If you’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, the traditional economy has probably done a lot to sap your energy and enthusiasm. There’s so much that you want to do, but all of it requires money that you don’t have. It takes a lot of capital to start a business, as well as the right people with the right skills.
But there is a way around this problem: setting up your own street food business. Yes, there are costs – but these are often far lower than for other firms. Plus, as a street vendor, you’ve got a much higher probability of success than if you went into some other business venture.
So what questions should you be asking yourself before you get started?
1: Can I Get Along With People?
As a street vendor, you’ll be exposed to all kinds of individuals. There will be the man rushing by your stall to grab breakfast before shooting off to the office early in the morning.
And there will be the rowdy crowds of drunken women on hen nights, shouting, spilling their drinks and using vulgarities. As a street vendor, you’ve got to be prepared for all of this and have the temperament to deal with it. People will annoy you, but if you’re their trusted purveyor of food, they’ll come back, time and time again.
2: Do You Want To Work Anti-Social Hours?
Street food vendors often have to work anti-social hours to get the business in, particularly on the weekends and in the evenings.
You need to ask yourself, therefore, whether you’re ready to spend time away from your family to serve customers and work on your business. Most street food is a six or seven-days-a-week business, meaning that Monday night is probably going to be your only night off. Some people love to work with people all the time and push themselves, but do you?
3: Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Shrewd Operator?
In the street food business, you’re directly responsible for the success of your business and the experience of your customers. If they can get a better experience elsewhere, they’ll leave your business in the dust and try somebody new.
It’s a good idea, therefore, to think about how to get a leg up on the competition. Could you offer customers the option of using a credit card reader to make the buying experience more convenient? Could you do special offers on days you know your competition is particularly busy? Are there any “drunken specials” you could use to woo your more inebriated clientele?
4: Are You A Tidy Person?
Keeping your mobile food van or stall clean and tidy is essential for a couple of reasons. The first is that most of your customers will be skeptical of your food hygiene standards, so bits of old sausage all over the counter is going to put them off immediately.
The other issue is food hygiene standards agencies coming and inspecting your kitchen. If they don’t like what they see, they’ll shut you down.
This post has been contributed by Ryan Gatt, it may contain affiliate links.