In order to help others that might learn from my experience in starting this business I bring you some things I have learned along the way:
– Make sure to read and understand all regulations for the particular business you go into. For me I could have saved myself a lot of headaches if I understood the health department regulations better.
– Explain things to bureaucrates twice and then explain it to them again to make sure they understand the point you are trying to make. Overkill is the only option when dealing with bureaucrates. Of course this only works if you are sure of what you are talking about otherwise you will just look like a fool and piss off the bureaucrat who decides you fate. Tread carefully here.
– Buy new. If you buy used you will most likely have to replace it with a new thing anyways. So in the long run buying used will cost you a lot more then just buying new first off.
– It will always cost more then you think and take longer then you want. When I started I didn’t have any type of budget but when I look back at how much it has cost so far, there is no way I would have budgeted for half of the things I have had to purchase. Also when I started I thought by 6 months in I would be on the road selling tons of coffee and well on my way to being a force to be reckoned with, but as it turns out I’m still just at the verge of getting out on the road on a daily basis.
– Keep things in perspective. No matter what happens with this business I’m very lucky to still have a wonderful family, my health, and people who love and support me. I feel that it can always be worse then it is and that there is always a solution to whatever happens.
– Network with others in your industry. One of the great benefits from getting into the Mobile Food Vending business is all the other people who are also out there doing the same thing. Everyone I have meet from all of the food trucks have been nothing but nice and support each other like no other business that I have ever been involved with
– Give back whenever you can. I’ve done this by supporting causes such as Three Square, the AFAN Aids walk, and local schools. In a couple of weeks I’m also participating in Taste of the Nation in which 100% of the proceeds go to ending childhood hunger.
– Don’t give up. No matter what is put in front of you keep pushing through. You might not get where you want to be but you will end up somewhere so make the best of it.
– Stay positive, ’nuff said.