So, one of the newbie mistakes I made when I first started a coffee truck was to only look at individual sales. Tell me if this sounds familiar:
I would calculate how much profit I made per cup, then I would run the numbers on how many of those cups I needed to sell per day to find out my total profit per day. That would tell me how much I needed to sell on a daily basis to make my ends meet...
But I left out catering. In catering, you sell packages. Its by far the best way to sell anything. So when you sell a package, you are either selling by the hour or by a minimum amount. So, lets say I'm charging $300 per hour and I need two hours at any given event. Well, that means I'm charging $600 to set up...now if this is a business event and maybe I only sell 50 cups, than I'm grossing over $12 per cup. Which is way more than I would normally charge on my truck.
Now, in my Coffee Truck Master Class, I show you how to market to these events. In fact, when at my prime, I was doing 5-10 of these per week. Sometimes up to 5 a day. So, you can make a lot of money off of catering.
Here's a sample of what I teach in the Marketing section of my Coffee Truck Master Class. Okay, lets say that your minimum to get out the door and set up is $400 ($200 for 2 hours). Then I would set my marketing budget for $400. In this example, I'm going to talk about marketing with postcards or snailmail. So, I would set my postcard budget at $400 each month and I would send out all the postcards that $400 would get me. Postcards plus stamps usually came out to roughly .50 per card. So, it would by me 800 postcards per month.
Here's where the magic happens. I would focus those 800 postcards to businesses that rewarded their employees for meeting sales quotas. So, that list would be full of real estate brokers, insurance companies, travel agencies, car lots. I would purchase a list from a list broker and make sure it had at least 10 employees.
Then, when someone booked an event, they paid for that entire months of marketing (roughly, you can see I'm using gross and not net numbers here). Each month, I would only have to land 1 event to pay for the entire months of marketing. So, while you only got 1 or 2 event each month for the first couple of months, you can quickly see where this would really start to pay off.
Over the course of a year, 800 customers would see my postcard every month and as their employee appreciation times came up, I would be top of mind.
Eventually, instead of 1 per month, it was 1 per week and then as the years drew on, it was 1 per day.
And this technique works on social media, digital marketing, newspapers...You can really create a web.
So, keep this in mind as you start thinking on how to launch.