Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Frank Kwiatkowski, Founder of Gmarket Chef, located in Chicago, IL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Imagine a restaurant but... you get to help create the menu, and that menu is prepared right in the comfort of your own home. I customize culinary experiences for many different types of events, such as a quiet dinner for two, family-style dinner for twenty, or a cocktail hour for two hundred. My clients are usually the type who love to entertain, want a new culinary experience, or enjoy having the amenities of a personal chef in their home.
Tell us about yourself
It's really simple. Freedom. I worked in restaurants, and there were many aspects of that type of work that I didn't love. I loved learning to cook, but at a certain point, working 60 hours a week minimum, not ever having weekends off, dealing with the many personality types, and constantly cooking someone else menu really took a toll on my personal life and creativity. The only motivation I really need each day is to remember any time that I had to work for someone else and do all the things they wanted to do all the time. Miss me with that.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
This is kind of a funny question. As a business owner, I feel like I can always accomplish more, and I haven't quite gotten to where I am going yet. So I guess the greatest accomplishment if I was to look back on my journey is that I am financially stable enough to continue my journey, seek new avenues of expansion, and work with others that want to be a part of my team.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Everything is hard all the time. But definitely of all the hard things - I would say work/life balance. Making time for myself, turning down work, putting aside my business to spend time with friends and family, and taking a leap of faith that if I go on vacation, the whole world won't crumble from my absence.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I don't want to sound super generic, but honest to god, keep it simple. Like if you are going to be a plumber, make sure you have the word plumber in your name so that people can find you. This leads me to my next tip - get a google my business, yelp page, Instagram, and any social media page that will potentially help people find you and work on your SEO - no one cares if your service or product is awesome if they do not know who you are. Lastly, treat people nicely and with respect, and in turn, people will want to see you succeed and will want to be a part of that journey.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you enjoy it. Do it because you enjoy it, and the money will follow.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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