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Is Your Food Truck Business Working For You?

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Is Your Food Truck Business Working For You?

No matter what stage your mobile food empire is in, there are a few things you need to continually keep an eye on. You need to understand if it doing everything you want it to?

We’re not talking about just making daily sales and paying your expenses. We want to know; is your food truck business is working for you–or you’re just working for your food truck business.

Maybe you started a food truck because you wanted more flexibility to work the hours you want or you thought it would be fun to work in a kitchen on wheels. But suddenly, your business takes off, and while your accountant may be thrilled with the amount of sales you bring in daily, your spirit isn’t where it was when you first started, because you run around even more than when you had a corporate job or worked in someone else’s kitchen.

Or maybe you began planning your food truck with one goal in mind—say, to open an organic cupcake truck, but after listening to other people’s advice on how to get there, you’re pulled in so many directions that you’re not sure what your business model is anymore (day to day street parking, catering? retailing?).

How To Determine: Is Your Food Truck Business Working For You?

Here are some questions food truck owners need to ask themselves, both during their startup process also after you’ve established your brand, to make sure your food truck is working for you:

What do I want from my food truck financially? It’s a business, after all. Set monetary goals and know that if you want a huge food truck empire, your day-to-day is going to look a lot different than if you simply want to run a single truck that makes just enough to pay the bills. If your food truck isn’t reaching those goals, figure out how to meet them.

What do I want my food truck to be known for? Do you want to create a mobile food business that makes a difference in your community, is a great place to work, is honored for your culinary innovation or the service you provide your customers? Choose a few goals that matter to you and stick to them.

What do I want to do day-to-day in my mobile food business? It seems in most cases, food truck owners have to provide a lot of elbow grease to make the business a success, especially in the startup phase. However, in an effort to grow their business, some food truck vendors end up doing work they have no interest or talent for. So how can you set tasks up so you keep doing what you love most of the time?

What does food truck success look like? Does success mean you’re able to leave the confines of your truck’s kitchen and running the business from an office? Does it mean you have a fleet of food trucks driving the streets of your community, or opening up a brick and mortar location? Are you working a few hours a day in the commissary prepping for a single lunch shift and hitting your daily lunch spots 5 days a week? All these visions of success are equally valid; the key is to find one means the most to you.

Once you’ve determined what you really want to get out of owning a food truck business, don’t lose track of it. Take a look at yourself and your mobile food business to make sure you and it are on the right track. When you find yourself losing focus, steer it back on course. Then, and only then, will you create a food truck business that gives you what you want.

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Richard is an architect by degree (Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan) who began his career in real estate development and architectural planning. In September of 2010 he created Mobile Cuisine Magazine to fill an information void he found when he began researching how to start a mobile hotdog cart in Chicago. Richard found that there was no central repository of mobile street food information anywhere on the internet, and with that, the idea for MCM was born.

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