If you’ve dreamed of being your own boss and taking your culinary creations to your city, a food truck business may be the perfect choice. The food truck industry is booming, but even if you already have experience in the restaurant industry, there’s a lot to learn about the food truck business if you’re going to be successful. It will take some hard work, a vision, and persistence to get your new business off the ground.
Here’s a look at some helpful insider tips you can use to get your food truck business going and on the road to success.
Tip #1 – Make Sure You Have a Good Concept That Stands Out from the Crowd
Just like a restaurant has a concept, your food truck will need a concept. While you want something familiar that patrons recognize, you also want a concept that makes you stand out from the crowd. Coming up with a concept early is important because it will set the direction and tone for all the decisions you have to make. Keep in mind, your concept needs to meet the demands of your market while being different from the competition.
Tip #2 – Know Where to Look for Startup Financing for Your Food Truck Business
You’re going to have some startup costs to get your food truck business going, and usually the food truck itself is one of the biggest costs. However, you’ll also have the cost of equipment, ingredients, licenses, permits, and more. It’s important to know where to look to find the startup financing you need to get the business off the ground. Look at your personal finances first. If you have a savings account or some retirement savings, you may need to initially use your own money to get started. Friends and family may be a good source of funds, and you may have friends and family that want to make an equity investment, sharing in the decisions and success of your food truck. Business loans are available, but in most cases, it’s difficult to get a business loan before you prove that your business is successful and growing.
Tip #3 – Follow the Right Legal Steps So You Can Operate Your Truck Legally
While you’re probably ready to get out there and start serving up your delicious cuisine to patrons, don’t forget that you need to follow some legal steps to ensure you’re operating your food truck legally. You’ll need to decide on a business structure, come up with a name for the business, get your employer identification number, and register within the state in which you plan to do business. Different states, cities, and counties have their own requirements, but some of the permits or licenses you may need to get started include:
- Vehicle license
- Music license
- Health department permit
- Business license
- Liquor license
- Fire certificate
- Food handler permit
Tip #4 – Learn from Others Who Have Already Achieved Success
Make sure you do your research and learn as much as possible from other food truck vendors who have achieved success. You’ll find websites like UsedVending.com and books that offer helpful information and resources that can enable you to get your own business started successfully. You can network with other entrepreneurs in the food truck business as well, finding mentors who can give you good advice and help you avoid common mistakes they may have made on their journey towards success.