A business plan is vital for most new businesses but it is an absolute must imperative for a prospective mobile food vendor. By creating food truck business plans, you do two things:
- Show prospective investors that you have a clear foundation for getting your food truck up and running.
- Learn about the different aspects of running a food truck, as well as finding out who your local competition is and who in your market will be your potential customers.
A business plan is especially helpful to those new to the mobile food industry. It creates a blueprint for building your food truck business, and will tip you off to problems you may not have previously considered, such as the hoops you need to jump through for licensing and health codes.
While most business plans have the same general structure there are some sections of your plan that will be geared specifically to food trucks.
Here is a breakdown of all the key parts of food truck business plans:
Start out with an overview of the meat and potatoes of your business plan. Think of it as the introduction. Develop it so it keeps your readers attention. Here are two tips for writing an executive summary geared toward a food truck business plan.
- Give the reader (potential investors) the basics of your business concept. What is the style or cuisine of food you’ll be serving from your new food truck, the name of the business and your primary parking locations (parts of the city, events, catering).
- Explain why you are well suited to operate a food truck. Do you have previous cooking experience in food trucks or restaurants? If not, do you have any experience in the food truck business? If the answer is no, then you need to be prepared to sell them on the idea that despite your lack of experience, you are still the perfect person for this new food truck business.
This part of a business plan is sometimes referred to as a business analysis. It explains in more detail (than the executive summary) to the reader the operation location, legal name and the concept of the food truck you want to create. This is where you will give details on your local competition (food trucks and restaurants), population of the areas you will operate and other information you have gather during your research.
This part of food truck business plan is where you lay out your marketing strategy. There are three primary parts to a market analysis:
- Industry- Who will be your customers? Is your food truck going to serve business professionals at lunch time? The bar crowd on late nights? Explain your customer base and why they are going to flock to your new food truck, not the competition.
- Competition- Who is your competition? Many people opening a new food truck assume everyone will prefer their truck to the existing trucks in the area. Don’t underestimate them. Many of them have already built a loyal customer base, and attempting to poach customers from them will not be easy. Find out as much as you can about your competition, including their menu, parking locations and prices. Then explain in a paragraph or two how you will compete with the already established businesses.
- Marketing- What methods do you plan to use to promote your food truck? How are you going to target your core audience? Many food trucks use free social media services such as Twitter and Facebook. Unfortunately, it takes a bit more to make it to the top. What is going to set you apart from your competition? Give specifics on how you plan to get the word out about the newest mobile food business in your market.
This section is where you explain about your when and where you plan to operate and what your planned staffing levels will be. You will also need to explain the benefits your truck will provide potential customers. This is also a good place to mention any close ties you may have with local food suppliers or local farms that will give you a competitive edge.
Management & Ownership
Who is going to run the business? What role will you play in daily operations? Are you going to be the accountant, driver, head chef and marketing guru? If so, how do you plan to get this all accomplished? Many new food truck owners start out on their own others bring in staff to help with day to day operations. Explain who is going to do what, including any potential employees whom you feel will be a great benefit to your new food truck.
Now comes the part of a food truck business plan that scares most inexperienced entrepreneurs. So how much is this mobile food business ultimately going to cost? This is where you want to list the projected growth of your new food truck empire. You should include a profit and loss statement that projects how much are you going to spend versus how much you are going to make. Other items you should include in your financial report include:
- Break even analysis
- Balance Sheet
- Food Truck Industry Data
- Possible Risk (show investors that you understand that all food trucks don’t succeed by explaining how you plan to pay them if you fall into that category.)