Starting a business can often be a scary and intimidating journey that requires a large amount of financial and time commitment. One of the most interesting and unique ways to start your own business is to look into starting a food truck. A food truck can offer many possibilities to the aspiring entrepreneur and there are many lucrative opportunities that await those who want to get into the food truck industry. To help make sure you don’t suffer from any serious issues with your food truck, we will look at common mistakes that you should make sure to avoid when starting your food truck.
1) Not having a business plan
No matter the business venture you plan on taking on, trying to create a successful business without a plan is nearly impossible and is often the reason that so many businesses fail. When you look to start planning your food truck business, it is critical that you have a thorough and comprehensive business plan that will help you outline your needs and goals for the future. A business with a business plan will know what they need to accomplish and how to get there, while a business that is just acting off of instinct and hope will surely be caught off guard when they are unprepared and fail to plan for the future. With all of the logistics that go into operating a normal business, let alone a food truck, the key to success lies in having a well-constructed and rigid plan for what it is you want to accomplish.
2) Not understanding the laws and regulations
One of the most important considerations to be aware of when taking part in any distribution of food is to be aware of the laws and regulations surrounding your business. For food trucks, there are certain food truck laws that need to be adhered to so that you are operating and making sales under proper influence of the law. If you fail to remember and abide by the laws set in place by your area of operation you can face serious charges that could result in fines, lawsuits, and even the removal of your truck if you are not careful. The addition of having a kitchen withing your truck also opens you up to the jurisdiction of the various health and safety organizations that will have to ensure your operations are in compliance with food codes and guidelines.
3) Not marketing yourself
Modern businesses need to spread their message through any means necessary to ensure their marketing is successful. You could have the best food truck in the nation and if it isn’t properly advertised, nobody would know about it and you would have low sales. Many food truck vendors think that their truck is all the advertising they need, but the introduction of social media advertising has created an entirely new world of possibilities for you and your competition. Many large-scale food truck franchises have social media accounts that follow around their trucks and promote new events that get customers engaged and interested into what that business has to offer. Failure to properly leverage marketing opportunities will leave you in the past and without any sales.
4) You don’t know the area
If you want to establish yourself as a local food truck that gets people excited to visit, you have to know the area you are working around and where to go for the best business. Sure, you can drive around until you find somewhere that seems to have a good crowd, but without knowing if you can park there or how the crowds normally are you are just basing your moves around instinct and not strategy. Making sure to go to high traffic areas that allow food trucks and allow you to establish rapport with the locals will paint a positive image in their minds of you and give you regular customers. It’s great to try new areas to see what the locals are interested in, but you must understand the area to ensure you are getting as much business as possible while also abiding by the area’s regulations.
5) Having inconsistent quality
The reason fast food chains all around the world are so popular is because people know they can go to the same restaurant across the world and get the same experience. Consistency is what generates a following and desire for your product that keeps people wanting more. If you just cook whatever you feel like, people will have nothing to associate your brand with and just see you as a lazy food truck. Making sure to establish a line of quality and consistency with your food will make people know that you care about what you serve to them and ensure that they have many positive experiences with your food truck. Not getting complacent and striving to keep things in top order allows you to operate more effectively and established your brand with positive traits of quality and care.
6) Not being ready for changing trends
Food and the way we view it can change almost instantly with new media platforms spreading new trends and fads all throughout the world. People see something new online and are then inclined to try it out and see what the rage is all about. If you have been making the same food for many years and are seeing declining sales, it is probably because you are failing to innovate and are not giving the people what they want. The most successful food truck franchises are able to stick to their general brand image but are also bold enough to try new things and adapt to the needs and wants of their customers.
Starting a food truck can be an incredibly rewarding and exciting business operation if you are willing to put in the time and effort to work hard. By watching out for these 6 common food truck mistakes, you can already be ahead of the competition before you even start.