Starting your first food truck can be a daunting endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Pursue this business opportunity with a methodical approach from business planning, to choosing your niche, to reeling in your audience, and you’ll have the best chance of success. Here are six tips for building a strong foundation before you open the truck window and take your first order.
1. Write a Business Plan
Cover all of the essentials before you make a down payment on a truck. Your business plan should include an executive summary; a description of your company; market research; management and logistics; an outline of your product offerings, which in this case is your menu; your projected revenue; and the funding you need to get started. If you choose to pitch your food truck to investors, this information becomes incredibly valuable. Even if you fund your venture another way, a business plan keeps you on track and prepared.
2. Use Kickstarter
Kickstarter is a great way to fund great ideas, so take advantage of this platform when it comes to funding your food truck. Harness the power of Kickstarter by writing up an engaging summary of your food truck brand and menu, which will be similar to your business plan but more accessible to your target market. Offer a deal to your backers, such as free lunches when you open, and they’ll flock.
3. Be Niche
Food trucks are trendy, but they aren’t a unique concept. Make yours one-of-a-kind by offering a menu that your customers can’t find anywhere else. Choose a few key menu items, put your spin on them, and make them perfectly. If you’re passionate about Korean fusion ramen, your audience loves mixing Asian flavors, and there is no shop in the area that serves it, then you’ve just found your niche.
4. Build a Brand
Branding is crucial; you want your target market to recognize you immediately and know what you’re about as a company. It might make sense to hire a marketing or branding firm for a consultation or for designing services, or both. It is important to make sure you’re branded consistently across social media, your truck signage, your paper menus, and even your takeout packaging.
5. Source Quality Food
In the food industry, it is all about quality. Show your customers that you care about their dining experience by putting great ingredients into every lunch service. Take into considerations what your customers value in small businesses. They might be impressed by locally sourced meats, or organic produce. Listen to them and tell them that you value what they value.
6. Target Audiences
The success of your food truck depends wholly on your audience and your ability to connect with them. Work on building a passionate social media following before you open your metaphorical doors. Chances are your demographic already has a strong presence on social media, so the connection is just waiting to be made.