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May 15th is NOW the New Year

I have always been in control of my destiny my entire career.  As a salesperson, the more I worked, the more I made.  There were very little outside factors that have affected my success in my 25 years of sales, other than 9/11 (which was extreme) and a few economic recessions (inconveniences in my opinion).  

This Coronavirus pandemic has put us all into a state of shock.  A week ago, it seemed to be an over-hyped lead news story by every media outlet.  Now, this pandemic has become a tsunami, hurricane, tornado and earthquake all at once.

Several caterers are closing their offices for the next eight weeks in order to reserve funds for when we all may be ready to serve again.  This corresponds with the CDC recommendation for no gatherings larger than 10 guests.  This is all scary yet hopeful with an “end date”.  As owners and employees, it is imperative during this time that we buckle down but look forward.   During this operational “down” time, I implore you all to use these weeks to work through proactive strategies so you will be ready to get back to business.  Let’s make May 15th a reality NOW.

Next 8 Weeks- Critical Stage

Week 1-3

  • Review existing team members and continue to employ those critical to client management
  • Furlough or layoff team members until operations are back in order
  • Make your clients feel safe–keep communication lines open
  • Strategize with venue partners on future date availability
  • Determine monthly break-even number for fixed expenses
  • Stop all unnecessary expenditures

Week 3-5

  • Revisit legal client-facing contracts/agreement for necessary updates
  • Reissue new contracts for existing postponed event clients
  • Update in-house event calendar and project staffing needs
  • Get to know your local competitors better-we are in this together
  • Revisit vendor partner financial relationships

Week 5-8

  • Restructure revenue goals and re-forecast budgets for remainder 2020
  • Revisit marketing collateral, website and social media outlets
  • Assess pace of client interest and market segment inquiries for new business bookings
  • Brainstorm on new lines of business
  • Work on tabled projects

May 15, 2020- Reboot Stage

Let’s look at May 15th NOW as a new beginning.  This will be our new calendar year.  We need to work proactively and positively to get our team catering events again. Taking the steps above is a great start.

Jennifer Perna

Jennifer Perna

Owner, Fulton Market Consulting, Chicago, IL
Jennifer Perna started Fulton Market Consulting in May 2017 after developing an event experience and sales management experience portfolio for over 25 years in the downtown Chicago catering and special events industry. Jennifer presently works with owners, managers and all team players at hospitality-related companies on increasing sales and creating business development strategies, streamlining processes for operations and event production and developing best practices for human resources and administrative management. This is especially imperative as we continue to manage a diverse and young talented pool of employees today. Jennifer brings a dynamic, approachable and relatable communication style to all levels and members...