Ask anyone who has tried it; starting up a food truck business is a stressful, yet exciting undertaking. As the owner, you must start out as the heart and soul of your mobile food company. In this role, you are the primary driving force behind everything your food truck accomplishes.
But as you find success and your food truck empire starts expanding, too often the business can outgrow a young chef’s individual abilities. During these growing pains, you will have to make decisions in areas where you may lack real experience or knowledge.
While expansion is what you are after (whether it includes additional staff, trucks or even a brick and mortar restaurant), it is imperative that you prioritize and recognize the importance of your own personal growth. By doing so, your food truck business will have a greater chance of success. The more control you take of your own growth, the better it will be for your food truck, your employees and your bottom line.
Here are five tips on how to grow personally with your expanding food truck business:
Surround yourself with trusted individuals.
We are not referring to your family or best friend. Find a mentor with the experience and industry expertise you lack but desperately need. Check out your local food truck organization, reach out to organizations like SCORE.
Take a deep breath.
Don’t rush into decisions, no matter how urgent they seem. Take time to reflect on all potential outcomes, and seek advice before you make any decisions. It also helps to research other food trucks to or small restaurants to see if you can find situations similar to your own and find out how they dealt with it; good or bad. The more information you have, the more likely the decision you make will be the right one.
Reflect on the mistakes.
When things go wrong or you use poor judgment, figure out how you could have made a better decision. This exercise will grow your character and help you approach similar situations more effectively.
Set up clear communication channels.
While it isn’t always fun to hear complaints about your management style, it is necessary to keep on top of your business and employee morale. Make sure you have a system in place for employees to air grievances, as well as provide you a constant loop of feedback.
Running a food truck isn’t easy. Lean on your mentors, friends and family for support and develop your own sense of self. When you are comfortable in your own skin, you’ll be a more mature leader.