Starting a beer truck business can be a lucrative endeavor, but it’s important to plan some important elements first.
Here are the 8 steps you can take to get started on building your very own beer truck business.
8 Steps to Launching a New Beer Truck Business
1. Name Your Beer Truck Business
Give your beer truck business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your beer truck business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your beer truck business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so that customers want to use your services.
2. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your beer truck business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your beer truck business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common beer truck business structures.
3. Write a Beer Truck Business Plan
All beer truck business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.
When developing your beer truck business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:
- What services do you offer?
- How will you compete with other beer truck services in the industry?
- Are you licensed and insured?
- Do you have any discounts or specials available?
- Can I see a menu of your products/services?
- What type of payment methods do you accept?
- What are your business hours?
- How can I contact you if I have questions or need to schedule an appointment?
- What is your company’s policy on returns or refunds?
- Do you have any reviews or testimonials from satisfied customers?
- What sets your business apart from the competition?
Read our article about how to write a beer truck business plan.
4. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your beer truck business.
For example, in order to sell beer, you’ll need to get a license from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC) in your state. If you’re going to be cooking and serving food from your truck, you’ll need to obtain a food handler’s permit. You may also need to obtain a specialty driver’s license if your vehicle is oversized or heavyweight.
You must also register your beer truck business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.
Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.
Read our article about obtaining the proper beer truck business licenses.
5. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your beer truck business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your beer truck business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your beer truck business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting a beer truck business to help you determine if funding is needed.
6. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your beer truck business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in other software to help you with operations, such as GPS tracking for your truck, route planning software, and scheduling software.
Additionally, many beer truck businesses use social media to connect with customers and promote their services. If this is something you plan to do, you will need to create accounts on various platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
7. Market Your Beer Truck Business to Potential Customers
Before you start selling your products, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your products and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the beer truck industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Beer truck businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
1. Have a Giveaway Contest
One creative way to market your beer truck business is to hold a giveaway contest. This can be done in a variety of ways, but a popular method is to give away free beer for a year. You can also give away your merchandise imprinted with your company logo,, such as T-shirts or hats.
2. Sponsor an Event
Another great way to market your beer truck business is to sponsor an event. This could be a concert, festival, or any other type of gathering where there will be a lot of people in attendance. You can offer to provide the beer for the event in exchange for promotional opportunities, such as having your logo displayed on the event’s website or having your truck parked in a high-traffic area.
3. Offer Discounts and Specials
People love a good deal, so offering discounts and specials is a great way to attract new customers to your beer truck business. You can offer discounts for buying in bulk or referring new customers to your business. You can also offer specials for certain days or times, such as “happy hour” specials.
4. Participate in Local Events
Another great way to market your beer truck business is to participate in local events. This could be anything from a farmers’ market to a street fair. There are always opportunities to set up a booth and sell your products at local events.
5. Create a Referral Program
A referral program is a great way to get existing customers to help promote your business. You can offer incentives, such as discounts or free merchandise, for customers who refer new customers to your business.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to marketing your beer truck business. The important thing is to think creatively outside the box.
Read our article about how to market your beer truck business for more tips.
8. Get New Customers & Grow Your Business
When you promote your products, you’ll start to get interest from potential customers.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these customers. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your beer truck business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your beer truck business to learn more.
Starting a Beer Truck Business FAQs
Why Start a Beer Truck Business?
There are many reasons to start a beer truck business. For one, it's a great way to be your own boss and have control over your own destiny. Additionally, it's a great way to make money and provide a service that people love. And, finally, it's a great way to tap into the growing craft beer market.
What is Needed to Start a Successful Beer Truck Business?
To start a beer truck business, you'll need a truck, of course. You'll also need to invest in some kegs and taps, as well as coolers to keep the beer cold. Additionally, you'll need to get all the necessary permits and licenses to operate your business. Finally, you'll need to create a marketing strategy to promote your business.
How Can I Market a Beer Truck Business Online?
There are many ways to market a beer truck business online. You can start by creating a website and social media accounts for your business. Then, you can use SEO techniques to help potential customers find your website. Additionally, you can use online advertising, such as Google AdWords, to reach potential customers. Finally, you can use email marketing to stay in touch with your customers and promote your business.
What are Some Tips for Starting a Beer Truck Business?
If you're thinking about starting a beer truck business, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Invest in a good-quality truck: This is the foundation of your business, so it's important to get a truck that's in good condition and will be able to withstand the rigors of operating a beer truck business.
- Get all the necessary permits and licenses before starting your business: This will ensure that you're operating legally and avoid any potential problems down the road.
- Create a marketing strategy: This will help promote your business and attract new customers.
- Find a good location: This is important because it will determine how much foot traffic you get and how successful your business will be.
- Have a solid business plan: This will help map out your business goals and objectives and ensure that you're on track to achieve them.
Where Can I Find a Simple Checklist for Starting a Beer Truck Business?
A simple checklist to use when starting a beer truck business is as follows:
- Name Your Beer Truck Business: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Write a Beer Truck Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your Beer Truck Business to Potential Customers: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the products they truly need.
- Get Customers & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your products.
Starting a beer truck business can be a great way to enter the food and beverage industry. If you follow these tips, you’ll be on your way to starting a successful beer truck business.