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If you’ve made the choice to follow your heart and buy a food truck, there are sure to be a lot of questions developing in your mind about how to best develop, market and grow your business.
The following six tips are small ideas you can keep in mind when setting out on your exciting new journey.
Find Your Passion
Whether you’re interested in South American barbeque, or in Thai street food, your business will be off to a better start if you’re working towards a goal you’re passionate about.
For example, there’s no use in committing yourself to a life serving iced-creams to children if the very thought of long summer days and screaming kids aren’t your idea of bliss.
Don’t be afraid to be creative – if your particular idea or niche is unusual or creative it might be just what the market is missing.
Research, Research, Research
Being well prepared for the realities of operating a business is another key factor in developing a successful food truck. Take the time to realistically plan and budget, while also conducting scaled market research.
Is there a trend emerging in the cuisine tastes in your city or town? Are certain areas lacking food trucks or mobile food options? These types of questions can help to provide you with an organisational blueprint or template so that you can be prepared for any difficult times in the event that they arise.
As a new business, it can be hard to identify, grow and interact with your market – so it can help to set up social media pages in advance. Creating an online presence and a social media ‘personality’ can help your business create a buzz, while also introducing potential customers to what you’re business is about.
Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of friends and family in spreading the word. With the ability to like and share posts, information can spread quickly.
Setting up a promotional offer is another way to generate new or potential customers when you launch your business. Combining a great value offer with warm, genuine customer service is a surefire way to encourage repeat customers.
A successful business is often the product of a supportive neighbourhood – but food trucks exist outside of the traditional bricks and mortar business space.
Don’t be afraid to connect meaningfully with your local neighbourhood. School fetes, council events, elections and festivals are a great way to generate local good will, while providing you with a guaranteed stream of customers. Local markets are also on the rise, and can be a good place to grow a regular, captive clientele.
Don’t Be Afraid To Grow
Once you’ve taken the leap and established your food truck business, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you no longer need to grow or change.
Accepting customer feedback and suggestions are an essential part of developing any successful business. Take the time to speak with your customer and find out how they feel about your offerings. Accept any constructive criticism in the spirit with which it was offered and seek to constantly improve.
Go To Market
Finding interesting ways to market your food truck business to a potential audience can seem difficult. Do your own market research or invest in a market research company to do the research for you.
Employing the findings of your market research, find a fun and creative way to speak to your chosen demographic, while offering an incentive to try your food. An ‘opening day’ promotional flyer is a basic and effective way to reach out to customers. Pair a promotional offer with a ‘treasure hunt’ style game of ‘locate the truck to win’ and you’ve got a recipe for opening day hijinks.
Developing a successful food truck business requires research, passion and a sense of fun. By utilising your creative marketing skills as well as your culinary prowess, you’ll be well on the way to a reputation worthy of a (mobile) Michelin star.