An ice cream truck business is more or less similar to any other business. Starting and running it requires creativity, planning and organization, efficiency and more importantly, commitment. A solid business plan is also required. Selling ice cream in residential neighborhoods, parks or events can provide a great source. The way you start your business could however make or break the business, hence the need to make sure that you get everything right before starting the business.
What are some of the reasons for the success of ice cream truck business?
Ice cream truck businesses are lucrative for a number of reasons, some of which include:
• The fact that the truck can be moved from place to place means that the truck can be parked in specific areas depending on the level of demand. The business also has flexible working hours as well.
• The market is not yet saturated and as a result, there are not many competitors
• Unlike other business ventures, the amount of overhead costs incurred are quite low
• The start-up costs incurred are also low. Therefore, investors don’t have to risk a lot of money in the venture.
Now that you know why ice cream truck businesses can be lucrative, let’s take a look at some of the things you need to get your business started.
Starting a business without a solid plan is like getting married before going on a first date. The success of the business or its failure will depend on how well you plan it. According to recent research, slightly over 50% of small business last for as little as 5 years, which is not to say much. Among other reasons, ineffective business plans are one of the top reasons why businesses fail.
Writing a good business plan that will get approved by investors requires experience and skill. A good plan should address the profit or loss projections, budget considerations among other information. It’s entirely possible to write a business plan, and if you are not sure of what you are doing, there are tons of resources you can use including friends.
Basic elements that must be included in a business plan include background information about the ice cream truck industry with quantitative illustrations, expense and revenue estimation, statistical research and analysis, profit and loss ratios and a marketing and promotion plan.
An effective public relations strategy is important for this type of business. Building a good relationship with your customers and any other stakeholders requires creativity and a great timing. The good news is that it does not require much financial investment. The main goal of PR is to integrate the business with the community and build relationships with potential customers. A few strategies you could use to build these relations include attending social functions, sporting events, go to church and interact with local business and the neighborhoods you sell from. A working relationship with media outlets could also help boost your PR.
Marketing and promotion
How you market and advertise your business will affect the level of success of your business. Since it is a mobile business, your marketing strategy has to put into consideration the locations you will cover. Be careful when selecting the route you will take when you travel. Focus on locations that are bound to be highly populated. These include parks, playgrounds, and business parks. Whatever decision you make on your route, make sure that it stays consistent. This will help build a customer base that’s always aware of when and where you are.
Marketing techniques that you can use to your advantage include billboards, coupons, direct mails and radio spots. Coupons that simply say “Buy one get one free!” are common and effective in convincing consumers that they are paying a good bargain. You can also meet your customers, sell additional products or inform them of upcoming menus. Loyalty programs and giving free ice cream is also a great way to get your customers to come back every time.
In today’s culture, almost everyone is on social media, hence the importance for any business to create a social media presence. Ice cream truck businesses are no exception to this norm. Using Facebook or Twitter goes a long way in creating awareness of your business. Via social media, you can update your followers on special offers and discounts, as well as new flavors among other relevant information.
License and registration
License and registration requirements will vary from state to state. It’s therefore important to make consultations on what is required to start this kind of business. Communication with consumer affairs and health department is also required.
Are you considering starting an ice cream truck business? The information discussed here is vital if you are going to take that step. And in case your funds are limited, you can consider getting an ice cream truck for rent. It’s less costly and will offer you more flexibility than buying a new one.