Ideas are prevalent they can strike anytime; especially business ideas are contaminating in nature, one idea can lead to another, then further before resulting in a successful venture. Let’s start with the small idea and give it wings to fly. A food truck might be a small business idea but if you capitalize on its potentiality then you might be the next millionaire dominating the business magazine’s cover page for making headway from neighborhood to mainstream business community. However, you need to straighten your basics; in fact, understanding the fundamental principles is the key to a great start.
Running a food truck is most effective you to understand how consumers react to your services and food. Most importantly, it can offer you an opportunity to conduct your market research before spending millions in opening up a fine-dine restaurant in a posh locality. Here are the few tips to start your food truck business and from there take it to the next level.
Get The Legal Documents Ready:
Before you drive the truck and park in a crowded locality hoping to make some quick buck, make sure to find the documents you need such as license, parking permission, etc. you might need special certifications to prepare the food and sell it on the street. Therefore, check with your local authorities to determent the course of action; otherwise, you could end up paying the fine.
Locate the right Locality:
You just can’t drive into a neighborhood and start selling where you are likely to encounter hostility. Ensure that you choose a place where people are cooperative. At this juncture talking to other food truck owners can give you a clear insight into the nature of the business. You might discover something that can either help you in setting up the business or give you hints about the industry’s shortcomings.
Map out few locations, visit the place and if possible talk to the locals, in this way, you can figure out the suitable location.
Plan it properly:
Now you are ready to move to the next step and this is the most important part of your venture. Prepare a budget and estimate the investment amount. You have the option of availing the loan from the bank or credit unions.
In the beginning, you are not going to be profitable, and you might end up making a considerable amount of the money at the end of the first month but that is unlikely. So, ensure that you have enough balance in your account to run smoothly for at least a year.
Your financial plan should include the following expenses:
- Your startup expenditure such as equipment, truck, and other branding related expenses.
- It should include business insurance.
- Staff and overhead salary that includes your remuneration too.
- Gas, food and other supplies.
Identify the niche:
Without a customer segment, venturing into the food truck business is more like going for fishing into the mystic waters and it is not wise to leave business up to the chances or at mercy of the luck. Identify the niche whether you want to run a food truck that caters specialized snacks or delicacies or cuisines. You should not keep it confined to basic local food; you can extend the offering by making your menu look good with some variety of cuisines.
If can figure out the niche correctly, then more than half the battle is won because from there you can create your customer base and expand your business. If possible, create your own niche, and traditionally, the first in the segment have been the market leaders. Hence, never miss a chance to capitalize on this opportunity of creating a new wave of food lovers.
Buy a truck:
Identify the exact requirements and consider your financial ability; you might feel excited about buying a new truck; however, it is wiser to buy a used truck and remember it has to go through the health inspection. If you happened to be a little lucky you would easily find a truck suitable for your business. Search online, talk to your friends and colleagues regarding your business and ask them to look out for a truck.
To avoid unpleasant situations and losses cover your business under a suitable insurance plan in accordance with the nature of the business. Should anything distasteful happen, you are safe and not going to lose everything. You can still manage to bounce back. This is the surest way to safeguard yourself against the unpredictability nature of the business.
You might need to get specific insurances such as general liability or commercial auto insurance; visit local authorities and probe about every possible thing with regard to insurance.
Now the time has come to brand your business, social media is the most cost-effective way of positioning your brand. Run food selfie contest, discount offers, and other promotional activities to attract customers. Run special evening and lunch offers and communicate your offers through WhatsApp, Facebook, and other social media platform. A strong web presence is a key to a successful food truck business. Therefore, make sure you hire one professional social media professional to carry out campaign scientifically.
Never try to run the social media campaign by yourself, if you do, then reassess your business strategy, you might have opened an ad agency instead the of food truck business, leave the tasks to specialists if you are serious about the business and concentrate on your own immediate task of catering good food to your customers.
Do not start judging the business for first few months, keep a track of all the activities, maintain proper records and analyze the data correctly. As you go on running the business, you will discover ways to better your business. If possible, get feedback from your customers to enhance the service quality.
You might start this as a small business; however, never under-estimate the potentiality of food truck business. Over the time you will learn the trick of the trade and later you can open a lavish restaurant and can leverage your gained experience and knowledge.
Mario Rolls is the blog consultant and writer at Dump Trucks. He brings 20 years of experience in various industries including heavy vehicle blogging and dump body manufacturing business. He is working for a company in Mississippi and one of the Nation’s primary manufacturers of dump truck bodies and trailers. Warren offers products and services for the smallest to the largest trucks.