Updated: Jun 23
by Paula Anderson
Starting a business can be as simple as obtaining a business license, but learning how to manage and grow requires consistency and endurance.
Percy Chalmers Jr., owner and operator of Percy P Plates, caught the ‘entrepreneurial bug’ while attending college.
“I always loved cooking from watching Chef Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay, my mother and grandmother,” said Chalmers Jr. “I didn’t wanna work for anyone and I always wanted to own my own wing spot like Crumpy’s and Chings.”
According to Chalmers Jr., he started selling ‘hot plates’ during his sophomore year in college.
Percy P Plates offers single-event based food services, bartending and other special events, according to the website.
Chalmers Jr. described some of the growing pains as he continues his business journey.
“My main challenges have come due to a lack of funding because I have been limited to purchase lower end equipment (and) this has affected my service times because I may have to outsource some items which makes me depend on other factors including shipping timelines,” said Chalmers Jr.
Understanding and knowing your customer has been another lesson.
“Having to realize when a client and/or project is not a match for you or your brand. In the beginning, I wanted to take on every project I could. But over time, I learned what things I enjoyed doing and what things either were too complicated for me to perform on a consistent basis or would cost me more money and time than just saying ‘no,' said Chalmers Jr.
With an understanding of his passions and focus, Chalmers Jr. states that he has made referrals when the project is not a good fit for his business.
“There are times when I might get a different client request, where I will research to see if it is something I can handle because I would be intrigued to learn if I could,” said Chalmers Jr.
According to Chalmers Jr., banquet halls, graduation parties, wedding receptions, business or retirement luncheons, trade shows, breakfasts & lunches for work meetings can be handled under his catering services.
The COVID-19 pandemic taught small business owners to be flexible. Chalmers Jr. shares this advice with new entrepreneurs.
“Always keep going even if plan A doesn’t work, keep going when those rough patches hit and stay consistent and confident about yourself and (the) work/talent that you have! The time is going to come when it all works out,” said Chalmers Jr.
To learn more about Percy P Plates, click here. Social media handles - Instagram and Facebook @PercyPPlates.