Ranking in the top five fastest growing small business ventures in 2017, the food truck business is booming. The chances are high that when you exit your favorite museum you will see one parked off to the side of the road, you will see them lined up outside of music festivals, and you will spot them driving through your city selling their faire in high-traffic area. But not just anyone can be a wizard when it comes to turning a profit. First, you must determine if entering the food truck business is the right move for you.
Do You Have the Financing for the Right Food Truck?
The food truck business offers a very low overhead. Your food truck will be the most expensive piece to invest in, and in order to be successful you need to know exactly what kind of food truck to buy and have the financing set in place.
First of all, beware of second-hand food trucks. They are notorious for racking up costly repairs and putting people out of business. Invest more money into fabricating or building a new food truck from a reputable company that offers affordable pricing. In the long run you will save thousands a year and will only need to schedule routine maintenance.
In terms of financing there are many options. You don’t need to approach a food truck company with cash in hand. Banks can offer small business loans or financing options. You can also go to friends and family offering investment opportunities, or look into crowdfunding opportunities through places like Kickstarter or social media.
Do You Have the Right Product for Your Market?
You will need to make sure that your menu fits your local market. For example, if your menu consists of vegan items and you plan to operate in an area where people are blue-collar meat-eaters, you probably won’t keep your head above water. Take a look at your competition, their popularity, what food items customers in your area purchase the most and determine if your menu truly serves them.
Are You Passionate?
If your goal is to simply turn a profit while being your own boss and working in your sandals all day but you really don’t have passion for food or the food truck business, you may want to re-think entering the industry. Food truck customers don’t just buy from businesses that have exciting menus; they buy from the people who cook the food. Your passion is evident in everything form customer interactions, to food preparation, to how you market yourself online. If you lack the passion your customers will notice, and they will take their cash elsewhere.
Do Some Field Research Before the Dive
Before you contact a food truck manufacturer to build your dream, do some research to see if this is truly a move you can make with 100% drive. Go around town and eat at various food trucks; talk to the owners and ask them what they love about running a food truck, talk to their customers and ask them what is important to them as consumers, and consider the time and effort it takes into being truly great. If your heart tells you that the food truck business is the right move for you, seek an education on how to start up the smart way and let your passion shine through with every burger you flip and sushi you roll.