a flyer? Years ago, right? I can guarantee that the last time there was a product or service you wanted to buy, you went online and searched for it.
You also probably found what you were looking for through that business’s social media or website. If it was a product, you probably even ordered it online through an online store.
Your customers are the same. When they want to hire a catering company they go online first. They search first. They check social media first. They buy through online stores first. They want to check your menu online first. That is why you need to meet your customers online because the internet allows you to connect quickly and directly with your customers.
So, if you’re ready to set up your catering business online, let’s begin.
How to Set Up Your Catering Business Online
Now let’s talk about how to get your catering company online. Follow our steps and you’ll be online and connect with customers in no time.
1. Get a Website
The obvious first step to getting your business online is to set up a website. Give your customers a place to find you.
Now if you already have a website for your business, that’s great! But we will advise you to check your website. Ask yourself if the website is still good. Does it need to be updated? Maybe a complete website redesign is needed.
If you don’t have any website yet, well…
We could write an entirely separate article just on how to set up a website so we won’t go into great detail here. But there are a few ways you can do it.
Build It Yourself
We would not suggest this option. Are you a website designer? Do you have the skills to build an effective website? The answer is probably not. While this option can save you money, it will cost you a lot of time and effort. And the website probably won’t even come out looking great.
Hire a Professional Web Designer
This is a good option, especially if you are a bigger catering business. You’ll get an effective, professionally designed website made by an expert. You won’t have to worry about spending time or effort yourself on the website.
The downside to this option, if you’re a smaller catering business, is that a professional web designer can be really pricey and might cost a lot.
Use a Website Builder
This is the best option in our opinion. It’s great for smaller catering businesses too. It will cost much less than hiring a professional web developer and you won’t need to have the design skills yourself.
Website builders have improved a lot over the years. By offering awesome templates and pre-built designs, anyone is able to create a great-looking, professional website that customers will love.
Sprwt Catering, a catering business management software, offers a website builder for free. If you already have your own website then the Sprwt Catering software is plug and play. By using Sprwt Catering to build your website you will be able to take your website to the next level with features such as online menus and online ordering.
2. Get on Social Media
You now have a website and your catering company’s online presence has just begun. Now we need to grow that online presence by putting your business out there on social media.
Billions of hours every day are spent on social media like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. These places are where you can find and connect with customers. Social media offers you free marketing, a way to interact with customers and other businesses, and a place for customers to contact you directly.
Many customers who want to talk with you, won’t reach out by email or phone call. Instead, they’re going to contact you via your social media pages. Maybe through comments on your posts or by DM (Direct Message).
Having a presence on social media will also help with your Search Ranking on Google and Bing. This brings us to the next step of getting your business online.
3. Improve Your Search Ranking
When you want to find a product, service, or business, where do you go? That’s right: Google.
The world now finds things online by searching on search engines like Google or Bing. So, when a potential customer searches “catering company” on Google, you definitely want your catering business’s name and website to pop up in the results.
But with hundreds if not thousands of other catering business websites to compete with; there is a small chance that you would appear at the top result. But there are two ways to improve your search rankings and get your name to the top.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and it refers to all the actions you can take to increase your website’s search ranking.
Organic SEO is basically all the stuff you can do to organically help your website in its search engine ranking. Organic SEO shouldn’t cost you anything, except maybe hiring an SEO expert to optimise your website.
Here are some organic SEO actions you can take:
- Optimise your website with proper keywords
- Make your website more accessible by labelling images and using alt tags
- Write regular blog posts to continually give your website fresh, relevant content
It should be noted that organic SEO takes time. Don’t expect to shoot up to the top of the search rankings in just a few weeks.
Paid Ads / PPC Marketing
This method is much more effective and faster than organic SEO but it does cost money. With paid ads or PPC marketing, you are paying to have your catering company’s website show up at the top (in the ads section) when someone searches for a catering company.
Understanding PPC marketing and how it works would require its own article, if not an entire course. You should just know that in PPC ads you pay each time someone clicks onto your website from the search ad. It is a much more effective way of getting your catering business in front of online customers.
Now you can do PPC marketing yourself, but you’re definitely going to be better off hiring a PPC marketer or agency to handle it for you. Check out Bark Marketing for more info on PPC marketing and how they can help your business.
And that’s how to put your catering business online. It’s just a simple three-step process but it will take your catering business to new levels of success. Set up your website, get onto social media, and ensure that you show up when customers search for catering companies.
If you need to set up your catering business’ website plus want to get some catering business management software, then sign up to Sprwt Catering!
Sprwt Catering is a comprehensive catering business management software service. It not only features a free website builder but also enables you to offer online ordering, automatically generates business reports for you, and allows you to create a complete online menu with all necessary nutritional info.