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FIB - Scams 101 - Ye Olde Archives

Re: Steve's Dream Business

Posted By: Steve
Friday, 11 March 2005, at 12:08 p.m.

In Response To: Steve's Dream Business (Mel. White)


Thank you very much for your response. I might give this one a go.


> Much earlier this month, when the board was slow, I took some questions
> from people who wanted to start their own businesses but didn't know how
> to do it. Then the board exploded with all that Emerald Passport stuff...
> and other issues arose and I knew the Dream Business post would get lossed
> in the Mass O' Stuff, so I hung onto the questions and waited.

> Since things have slowed down to their usual pace now, I thought I'd do
> some of the other replies (and if anyone has any requests about "how
> to start this dream business", just post the request. I'll get around
> to it someday!)

> so here's Steve's:
> ---------------------------------------------------------

> I have a business plan that could work in any medium to large city that
> I've been kicking around for awhile. It involves firefighters. I have a
> friend who's a firefighter, and his complanint, along with those of his
> fellow firefighters is, they hate to shop for their food, and dispise the
> cooking even more.

> What about a business where you signup fire stations for a shopping and
> catering business? You get a shopping list from the firefighters on the
> various shifts at a particular station and go buy the food for them and
> then even possibly cook for them as well.

> I'm not sure about other area's (I'm in southern California) but you can't
> cook at most fire stations in California unless you are actually a
> firefighter on duty. So that would have to be done offsite.

> Additionally, my friend said that the firefighters really go for the baked
> goods and that could be a source of backend profit for anyone interested
> in doing this kind of business.
> ---------------------------------------------------------

> Having worked around firefighters, I know that this one's a real go! They
> like to cook (sometimes) and they like barbequeing, but some of the other
> meals are more of a hassle than anything else... and to top all that off,
> someone's perpetually on a diet. When you have a limited amout of time to
> cook AND your cooking might be interrupted by an emergency, food prep can
> be dicey.

> (BTW, check local health department regulations if you're thinking of
> cooking the food yourself.)

> Cooking at the station is a "no-no" because of security reasons.
> However, you can get started by making contact with a firefighter (yes,
> you will need personal contacts until you get the business started) and
> asking a bit more about how to get into that station.

> Fire stations are individual entities and fire departments are individual
> entities and it can be hard to get in with them. "Cold calling"
> on these folks is the least successful method. You want a contact.

> The easiest thing to do would be offering a shopping special: the
> Barbequeue Special (give them a choice of meats (so they can check off how
> many servings or pounds they want) and veggies) and then give them a
> "I buy and deliver, you cook" price AND an "I cook and
> deliver" price as well.

> With the order, bring along something inexpensive but fun (small packages
> of jellybeans (Halloween candy sized... treat-sized)) and attach your
> business card to each one. Add them to the order (free) as sort of a treat
> for them. This kind of thing gets you remembered.

> Ask them if they think the guys on the other shifts would like this.

> Ask if they know other fire stations that would like this service.

> Once you have an "in" then you can also offer the same service
> to other municipal departments. Sometimes a department will want to have a
> party or a luncheon for its employees. Secretaries usually call up local
> caterers for these affairs, but if you've already got an "in"
> with them, they may call you for convenience sake.

> Other things (thinking off the top of my head) that are often needed and
> annoying to send someone out to get: drinks (cokes) and ice and cups for
> parties at departments.

> Don't try to offer the moon and stars. Start simple and when you deliver
> each order, chat up the customer and ask them what other kinds of
> foods/services they might like in the future (don't assume, for example,
> that every fire station will like barbequeue. You might get the
> lobster-and-clams crowd.)

> Each area is unique, and you will have to learn the patterns of that city.
> For example, during brushfire season, you might arrange to do deliveries
> of bottled water to certain areas or stations. It's hard to predict
> these... as you do each delivery, ask them what they might need for the
> future.

> I think you could build up into a several-person catering and delivery
> company (or your own restaurant) fairly quickly.

> Oh... and speaking of restaurants, there's a service here in Denton that
> does deliveries FROM restaurants. I'm not sure exactly HOW this works, but
> this would be a very convenient way to get a wide menu without spending
> all your time buying food and cooking it yourself.

> (I think a restaurant delivery service would be workable in many large
> cities, but I haven't looked into this one. You may need a lot of clients
> and restaurants in one small area to make this one work.)

Messages in This Thread

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