Sure, it would be nice to be the next Wolfgang Puck. But emerging as a big celebrity fish in a small pond has plenty of perks. How can you break away from the pack? Uber-agent Scott Feldman, founder and president of Two Twelve Management and Marketing in New York City, has this advice for you:
Think of yourself as a brand. Your talent, your personality, your appeal are a brand that people want to buy.
Think of yourself differently. You are an asset within the lifestyle category, and not merely a chef. Long before Martha Stewart was a celebrity, she was a lifestyle artist.
Expand your possibilities. There is money to be made beyond the four walls of your restaurant. Consumers will pay big money for you to come to them.
Reach out to partners. Your love of their product, whether it's a coffee maker or pork, can turn into an endorsement deal for you.
Grow an empire. Grow your brand through additional restaurants, endorsements, cookbooks.
Build your brand. Here are four key steps to take:
Define your key mission statement, core competencies, assets and overall goals that will build your personal brand into the future.
Focus on a clear, concise and consistent picture of what your personal brand represents.
Connect with your customers, staff and partners continuously to demonstrate your brand's relevance and integrity.
Explore opportunities to build your brand through relevant and meaningful affiliations, partnerships and product extensions.
Who would have thought, years ago, that chefs could become celebrities? But you can—if you believe in yourself and explore the possibility.
A Final Check Before Filing
Last month, RH tax expert Adam Berebitsky told readers what to watch out for before filing their business returns. Here's what he says restaurant owners should double-check on this year's personal return before sending it to the IRS.
If your company does not have a retirement plan, consider making a regular IRA or Roth IRA contribution.
If you are not subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax, make sure that any flow-through tax credits (i.e. FICA tip credit and Work Opportunity Tax Credit) are offsetting your tax liability.
If you and your spouse are both working and you utilize day care or after-school programs, be sure to take advantage of the dependent child care credit.
If you are married, did you consider whether it was more advantageous to file jointly than to file separately?