Running a food truck is arguably one of the toughest businesses to operate and requires vendors to provide a hands-on approach. If you fall into the group of vendors that your food truck business running you, there is a good chance you are going to struggle to succeed. As a food truck vendor, there are far too many areas within your business to keep this hands-on approach.
If you are still trying, you probably find yourself working 6 and 7 days a week, starting the day early and shutting down late. Unfortunately, you have a business running you, not the other way around.
Is Your Mobile Food Business Running You? How To Stop It
The first step in solving this problem, is to determine if you have a problem at all. Here are a few symptoms that you are not running your food truck and it’s running you.
- There’s never enough time to focus on strategies to grow your business.
- The same problems keep coming up over and over again.
- Your truck can’t run without you there.
- Your staff can’t make decisions on their own and always have to consult you.
If you have any or all of those symptoms, it’s time to take back control of your food truck business. Today we’ll cover a few areas within your business to focus on to allow you to actually start running your food truck again.
So how do you take control of your food truck business? Begin with your your food truck employees. You need to train and empower your entire team to do two important things:
- Think like a vendor, and treat your food truck and everything in it as if they had to pay for it.
- Notice and see what the customers see, and fix what’s broken.
Your food truck staff are the cornerstone of your food truck business. By changing your approach to hiring, training, recognizing and rewarding your staff, you will built a great team that becomes a powerful competitive advantage. Not only will they rise to daily challenges, but they will build your business and brand.
The next step in this process is to tackle your finances. Become obsessed with profit. Since most food trucks are seasonal operators, not only do you need to stay in business, but you really need to crush it when you are open. Create and use simple tracking tools to stay on top of your critical numbers. This allows you to know your prime costs, daily break even and item by item profit contributors. Don’t be a food truck owner that doesn’t take regular inventory or doesn’t know which items have the highest profit margin versus an item’s popularity.
The final are to approach to stop your business running you is marketing. Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking your small business needs to compete with national chain restaurants. Food truck owners simply can’t compete and spend thousands of dollars on internet, radio, print and television ads. Instead, think smart, and use guerilla marketing.
Creatively use marketing opportunities that cost little to no money, but have a huge return. Here’s where your staff come back to the picture. If you follow our advice of training, recognizing and rewarding, your staff will become powerful brand ambassadors. They will give your customers many reasons to return to your food truck and tell their friends. Word of mouth and positive online reviews are a food truck’s effective forms of marketing.
The Bottom Line
It’s likely that as your food truck grows you’ll be facing new and bigger challenges that will require more of your time. As the food truck owner it’s up to you to maintain control and ensure that you’re running a great mobile food business. Take back control of your food truck start with these tips and stop your food truck business running you.