With the continued growth of the mobile food industry, there are still some trucks that have not been able to succeed. For some, the reasons lay in the over regulation they face in their local areas, but for most, the reasons can be found simply by looking in the mirror.
We have previously written the primary reasons that food trucks have failed, in this article we wanted to extend the number of reasons and show how to avoid them. Owning a food truck requires the owners to wear many hats, and without the knowledge of some of the common shortfalls they can face, they can easily fall into these problem areas without even realizing it.
No marketing plan.
A marketing plan outlines the steps you intend to take to sell your food truck menu items. As one component of the overall business plan, it identifies your niche, your product and the strategies you’ll employ to reach your target market, as well as how much you intend to spend on this marketing (with the use of Twitter and Facebook, this can just involve the investment of time). Marketing is fundamental to your company’s success. Without it, you won’t have any customers or clients. For this reason, it’s critical to spend the extra effort to develop one, even if it only is to include social media platforms.
No customer service program.
You and your food truck are in business only because you have people lining up at your service window. In order to get a customer following and to maintain it, it’s important to have a customer service program. A program can include anything from the methods you use to gain new customers, to how you service them once they have become customers. It includes follow up visits to new parking locations, providing information to them about current or new products and services (such as catering), and, most importantly, kind, courteous, and prompt service when they have a problem or issue. It is time consuming to get new customers. It’s better and easier to retain the one’s you have by employing an outstanding customer service program.
No strategic partners.
Successful food truck business owners typically don’t go it alone. They associate, partner, and network with other successful food trucks. Partnering with others is a way to quickly expand the reach of your own mobile business. There’s a wonderful synergy that comes with doing things with other truck in your area. There are more ideas, more knowledge, and more resources to create products and services.
No ways of monitoring progress.
You cannot manage what you cannot monitor or measure. Every food truck business needs to identify its key success factors. It might be the number of products sold, the number of service hours provided, or even the perception of your mobile business in the local community. The only way you can improve your business and attain the success you desire, is by measuring the results of your actions. You’ll be able to identify what is working and also where the shortfalls exist. You can use any number of methods including internal operating checklists, customer surveys, and even peer reviews. This valuable feedback will be extremely useful in realigning your business efforts in the direction that maximizes the success of your mobile food empire.
No commitment to learning.
There is no place for complacency when it comes to being a mobile food entrepreneur. Successful food truck owners search constantly for new and better ways to get customers as well as to serve the ones they already have. They are aware of the latest food service industry trends and ideas so they can create products and services which best serve the changing needs of their target market. They learn about and implement processes that increase the effectiveness of their day-to-day operations. By committing yourself to learning and to implementing what you learn, you’re committing yourself to success in all parts of your business.