Every business needs a plan — including food trucks. If you want to run your own food truck but don’t know where to start, here’s a guide that explains how to write a business plan in this industry.
What is a Food Truck Business Plan?
Business plans outline what a company does and how it makes money. It includes everything from a summary of your business to your marketing plan. When creating a food truck or restaurant business plan, you may use it to pitch investors or refer to it when making future business decisions.
Why You Should Write a Food Truck Business Plan
A business plan keeps you on track to achieve your food truck dreams. Here are some specific benefits.
- Organize your goals: How do you know if you’re on track for your business goals? Your business plan should keep all that information easily accessible.
- Use it to pitch investors: If you plan to seek outside funding, lenders almost always require a business plan.
- Answer team questions: Your team can use this plan as a reference for things like pricing or marketing instead of always coming to you.
- Refer to it in the future: As you business grows, new opportunities or challenges may distract you from your initial goals. However, referring to your plan often may remind you what’s important.
What to Include in Your Food Truck Business Plan
A plan for a mobile food business includes many of the same elements as other business plans. But there are also some unique elements. Here’s a food truck business plan template to guide your own journey.
This tells potential investors, team members, and readers what to expect and helps your business look more professional.
Table of Contents
You may need to find specific information quickly. So a table of contents outlines where to find each section.
This is your perspective on the business, what it does, and what makes you unique. Include glimpses at other business plan elements, like a market analysis and operational challenges.
Your company description should simply state what your business does and what you hope to achieve.
Food Truck Mission Statement
Your mission statement should explain your reason for existence. For example, your food truck’s mission may be to serve quality food to your community at special events that bring people joy.
Target Markets and Market Analysis
Your target market includes the customers you serve and market to. Most food truck owners narrow down their audience by location and various demographics. For example, you may focus more on serving young customers than other food trucks in your area. So you would focus more on areas with lots of nightlife and events with a young clientele.
Food Truck Industry Summary
Most food trucks serve a specific niche within the food industry. Research the food truck market in your area and find where you fit in, ensuring there’s a market for your offerings.
Analysis of Local or Similar Niche Food Trucks
Understanding your competition can help you find your own unique market. Analyze truck businesses in your area, especially those that serve similar options.
Create a basic menu. Consider your niche, demand from your target audience, and costs of ingredients and cooking equipment.
Planned Food Truck Locations
Planning your locations in advance can help you stay up-to-date with inventory and streamline marketing. Find local food truck festivals, special events, and areas with lots of foot traffic that are popular with your target market.
Food truck Marketing and Delivery Plan
The marketing and sales portion of your business plan should detail how you’ll communicate with potential customers to sell food. Your marketing plan may include listing on food truck finders, local advertising, and social media or search marketing.
Financial Plan and Funding
This section should include realistic financial projections based on how much food you can sell at various locations. Factor in startup, equipment, and food costs as well.
Food truck businesses can have various legal structures. For example, a solo venture may be a sole proprietorship. However, most food businesses are LLCs or corporations to limit personal liability. Work with a business lawyer and/or tax professional to find the best structure for your needs.
Organization and Management
Outline your team and hierarchy to determine how everyone will be managed. For example, you may be the primary decision maker. Or you may specify a few shift managers to answer questions when you’re unavailable.
Successful food trucks plan how they intend to grow through the years. You may explore franchising or hire more team members to increase hours or purchase another truck.
A business planning appendix may include any supporting documents for the various parts of your plan. For example, financial statements or market research reports may compliment your projections or competitive advantage.
Tips for Food Truck Owners to Write an Amazing Business Plan
Food truck businesses can follow these tips to create a concise yet effective business plan:
- Get acquainted with your local food truck scene: Many elements of a food truck business plan rely on your local market and competitors. So spend time patronizing other businesses and attending events where food trucks may park.
- Create a clear vision: Determine the type of food truck business you want to start and how you want it to stand out and operate to ensure all the sections match your vision.
- Read other food industry business plans: If you’re not sure where to start, looking at examples from other food businesses may help.
- Back up your claims: Don’t just guess about things like finances and legal structure. Get expert help and/or documentation if needed.
- Remember your why: Keep in mind why you’re writing a business plan. This can help you speak in verbiage that will serve you in the future.
Use Our Food Truck Business Plan Sample to Create Your Own
The business plan template above provides a solid starting point. Go section by section to craft your own business plan, filling in your company’s details along the way.
This article, “How to Start a Food Truck Business Plan” was first published on Small Business Trends