Food Truck Funding 101
Sometimes, the only thing standing between you and an awesome idea is funding. Fortunately, there are more options than ever before for funding a food truck business. Some of these you might be aware of, but don’t know what needs to be done to secure the funds. But a few on this list might be news to you. See which one is best for your situation.
Traditional Bank Loans
Image via Flickr by 401(K) 2013
Before the economic meltdown a few years ago, an entrepreneur could get a bank loan for little more than a song and a dance. Banks required the owner to put as little as 10 to 20 percent of their own money into the business, and the bank financed the rest. Things are different now. Expect to put as much as 50 percent of the cost of startup in yourself, and go to the bank prepared with:
- A strong credit rating
- A business plan, including market analysis, a marketing plan, competitive analysis, financial projections, and your management strategy
- About 50 percent of the money you need for startup
Don’t be deterred if one bank turns you down. Small, hometown banks are often more reasonable with local startup businesses.
Many states are encouraging food truck businesses who want to operate within their cities. It boosts the economy through tax dollars, draws in crowds, and benefits the public. Do an online search for “[your state] food truck grant” or “[your state] small business grant.” If you live in Michigan (or you have a mobile business that’s ready to move), you’re in luck, because there are tons of grants available for food trucks there.
Crowd sourcing is an investment opportunity for investors willing to take on high risk investments in small chunks. There are several websites pooling investors with entrepreneurs in need of funding. Check Kickstarter.com or FundMeFundYou.com to sign up for finding investors willing to pool small amounts of their own money, totalling the amount you need to start your food truck business.
The Small Business Administration offers most any type of new startup affordable loans. They have a microloan program which specifically helps fund business startups in need of less than $50,000. Though this is their cap, most of the loans they grant to food trucks average about $13,000. If you can get an affordable food truck from Russell Concession & Mobile Kitchens, , this may be all you need. As with a bank loan, approach the SBA with a complete business plan. These are low-interest, short-term loans designed to get your food truck, equipment, and supplies paid off quickly so you’re turning a profit sooner.
Sometimes, you can find a single investor willing to lend you the startup money you need in exchange for a partnership or silent partnership in the business. If you don’t know anyone personally with the funds and willingness, start networking within your pool of friends, business associates, and colleagues. Alternately, look for a partner on Craigslist or other classified venues, but always do your due diligence in making sure they’re trustworthy, responsible, and dependable.
Don’t let the issue of financing your food truck stand in the way of your success. The funding you need is out there, you just have to find the option that works best in your situation.