Steve Milano reports:
"Before you begin writing a business plan, determine what you’ll include and how you’ll present the information. A standard business plan consists of a cover sheet, contents page, executive summary, informational sections, summary and support documents. The information sections include a description of your concept, marketing research and financial data and projections...The two main sections of your business plan cover marketing and finances. While you might think your food truck business concept is key, it’s irrelevant if you can’t prove it will turn a profit. In your marketing section, present information regarding the demand for your food truck, or sales potential; potential competition; target customer profile and numbers; pricing strategy; your location; [and] how you’ll advertise and promote the business. In your financial section, provide your start-up and operating costs. Start-up costs include the expenses you’ll have before you sell your first item, with operating costs occurring when you start selling. A key element of any food truck plan includes addressing your location, not only in terms of traffic, but also addressing zoning laws. Discuss any health department regulations that will affect your business to show investors or lenders you have this covered...Create several budgets for potential investors or lenders, as well as to help you operate. Start with a master budget that shows your projected first-year operating expenses, start-up expense debt-service and sales. Create separate overhead, production and cash flow budgets, a balance sheet and a profit and loss statement. These documents provide snapshots of different aspects of the business. For example, you might start making a profit from operations your first week, but take six months to be truly profitable by paying off your start-up costs. Start-up costs include expenses such as the food truck, insurance, licenses and permits. Divide your operating costs into overhead and production. Overhead costs include expenses such as salaries or wages, marketing, credit card processing, truck payments, gas, parking and debt service. Production costs include the food, plates, napkins, utensil[s], napkins, cups, lids, straws and condiments necessary to sell each item...Put your business plan together in a logical order. After your cover and contents pages, write an executive summary, which gives the highlights of what’s to come without supporting detail. Include a brief description of the concept, any marketing research that supports the attractiveness of the idea, the projected sales and profits and the start-up capital needed. After your concept, marketing and financial sections, add support materials, such as your qualifications, menus, budgets and bids you’ve received on trucks."
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