Like many of your food truck vending peers, you entered this year full of optimism. This was the year you moved to the next level. So, when you sat down at your desk this morning and saw the big gap between your projected first quarter profits and reality, you nearly choked. What you thought would be your best quarter yet, isn’t. So how can you turn this around your first quarter profits?

Now is definitely not the time to panic. Wringing your hands won’t salvage the numbers, nor will excuses. Now is the time to jump back into the saddle, and work smarter than ever. You can salvage this quarter and maybe even turn it around to see record profits. The key is to stay relentless.

Five Tactics To Save Your Food Truck’s First Quarter Profits:

Get that one thing done, as soon as possible

The first of our tactics to save your first quarter profits is get to work and make it count. Profits are created from a series of actions: exciting new menu item creation, retaining existing customers, building your customer base, etc. Each of the actions adds up, and eventually, you’ll reach success. But here’s the catch, you’ll never achieve success unless you complete enough of those actions in time.

Asking yourself, “What’s the one action I need to take right now that will make the biggest difference in actually achieving my goal?” Now, get that one thing done as soon as possible. Doing this can add up to big revenues quickly.

Figure out what you care about

Nothing causes your profit line to disintegrate faster than giving energy to things that just don’t matter. Unfortunately that often happens when you first realize you’re not on track to meet your targets.

Checking minor, busy work tasks off your list can make you feel like you’re making a difference, but you’re fooling yourself. The ability to turn around a poor profit almost always rests on distinguishing between what will make a difference.

Don’t quit

Yes, this may seem obvious but it’s one of the things food truck vendors ignore the most. Some of the vendors we’ve spoken with in the past hit a setback and just quit. They weren’t willing to move on. What they didn’t realize is that the setback that stalled them could have been their path to success.

I’m not saying that you should blindly throw all your energy at a goal, instead, give failures a silver lining. If you’re willing to dig into your failures they can tell you exactly where you went wrong and use them to turn your mistakes around, and plot your path to the profit you want.

Handle your emotions

Examining failures isn’t fun. When you’ve spent a ton of time putting a plan together that you thought would be great, but wasn’t, it can be tough to deal with. But letting yourself get overly emotional is a huge mistake. Emotions will skew your perspective and push you into making panicked decisions that lead to additional failures.

On the other hand, don’t wait for an absolute answer to your problems to appear. If you feel that your struggling customer referral program will get better, then stick with it. If your gut is telling you it’s time to try something else, then do it. But don’t let your emotions keep you in the spot you’re in right now.

Stop being realistic

You can see through your current numbers, your profits just won’t meet your projections. So what you do? If you’re like most, you’ll get realistic and start scaling down your projections. This is a great idea, if you enjoy watching your money disappearing right before your eyes.

If you want to stay in business, you have to be realistic about your resources and about what you can reasonably accomplish. But you don’t have to be realistic about how you achieve those goals. You’ve spent hours, days, weeks formulating a strategy to ensure your food truck’s growth, and for a while, things go according to plan. But now, the numbers clearly show, problems have crept into your system. It doesn’t mean that turning your first quarter around is a hopeless task.

RELATED: Simple Tips For Improving Your Food Truck Profitability

The Bottom Line

Just because your first quarter numbers look messy right now, doesn’t mean that things are a mess. And overthinking a plan that was fine a few weeks ago is the surest way to ensure that the future you’ve planned never happens. If you press on, you might find that this mess is actually what leads your food truck business to success.

Have anything to add to saving a food truck’s first quarter profits? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section, our food truck forum or social media. Twitter | Facebook