So you are considering writing a food truck business plan. Good for you, to have a dream and a desire to see it through. As you are researching and writing you’ll see all the hater come and tell how businesses fail in their first year. They will tell you how expensive it can be. You’ll even have people tell you what bad idea it is to try and do something like this in today’s world.
Well, I say don’t listen to them! There are enough supporters who will be there and help you to see it through. Many will offer to help you research information or to do some of the writing. They will at least offer you some encouragement or emotional support.
But what is it that inspired you to chase the dream, and put together a food truck business plan in the first place? Was it the fact that everyone raves about your cooking? Or is it a simple love of cooking, and creating something that people enjoy? It might even be that you think this business will bring you quick profitability? Perhaps you just want to be your own boss.
It doesn’t matter the reason. What truly matters is that you have the dream and the determination to follow it through. So many times we’ve all said or heard someone say, “Man I wish I had done (insert dream here)”. Well those who are not supportive-are jealous that you will actually get off the couch and try to create something on your own.
Now you might be asking yourself, “What if it fails”? Well that is life. You have to be willing to try or otherwise you’ll never know. However, there are a few things you need. The most important thing is support. Those most important to you must be willing to be understanding and supportive, unconditionally.
That is one of the hardest parts of starting a business. Have those you care about truly be supportive of your dream. It doesn’t matter how they feel about it, as long as you are serious and have properly research and put the time into it. That is all that matters.
The next and some might argue most important thing is-the funding. This step not only that will get your idea off the ground, but you must be able to sustain yourself also while you are trying to get it going. Typically you will need enough money to tide you, the business, and cover all expense for three to nine months. Some experts will say a full year, other even go so far as to say two years. But that really does depend on your business.
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So when you sit down and write your food truck business plan, keep this in mind. You need to make sure those important to you will be supportive and that you can cover the cost while trying to get it off the ground. This can be achieved by working hard and saving money, by your spouse working while build your dream, you may need to work a regular job while trying to get it going, or through loans. Of course the most common is a combination of all of those.
Now that you know what you need to do and to have I am sure you have a few other questions. Like, how do you put together a food truck business plan? Well I will start with an even simpler question and grow from there, shall we?
What Is A Food Truck Business Plan?
A food truck business plan is exactly that. It is a plan, a road map if you will, of what you hope to do with your business idea. It lays out everything from what your business will be to what is needed to make it happen. Just like anything in life, you need to have a sense of direction if you wish to achieve your goals.
Remember, a sailboat without any sails will never reach shore, no matter how strong the wind.
So what do you need to have in order to have a food truck business plan? The honest answer is an idea and some good notes. Really, all you need is the basic idea, and to have a good outline of what your dream is. You don’t actually need a formal business plan to put your idea into motion. However, if you need to go to a bank or other legitimate lender you will need a formal business plan. This will need to be written to their specifications and in the format they request.
So if you are to put together a formal or proper food truck business plan, what will it need? To be honest, there are several schools that have thought on this. Some will say it needs to read like a Hemingway novel other will say more like Tom Clancy, but in the end it will feel like a Stephen King novel.
But don’t let that scare you. It can actually be fun writing and researching everything. After all, this is about to become your life and you’ll need to learn and absorb as much as possible about your new business venture. It doesn’t matter if you’ve worked in this field for decades or you’re a novice, there is so much to learn. The day you stop learning is the day your business will fail.
So what are some of the common points to a food truck business plan? Basically the same as any other business, it just needs to be tailored to your business model. But here are some of the more common parts of the average business plan.
- Cover Page: this is the front cover. It should say the business’ name, your name, the date and basic information (like any book cover). It shouldn’t be too overbearing or excessively wordy, but can have your company’s logo on it.
- Executive Summary: this is a quick overview of your food truck business plan as a whole. It briefly touches on what your company is and what you hope to achieve with it.
- Index: a food truck business plan is much like a book, and can even be as long as one. Though considered optional, an index is nice to have in the front showing the different sections and what page they can be found on for easier referencing.
- Company Description: this part of your food truck business plan goes into more detail about your business and what separates it from the competition, basically why it is a good idea.
- Market Analysis: this is looking to the competition, the area you’ll operate in, and what the demand is for your service. This is essential; a good demographic study can make or break you.
- Management and organization: Basically the leadership structure of your business. It doesn’t matter if you have one person operation or a team of two dozen, you must break down their roles and duties.
- Products and/or Services: This is pretty self-explanatory; your food truck business plan must explain what you are going to sell. You must explain how it will benefit your target customers and how you will operate.
- Sales and Marketing: In order to get customers they must know you exist, so how are you going to get the word out? You also need to have a sale strategy in mind of how you’ll generate business.
- Additional Required Funds: this is money in addition to what you already have. How much do you need and how will it be used? (Most lenders require you to have a percentage of the initial operating cost and in some cases collateral.)
- Financial Projections: this can be seen two ways (sometimes both). It can be the complete breakdown of the money requested and exactly how it will be used. It can also be to projected revenue growth (how your company will grow financially).
- The Appendix: though considered optional, many still like to see this portion, especially if you have submitted supporting documents, graphs, charts and such. This is also where you can add additional resumes, licenses, permits, certifications, letter of recommendation and etc.
If you need help the Small Business Administration can help. You can also visit many of the small business associations like SCORE, your Local Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Trade Associations, forums, and other social media outlets. Of course there are businesses consultants who can help write these or you can even hire a freelancer to write for you, but that will cost you!
Another thing to remember is that the food truck business plan is more than just a way to get the bank to loan you the money for your idea. It is actually a living document and should be used a guide to keep you on track. Generally a business plan is a projection of the business’ planned future, general three to five years.
Determining Cost For The Food Truck Business Plan
When you put together a food truck business plan there are several questions that you’ll need to answer. Cost is a key point. You need to be prepared to factor in all the associated cost when making your food truck business plan.