A Company That Really Cooks: What to Remember About Starting a Food Truck Business

Running any form of business is undoubtedly a challenge that we all have to face in so many different ways, whether it’s our professional skills or actually choosing something that aligns with our sensibilities. Lots of people pick businesses because they find it brings some form of freedom and lots have, no doubt, thought about the freedom that comes with something like a food truck. There are movies that have popularized the notion of hitting the open road with a business providing people with tasty treats, but when it comes to the romantic notion of starting a food truck business, there is a lot more to consider than meets the “ribeye.” Let’s show you exactly what you need to bear in mind before you start embarking on this delicious adventure.

First, let’s get money matters out of the way. A food truck is a business, and financial responsibility plays a key role. When on the move, you need partners, such as Evolve Bank & Trust, that offer quick and easy access to banking services online.

Kneading Your Niche

Before you get giddy and excited and find a food truck to fix up, you’ve got to pick a specific niche. What is it that you have a burning passion for? Lots of people start out very simply, for example, a coffee truck, and there are companies who go from place to place delivering coffee, but also find that they set up shop just outside major public locations and even expand into other modes of transport such as a coffee cart that is undoubtedly easier to drive in comparison to a food truck.  But even if you go down the route of selling coffee, it’s not just about ensuring you have all of the coffee tools at your disposal, but understanding if you can maintain the interest in your specific food niche. Lots of people choose something they have a burning passion for and this will undoubtedly offset a number of potential pitfalls, especially when learning how to build a business. One of the most common pieces of advice entrepreneurs get is that they’ve got to stick with something they have a passion for, and choosing the right niche will guarantee you keep this at the heart and soul of your business when everything else goes into the frying pan. 

Broil a Business Plan

Every successful business begins with a solid business plan and a food truck business is exactly the same. Lots of beginner business people believe that they have to use this as some form of box-ticking exercise but you should ensure you give this the time it deserves. This is the ideal opportunity for you to lay out exactly what your vision is, if you currently have one, but also find out startup costs, potential projections for your finances, and, more importantly, define your target audience.  Your business plan is such an essential component because it is the blueprint that is going to guide you now and years down the line. When you find that your business hits a wall or something is not working, you’ve got your business plan to fall back onto. You can consult what has happened and what has gone wrong and when you come to the conclusion that it’s because there is a gap in your business plan you can fix this, but it becomes a very big lesson in ignoring the first year of your business. Make the most of it now because if you start to get customers and experience the peaks and troughs of business, you will not know which way is up. Take the time now while you have the breathing space to set up the basics of your business plan.

Slicing Your Schedule

As mentioned, a food truck business is, first and foremost, a business. So you need to be organized with pretty much every resource you have at your disposal. This includes finances, ingredients, manpower, and time. Organize your workday and keep improving your schedule to ensure that you can work as efficiently as possible. Time wasted is money lost, so use whatever tools and software you can to streamline your work, including all the paperwork and admin that goes into running any business. Make sure your critical documents are well organized and easy to access when you need them, so your work can run smoothly.

Boil a Brand

Many people think about food trucks as being akin to an ice cream truck- you just hit the road and people will magically chase after you! However, these days you’ve got to think that because there’s so many competitors in the business world, you’ve got to attract the curious food enthusiasts from a mile off. A brand is beyond a catchy name and a memorable logo but is something that represents your identity.  The name and the logo are important and they will form so much about how you look, particularly the exterior of the food truck, but you must also remember that building your brand is about the low and slow approach. Take the time to figure out who is going to eat your food, but also who these people are. Demographics such as age, location, and even occupation can all dictate what and when they will eat. This means that once you understand who your audience is, it invariably spills into other promotional tactics, from your website contentall the way to where you set up your food truck at any given time. Starting a food truck business sounds like an amazing adventure, but at the end of the day it is ultimately a business and we must treat it accordingly. As passionate as you are about food, you can’t ever forget the things that really will make your company cook.