I'm still new, too (just launched our business December 2006).
We got started when several friends, who we'd invited over and cooked for several times, suggested to us that we become personal chefs. After researching, we decided to give it a go. As people caught wind of us, the response we got invariably was, "That's great - do you do catering, too?"
We heard that so often that we decided to rethink our plan and incorporated catering into our services.
In December, we partnered with a local coffee house that had a commercially graded and approved (but UNUSED) kitchen! We did two free tastings and invited people in to try some of the foods we offer. The tastings were a huge success and the owner of the coffee house actually invited us to share his storefront so now, in addition to the catering and the occasional personal chef gig, we have a deli.
The main thing when you're getting started is that you have to ask around and do a LOT of networking. A LOT. We write letters to newly engaged couples, give out occasional freebies in the deli... you name it; whatever free or inexpensive advertising we can use for the business, we do it.
There's a caveat though that we had to learn the hard way. When catering, do NOT short-sell your services no matter how badly you want to book your first wedding reception!!! We were so eager to book our first wedding that we gave in on MANY points that we never should have agreed to. We gave free bar service, agreed to let them cut costs in several areas, and let them make menu changes right up to 48 hours prior to the event. BIG mistake. We're now paying for our generosity by being slapped with a lawsuit for the full amount of the event plus attorney's fees. We did make one big "newbie" error (my head chef didn't check in the food by taking it out of the box to examine the delivery and we ended up with a few cuts of the wrong meat) but the rest of the accusations are entirely false. Which brings me to my last point:
Be glad, very glad, that you've found this site! The people here have a WEALTH of knowledge to share and they are extremely helpful! I just came here for the first time a few weeks ago after the accursed event and the advice/encouragement I've received has been invaluable.
p.s. although the lawsuit is bogus and is every caterer's worst nightmare, it is the ONLY bad experience we've had! We've done several weddings, graduation parties and even two proms and, while it's certainly been exhausting, it has also been the thrill of a lifetime! You've picked an exhilerating profession!