I’m at a crossroad to pursue a food dessert truck business. I’m service connected. Where can I start to see if this is a great fit for me?
What kind of deserts are you thinking? A food truck can mean an investment of $60k or more due to the food regulations, but here are lower cost alternatives that you can consider. I have some experience in this area dealing with my own food business and the regulations that accompany it. Also it helps to know where and how often you will be able to "setup shop" being in the northeast (as am I) your sometimes limited to only about 4 good months of weather. Feel free to message me and we can go over it in more depth.
(and thank you for your service!)
Funding is primary concern that people either skimp, or splurge on. I would recommend over, rather than under-spending. The funding for the business should be a good mix of your own capital (preferably not debt); investors; local, state, and federal grants; and if your must... loans.
The Small Business Administration is an invaluable tool when planning for the finanancial structure of your business. They also have information on women veterans specific loans and grants that are at competitively low interest rates.
Food service is highly regulated (see here regarding NH specifically https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/fp/documents/mfus-faq.pdf) so a food truck takes passion just to deal with the paperwork! :)
I agree with the advisor who recommended getting a food truck job first, even occasionally.
>Where can I start to see if this is a great fit for me?
Take a job in a dessert food truck for 3 months, observe what the owner does. Then sit, journal and think over a weekend and you will start at a better place than many business person.
If you decide yes, the book E-Myth is quite good in reminding, business is 3 jobs, doer, manager and biz owner
Starting your own business requires a deep passion for and commitment to what services your business will provide. You need to assess the dessert market and what reasonable market share you can carve out. You will need a detailed business plan that includes start-up and ongoing operations. Doing this on your own is a daunting task. Suggest you contact your local S.C.O.R.E. (sponsored by the SBA) to help you. Services from S.C.O.R.E. are free. They provide ongoing mentoring services and will help you through your decision-making process.
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