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Home > Home Business Profiles > Meal Planning Service

Home Business Profiles:
Meal Planning Service

Owner's Name: Sue Inskip

Company Name: Dinner Wizard


Type of Products/Services Offered: Meal Planning for the busy work week

Start Up Cost: $10,000

What did start up costs go for?: My initial expense was in establishing my trademark.  Since I do not have personal programming expertise, I needed to use my start up funds to fully develop the technology used for this website and creation of a database of recipes

Earning Potential: With a new customer base of 2,000 subscriptions, I would gross almost $50,000.

Skills Needed: I utilized my organizational skills to develop an idea that I found useful in preparing meals for my own family of 6.  I found myself in many uncharted territories during the various stages of development where I found it necessary to have a philosophy of “Just Ask”.  I have asked many questions along the way to familiarize myself with all phases of development which has increased my technical knowledge.  I was assertive in finding out information about partnering with a company to coupon enable this site which adds tremendous customer value to Dinner Wizard. 



Special Equipment Needed: The Primary piece of equipment needed was my trusty computer with cable internet.  The recipe database was completely created across the internet.

Best Customers/Target Market: Our Service has a broad range of appeal to working women, stay-at-home moms, newlyweds, and single parents and families with growing children of all ages still at home.

Resources & Organizations that help : Any type of family focused group would be interested in practical approaches to gathering families around the dinner table.  Cooking enthusiasts are also interested in our service.  Support type groups for Moms balancing career and home, Home Schooling networks.  Interest groups to build personal organizations skills and anyone wanting to provided better balanced, more nutritional meals for their family.

Any Tips?: Creating a business out of my own personal sense of need has been very rewarding.  When my  children were growing I went to a grocery store on the other side of town, and I needed a plan.  That was the simple source of inspiration for me.  I wanted a list that hit  the main items and got me started.  I wanted to have my recipes with me as I shopped so I could “ad lib” with a bag of salad or a special rice mix.   I wanted to be able to refer to my recipes quickly all week long without fumbling through pages of print outs or cook books. I discovered that I was not alone, and that other mothers had the same need I did.

I attended a free community seminar at the local library to learn more about the business structure I wanted to use.  From that free seminar I located an attorney to assist me with trademark registration issues and establish myself as a legal entity.

Starting a business that had no existing parallels has proven to be beneficial as well as presenting many challenges. I had to overcome objections such as “Why should I pay for something that is free at so many sites?”  The value was created in the final printed format of the weekly meal plan.  I found myself doing hours of research on the internet on large companies that I thought would be interested in this fabulous new service.  I came to the conclusion that I should not try to navigate the complexities of large corporations since I did not have any starting connections within the industry.  Blind calls led me down blind alleys.  So, I decided to just roll up my sleeves and dig in myself.

I presented Dinner Wizard to senior marketing students at a state university.  The students warmly embraced this company and worked hard to prepare Integrated Marketing Plans.  From their hard work and research I was able to have some ideas for marketing at no cost to me.  The students developed some catch phrases and advertising plans.  I discovered the cost of different advertising media (none of which I could afford!).  They did background research on similar websites, compiled demographic information, and interview prospective users for ease of use and functionality of the web site.  Their enthusiasm and positive reactions were instrumental in keeping me motivated. 

I taught myself to use Power Point, and for the cost of a display board I was able to showcase Dinner Wizard at a local TechShow that featured new and emerging pieces of technology that were developed within our community.  I also arranged to be interviewed by the local paper that did a full page, colored, feature article on Dinner Wizard.  I entered a contest at a local radio station to become “Business of the Day”, which that led to an on-the-air interview and several new subscriptions.

I am enthusiastic about future opportunities for Dinner Wizard in working with organizations like

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