How to start a burger van business?
A lot of people that want to start a business, decide to start a food-related type of business. A great option in these cases can be starting a burger van business. Are you interested in finding out how to start a burger van business? It may seem like a lot more work than one might expect. You need permissions, a menu, a name for the business, etc. Solving some of the problems can be very challenging. However, if you plan everything carefully, you will be done with the entire process faster than you might expect and without even noticing how much you actually worked.
1) Market Analysis and Plan
The first thing you need to do is make a market analysis in order to find an area where you can run a business. The market analysis will include: an evaluation of the qualitative and quantitative needs and requirements of the market, the size of the market (volume and value), the groups in which customer are divided into, customer buying patterns, a list of potential competitors, the barriers to entry, and the necessary regulations. With this information you can design a plan of action to start the business
2) Get Financial Aid
After you calculate how much money you need to start the business, you might decide that need some financial aid. In case you need a loan, you need to calculate how long it will take to pay it back with interests. Check what types of interests are being applied, because they could add up into a huge amount of money by the end.
3) Define a Name and Design a Logo
It is important to distinguish yourself from your competitors. You need a name and a logo that calls people attention and invites them to buy your hamburgers. You may need a business logo designer. It seems alike another cost that you could avoid, but if this part of the process is well done, it will multiply your profit.
4) Get the Necessary Licenses to Work
The first thing you need is to get the necessary permissions to start the business. Those can vary in different states, cities, and counties, but in general you need: a food vendor's license, business license, vehicles license, seller's permit, health department permit, and fire certificate, You have to get all the necessary licenses before you start the business in order to avoid fines and business closure. All these licenses cost money and that is one of the costs you have to consider when starting this type of business.
5) Buy a Van
Try to find a used van (in working conditions) and fix all the details to make it look new. Paint it in an adequate way for the business. You need to consider what the van needs: a stove, shelves, a commercial fridge, etc. You have to solve how everything will be powered. Maybe you need a gas tank inside (which should not fall down when you are driving the van). If you can find a van that was used for a similar purpose than yours, this can really save you a lot of time and money.
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6) Create a Menu
At this point you must decide what is your menu. "Hamburgers" is too broad, you may need a special type of tasty hamburger that nobody else sells and that can attract customers- Create a varied menu that customers will enjoy.
7) Get Insured
It is convenient to insure the van because there could be an accident and that would be a problem for this business. This is especially important if you are asking for a loan and have to return it in a specific amount of time. Talk to an agent and explain your specific case so that he insurance covers all your needs.
8) Find a Place to Park and Work
You will need to find a place to park the van, where a lot of people pass by during lunch hours. This strategic spot can be a crucial decision that can affect enormously the success of the business. You have to think about a lot of factors, like: security, comfort for you and the customers, keeping the neighbors undisturbed, being visible, etc.
Find many ways to attract clients. You can go to festivals to let customers know about your business. Facebook and Instagram can be very good for social media marketing. Post your location and hours to let your clients know when and where to find you. Announcing promotions can also help attracting new customers. You will need to develop an efficient digital marketing strategy for your business including web design, SEO packages & Adwords.
Starting a burger van business may seem like a big investment. You can reduce costs by hierarchizing the steps and spending the least amount of money on everything, except on the important steps (or parts of the steps). However, if you plan everything carefully, you will soon recover the money from the loan and enjoy your business. It seems like a lot of hard work at first, but in the end it will have been totally worth it.