Are you in a boring job that makes you feel unmotivated and unhappy? If so, it is time for a change. There are many exciting opportunities out there for people nowadays, and one of those is to start a small food truck business.
A food truck allows you to be mobile and to see different locations while allowing you to dictate your own working hours and festivals that you will frequent.
Keep reading for the five essential tips when getting your food truck business into gear.
Purchase a food truck
One of the essential requirements of starting a food truck company is to, well, have a food truck! A mobile business can be quite expensive to start up though. Food trucks for sale can cost close to $100,000 for a brand new truck. They are expensive due to the fact you will be handling raw food and the health departments are very strict in their requirements, which means expensive equipment for you.
Another option if you cannot afford such a high-cost truck is to be on the lookout for a used food truck. It will probably be older and could have some small issues, but you could purchase one for approximately $30,000. If that amount is still too much, start small with a food cart rather than a food truck. These only cost around $2,000 and you can expand into a used truck once you have established a name for yourself.
With all of this in mind, you will often get what you pay for, and a new food truck will definitely be a preferable option for those that are looking for quality and longevity.
Make sure to apply for a license
One of the most important aspects of starting a small business with a food truck is to investigate the proper requirements. Different locations have different rules and regulations including parking restrictions and health department certificates. You will need to contact your local government to see what the requirements of owning and operating a food truck are in your city.
Unfortunately, there will probably be some red tape and obstacles to pass. A large one being a cap on the amount of food truck permits the city will issue or parking restrictions in public areas. Once you have the correct permits and licenses, it will be much easier going forward.
Secure a business loan
Another way to get into a food truck right away is to secure a business loan. Make sure to have everything in order when going in to talk to a lender. They want to see your projected income over the next few years including what your estimated profit will be compared to your expenses.
You will most likely need a down payment so make sure you have that secured before applying for your loan. You can also ask friends or family for a small loan, but in either case, be sure to calculate how much interest you will be paying over the course of your loan.
Another critical aspect of starting a food truck business is once you have the truck, make sure you insure it. The truck is a vehicle so there could be an accident on the road when driving it from one location to another. It is important to research the correct insurance as well because not all car insurance companies will insure a truck that is operating as a business. Some will, but you may have riders attached to your policy for the liability of replacing a refrigerator or a speciality oven if it were to be damaged in an accident or totalled due to a fire.
The last critical factor in getting your food truck business up and running is to market and advertise yourself. People need to know where you will be and when you will be there. They need to know what kind of food you will be offering as well as how you handle food for people with allergies to gluten or peanuts.
A good way to market yourself is on social media. You need to generate a buzz about your business and keep followers informed of new menu items, weekly specials, and other such items. You could even make a giveaway challenge by asking followers to give you input on new items you want to add or what colour you should paint your food truck!
Once you have a good customer base and you are making a profit, offer merchandise such as T-shirts or hats for the publicity. Keep expanding by approaching local coffee shops to sell your food in their shop for a small fee.
Why do I need a plan when starting a food truck business?
One of the most critical things you can do when starting any project is to have a plan. Make sure you take into account any issues that might arise during the process of purchasing and operating a food truck. Consider the time it takes to apply for as well as the time it takes to have a permit or license granted to you.
Look into the cost of purchasing a new or used food truck as well as the cost of starting smaller with a food cart. Secure a business loan and calculate your business proposal to your lender including profit, expenses, and interest. After you have secured a truck or cart, insure it to prevent loss of your investment. Finally, market yourself to get your name out there to start earning the revenue you need to make a successful food truck business.