Editor’s Note: Today we’re excited to present a post from Alyssa Johnson. Alyssa is currently working as a freelance writer for https://essayvikings.com/. Her lifestyle credo is “A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.”
On the outside, a mobile street food business does not seem like a high-cost means of entering the food industry. There is no flashy, high-profile location, no utility costs, and no long-term business property tax.
However, this does not mean that it is the cheapest way out there as there are still some costs and considerations to make when deciding to set up a mobile street food business. For those on a small budget who decide to get into the food truck vending industry, they may need to do some more planning. Being successful with a small business is a grind, so always be ready for compromises.
Have Enough To Sustain Yourself
In all honesty, running a street food stall is not easy work. It’s going to take a while to fulfill your business plan for a food truck as money is not going to roll in from Day 1, and hours will be long. You may have to dedicate a long, physically challenging day to get things up and running, and depending on your location for the day, you may not see the fruits of your labor immediately.
Have enough saved up for not only running your business, but to sustain yourself financially. The food vending industry will only work as hard as you do. All those hours are going to eventually pay off, but in the beginning, you will need to have enough funds to deal with the fact that you may have a long period where you are not raking in any profit.
Have Your Equipment Ready To Go
A mobile food vending business will not spring out of the ground, obviously. And making a taco, a cupcake or a smoothie will not appear out of thin air. You need to have the equipment to start. Look around for mobile business trucks for sale which might be going for cheap. Some people may be giving up their trade as a street vendor and may be looking to get rid of their mobile food truck equipment. You may be able to find some decent/used equipment on sale. Check your local listings.
Do not take any risks, however. Just because it is cheap, it does not mean it is a good deal. Gas equipment, for example, needs to have recognized industry markings and labels to certify that it is safe to be used.
Don’t skimp out on your safety just because you want to save a few pennies. Being pragmatic will be kinder to your budget in the long run.
Get Your Legalities In Order
Probably the most cost-effective thing you can do when setting up a mobile food vending business is to get all the trading, safety and health qualifications and documents in order. It will save you money by avoiding hefty fines for trading illegally.
Treat it like you would a restaurant or bar; make sure you have the permission to trade, and make sure what you sell is of high quality.
Save yourself the legal trouble before it even arises.
Maximize Your Location
The good thing about mobile food trucks is in their name and function — they are mobile. By being savvy about where you locate your mobile canteen, you can make the most out of your money. If you decide to pitch at a music festival, an event or a popular shopping location, you will see that the money seems to roll in with ease. If you have enough saved to pay for the rent that a particular location requires, then you may find yourself getting the rent fee back many times over.
Look into what locations tend to have the most footfall and aim to go there. If you can’t get there within the first few months of business, then work hard, advertise yourself and build yourself up to a reputation where people will even request you being there.
After all, supply meets demand and if you market yourself as a stall that needs to be at certain locations, you will never be short of demand and money.
If going for the most popular locations is not viable, then go for the cheapest and build yourself up that way. If what you are selling is good enough, you will find that people will come to you without having to rely on a marketable template.
Ask around, copy your competitors and fake it until you make it.
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