With the new year starting, now is the time many food truck business owners start thinking about goals for this year’s 4 quarters. Maybe it’s expanding and adding an additional food truck (if so we would love to help you plan the perfect food truck for your business), maybe it’s revamping your menu, and introducing a new dishes, or even hiring/retraining staff in order to achieve better work-life balance.
You should approach this the same way you did when you created your first business plan. It is important to take a step back, so you can evaluate your next set of goals. This will help you to proactively plan your business and set measurable benchmarks you can track. We have had these types of conversations with successful Food Truck owners just like you, here are 5 tips to make sure you’re planning for success:
1. Figure Out Your Starting Point
As with any goal, the first step is to be realistic and accurate on where you are now. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Where is your food truck business financially?
What are your current and anticipated food truck business expenses?
How well did you meet last year’s goals?
Are there any areas that are still lacking that still need to be improved upon into the new year?
What strengths and successes can you build on?
Knowing where you are now gives you a starting point, a baseline, and allows you to realistically plan the path to your next set of goals.
2. Be Observant
After you’ve looked at your food truck business, you should know what outside factors could affect your plans for the upcoming year. Make sure you evaluate what economic, political and competitive factors might shape your approach to achieving the targets you are hoping to hit.
Researching any legal changes like new rules and regulations that might impact your food truck business should be recognized and taken into consideration in your new plan. These changes may play a part in positive or negative changes next year.
Also make sure you are aware of what your competition is doing. Are they expanding, might they be adding to their food truck fleet? Starting a brick and mortar restaurant? Now is great time to update the competition research you did when you created your first business plan.
3. What You Will Need To Hit Your Goals
When you set out to hit new goals, you’ll likely need an increase in resources. That can come show up in many forms, like funding, time, staff or materials. When it comes to funding, you’ll want to make sure of what’s exactly important to you, whether it’s access to capital that can be used for any business purpose (versus restricted use), flexibility in repayment terms, speed, cost of capital or other factors. Before you secure any funding, (and we can’t stress this enough) make sure you clearly understand the terms and have assessed the true cost.
Funding is not the only thing, you need to think about other resources you’ll need, don’t forget these types of questions:
Will you be able to handle the increase in time that you’ll need to dedicate to attaining your goals, or should you consider hiring additional staff to help maintain your day-to-day operations?
Will you need experts in certain areas?
Be honest with yourself about the resources you’ll need in order to avoid being stretched too thin, and build those costs into your plan. Especially when you are considering the help of an expert. There is no bigger time waster than to be lead down a rabbit hole trying to do yourself something you are not proficient at.
4. Create The Blueprint
Once you’ve set your high-level goals, create a realistic blueprint for a step by step plan on how you’ll achieve them. Breaking your goals down into smaller, more manageable chunks will help make achieving them seem less overwhelming and more importantly, will make success more likely.
One prioritization technique is to separate the need-to-haves from the nice-to-haves. Another strategy to help get you moving is to pick items that you know can be accomplished quickly, and check those off the list first. Momentum is a powerful thing.
5. Be Open Minded and Flexible
While collecting research up front and putting a realistic plan together will give you the greatest chance of successfully growing your business, it’s always important to plan for the unexpected. When you break you plan up into smaller chunks it is much easier to coarse correct as well.
If you are open minded to the fact that not every plan goes as planned, and stay flexible to moving forward by make small course corrections along gate way you will keep your momentum. With out that open mindedness and flexibility we can run the chance of getting discouraged, and that makes moving forward with our plans feel really overwhelming. That’s when we quit trying to achieve goals.
I hope this helps stimulate those creative food truck business ideas, and improves you business in the upcoming new year. If you are reading this and it is later in the year that’s great! You can use the same approach anytime of year and plan out the next 4 quarters, all we ask is that you remember Sizemore Ultimate Food Trucks when you want to add your fleet. We wish you much success in the new year.