February 2018 - Archieve

Under the hood articles from the past.

How To Start A Catering Business From Home

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Catering business…Are you planning to be fat?
Are looking for a business that you can start from home? Do you sometimes host parties for your family and friends? Do you love cooking and making recipes? Are you’re up to date on food trends? Then you should consider starting a catering business.
Catering is all about providing cooking services at strategic places such as offices, hotels, events and other locations, based on contract. In Lagos, the potential profit margin in the catering business is extremely high.
You can even start a this business from home with no money, and then use your client’s advance payment to rent all the equipment you need.
Do you want to learn how to make money with your cooking or baking skills? Here is a detailed guide on how to start a catering business from home.
How To Start A Catering Business From Home:
 1. Decide on the type of catering services you will offer
Will you be an indoor or outdoor caterer? Will you cook for specific companies, hotels, etc? Or you would rather be your own boss? Will you strictly focus on providing catering services or you will provide full scale event planning services? You must think this through thoroughly  because whatever decision you arrive at will break or make your business.
For instance, if you are interested in catering for weddings, you may decide to contact florists, department store heads, musicians, and people in charge of wedding venues; and form strategic alliance with them. If corporate entertainment catches your fancy, then you may decide to contact the corporations in your area (the chambers of commerce should be able to supply you with area names).
 2. Decide on the type of food you will make
This is another important factor you must decide on before even writing a business plan.
Your decision will determine the type or course you will take at the catering school and the type of clients you will serve.
Will you specialize on African dishes, local dishes, intercontinental dishes or continental dishes?
3. Acquire the necessary skills and certification
Running a profitable catering business entails being an exceptional cook / chef, with a strict hygienic standard and exceptional customer service.
A good way to build up your knowledge by attending a catering school. And you will also be issued a certificate, which separates you from other caterers without certification.
4.Choose a name for your business
5.  Write a catering business plan
Having a business plan clearly distinguishes you from the average self employed caterer, as it helps you to forge your mission, vision, goals and objectives. It also helps to keep your business on track.
Even if you are starting a catering business from home, you still need to write a business plan. This is because it can become an important tool tomorrow as you try to expand and source for funding. 
6. Create a Menu
A food menu is one of the first things that clients like to see. So you will need to get many items to suit different tastes and demand, even if you specialize in one type of meal.
Also, you should consider offering vegetarian and vegan meals for clients who don’t eat meat or other animal products. Keep your menu to a manageable size, with foods you can cook comfortably and with ingredients you can buy locally.
7.  Test your dishes
Once you are done creating your menu, organize a small scale party with friends / family and have them taste your meals. Ask for their honest feedback on both the food and service. Then, you can adjust your dishes.
8.  Look for a good location to rent
 If you are starting this business from home, then you don’t need to rent a space. However, if you decide to make this a full time business, you will need a more permanent storage and cooking equipment.
9.  Register your business
Certification is not enough to run a catering business; you will need to find out what license is required and acquire it immediately. The license for this business is overseen by the Food and Health Authority. You will need to pay a certain amount of fee before your license will be processed. The Food and Health Authority will access your catering equipment, to ensure that they are in good shape.
10. Purchase the necessary catering equipment
The equipment you will purchase depend on the type of service you plan to offer and the size of your catering outfit. If you are starting from home, you can rent or lease the catering equipment you need.
You will need serving platters and serving utensils. Buy linens, napkins, table decorations and centerpieces. You must also make sure you have the proper equipment to keep the food hot or cold. Some caterers also offer tent canopies for outdoor events.
11. Set up your kitchen
The equipment you will use in your catering business is more expensive than the one you use in your personal kitchen. This is because catering entails cooking on a large scale, it requires industrial equipment. You will also need baking equipment if you plan to bake.
12. Decide what staff you will need to help you with food preparation, delivery, and service.
Consider what type of uniforms you want your serving staff to wear. Train your employees.
13. Market your business.
Hand out fliers and menus and post on social media. Also consider placing ads in local newspapers a few weeks before you plan to open.
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to boost a new catering business. If your first events go smoothly, you’ll have your hands full with new clients.
 Many caterers start by working at another catering company before jumping in and starting their own business. This will help you see if catering business is truly for you.
Oh yes, getting fat. Statistically, most caterers put on a significant amount of weight from all the tasting and sampling they have to do. If you are going to cater from home, put in a weight loss plan from the start and avoid this eventuality. Unless of course you really do want to be fat.                                                                                                                                                     -(Source: Ekoconnect)


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Most words that enter your ears have little impact on your life. But I’m still inspired by words I heard six years ago. It was 2011.

Five leaders:
Jay Elliot, former Sr. V.P. at Apple said, “Great people are hard on themselves. My job is to encourage them.” When I asked Elliot what others saw in him, he spoke of execution, connection, and communication. Then he laughed and said, “It doesn’t hurt that I’m 6’5”.”

Harry Kramer, former CEO of Baxter, said, “I want to make a difference with my life – by treating others with respect and never focusing on my own needs ahead of the goals of my team or the organization.”

Jim Parker, former CEO of Southwest Airlines, couldn’t stop telling stories about the people of Southwest. (He was CEO during 9/11.)

Frances Hesselbein, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, tells stories about the most influential person in her life, her grandmother.

Doug Conant, former CEO of Campbell’s Soup, invited me to lunch and openly shared his passion to be helpful. The simple question, “How can I help?” is central to his leadership. By the way, Doug told me I’m taller in real life and I told him he’s better looking.

One secret: Humility
The secret sauce I see in these leaders is humility.
Humility expands influence and increases impact.
Think of humility as a practice. Sometimes you feel it. Sometimes you practice it.
12 ways to practice humility today.
  1. Turn outward. Celebrate others.
  2. Actively seek and act on feedback.
  3. Tell people what you’re learning.
  4. Honor people who influence you.
  5. Enable others to do what you do.
  6. Focus on giving.
  7. Acknowledge frailties and weaknesses while still reaching high.
  8. Listen.
  9. Build relationships.
  10. Bring compassion/empathy to challenge.
  11. Say, “Thank you.”
  12. Laugh at yourself.
Tip: Use these practices as guides for hiring and topics for one-on-ones.
-(Credit: Leadershipfreak)

Being Legal Doesn't Mean you are Right or Ethical

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It’s not uncommon to find a big difference between what’s legal and what’s right. Our preoccupation with “what’s legal” ensures more legal problems. If we paid more attention to what’s right, we would take our relationships to a new level. And it’s all about relationships. 

Legal is about what I can get away with. Ethics is about what is right. 

Legal requires less thought than ethics. It's easy to shrug off responsibility when I can simply point to a law, a policy, or a rule. “I’m sorry. What can I do?” 

Legal is about me. Ethics is about you. 

Ethics requires that you take responsibility for outcomes. Ethics says, “I care what happens to you.” A legal approach simply responds with, “Read the contract. It’s all there.” 

Too many organizations base their actions on the answer to the question, “Is it legal?” or “Are we protected?” As a result they often end up on the defensive and consequently and unnecessarily spend excessive amounts of money on public relations, branding, and customer service. If they changed the question to “Is this right?” or “Is this how we would want to be treated?” they would find they have to rely less on what is legal and as a result create better relations with all stakeholders. 

But it’s not faceless organizations that are to blame. It’s individuals in a culture that is preoccupied with “what can I get?” Organizational cultures that ask employees to make everyday decisions based on expediency, one-sided considerations, and policies and procedures designed to protect rather than facilitate, are going to miss the mark. Regardless of contracts, policies and procedures, people want to feel like they are being treated fairly. “Is-it-legal?” thinking just isn’t going to get you there. An ethical culture is one that thinks differently. It asks, “What is the right thing to do in this situation?” Ultimately, it is an organizational and individual leadership problem. Anyone in an organization can stop and ask themselves, “Is this right? Is it fair? Is it just?” and respond accordingly. 

Legal departments should become ethics departments that place the emphasis on doing what is right; advise based on higher values; leaders that place more emphasis on the upside rather than on the downside of an action or decision. How-does-this-help rather than what-is-the-worst-that-can-happen-to-us if we just do what we want? Might doesn’t make right. It makes animosity, distrust, and isolation. 

Of course we need some laws, rules and procedures, but they must be applied ethically. We will always be confronted with legal challenges, but if our responsible response is focused on what is right and not on what we can get away with, we will become better companies and employees.                              -(Credit: LeadershipNow)

Monitoring & Evaluation Officer Needed At Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)

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The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is a non-governmental, humanitarian organization with 60 years of experience in helping to create a safer and more dignified life for refugees and internally displaced people. NRC advocates for the rights of displaced populations and offers assistance within the shelter, emergency food security, and water, sanitation and hygiene sectors.
The Norwegian Refugee Council has approximately 5000 committed and competent employees involved in projects across four continents. In addition, NRC runs one of the world’s largest standby rosters, NORCAP, with 650 professionals, ready to be deployed on 72 hours’ notice when a crisis occurs.
We are recruiting to fill the position below:
Job Title: Monitoring & Evaluation Officer
Ref. no.: 3702761684
Location: Maiduguri
Job Type: Full time
Candidates: Nigerian Nationals Only
NRC is looking for a Monitoring & Evaluation Officer for our area office in Maiduguri in Northern Nigeria. The purpose of the Monitoring & Evaluation Officer is to Monitor and Evaluate the Implementation and impact of programme activities in Maiduguri and in the field offices
NRC initiated country operations in Nigeria in June 2015, in order to respond to the critical and increasing needs in the country. NRC currently has a full team based in Maiduguri and a coordination office in Abuja. NRC is currently providing services across various sectors namely; Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI); Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion (WASH); Food Security; and Information, Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA) in order to address identified humanitarian needs.
The Monitoring & Evaluation Officer reports to the Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator.
  • Supervise and mentor M&E support staff in executing M&E plans.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of M&E systems, including M&E tools.
  • Participate in programme design and proposal discussions, including theory of change development, and log frame design.
  • Development of case studies to capture qualitative outputs of the project
  • Work with Programme staff to design and adopt reporting formats required by the NRC system (GORS).
  • Implement delegated Monitoring & Evaluation project portfolio according to plan of action
  • Contribute to organisational learning through supporting specific analysis, lessons learned and reports;
  • Contribute to the design of M&E resourcing, including collaboration with programme staff to identify and plan for Monitoring and Evaluation needs.
  • Experience from working as a Project Officer in a humanitarian/recovery context
  • Experience with surveys, studies, data entry, management and analysis is a must.
  • Knowledge about own leadership skills/profile
  • High-level competency in computer skills (data analysis softwares e.g. SPSS, Ms tools e.g Excel, Access, power point or similar)
  • Fluency in English, both written and verbal
  • Minimum 2 years’ experience from working in a humanitarian/recovery context with at least 1 year in Monitoring & Evaluation
  • Degree or Higher Diploma in a relevant field such as Statistics, Applied science, Development studies
Personal qualities:
  • Planning and delivering results
  • A good sense of humour is an asset
  • All employees of the Norwegian Refugee Council should be able to adhere to our Code of Conduct and the four organizational values: Dedicated, innovative, inclusive and accountable.
  • Empowering and building trust
  • Communicating with impact and respect
  • Handling insecure environment
We Offer
  • Commencement: March 2018
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Salary/benefits: According to NRC’s general directions.
  • Duty station: Maiduguri, with frequent travels. Travel outside Maiduguri is dependent on changing security conditions, especially for certain roads in the area.
  • Approved health certficate will be requested before contract start.
  • Application procedures and CV registration: Please note that you are required to enter the geographical location for all your previous positions while registering your CV. There is no specific field for this information in our CV form, but you can use the “Company name” field for both company and location.
How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply
Application Deadline  17th February, 2018.