One of the riskiest times for any business especially those in the mobile food industry is when it first opens. In the first two years, three of every ten start ups go out of business according to the US SBA. And while they also claim that by five years, half those start ups are history, the mobile food industry is still so new, we can’t confirm that this statistic applies yet.
So how can you improve the odds that your food truck start up will survive that tough first years? Here are five important steps to take:
- Talk to customers. Doing market research at before you launch can help you avoid so many mistakes. You’ll have the right menu, at the right price, in the right area.
- Choose your location carefully. Whether you’re in a town where you can park on public streets or one where you will be parked in a vacant lot, make sure your truck, cart or trailer is where it needs to be.
- Keep expenses down. Look for every possible way to save. This will allow you to keep going longer, hopefully until revenue starts to cover your nut. Hire culinary interns, postpone unnecessary purchases, or pick up a broom and do it yourself. Do it all yourself, for as long as needed.
- Plan for problems. The only thing as sure as death and taxes is that unexpected issues will crop up with your newly born food truck business. Sit down and think about everything that could go wrong — then, make a plan for how you will survive each possible scenario.
- Analyze your numbers. Even though it’s hard to find time in those crazy days after you first hit the streets, it’s important to stop and look at your numbers to see where your mobile food business is headed. Is that where you want to go? If not, change course. Most successful food trucks went through multiple iterations before they found their groove.
Are you an owner that has made it past the first year? How did you do it? Share your story in the comment section below.