As an avid fan of food, I love food trucks. I love the incredible variety of food choices these portable cuisine carriers offer me. And as an avid business fan, I’m impressed by the creative and nimble ways they find to do business. Here are three of my favorite food truck strategies that you may consider for growing your business:
Growing Your Business? Think Hyper-Local
Successful food trucks understand their immediate community. They know their area's gathering spots, special events calendar and influencers. Using this knowledge, food truck owners are able to build a narrowly focused marketing plan that speaks directly to the needs and the personality of their chosen area.
Think hyper-local in your business, even if your business isn't geographically defined. Describe your customer as specifically as you can. What are their product preferences? Where do they gather? What special events do they attend? Who influences their thinking? Gaining these insights into your customer base allows you to aim your marketing messages with laser-like precision.
Go Where the Action Is
One of the unique features of food trucks is their mobility. A festival at the park? A food truck can be there. Lunch time downtown? A food truck can be there. A neighborhood farmer’s market? A food truck can be there, too. With an entire business contained in a truck, it’s easy to get into the center of any hot spot in town.
While your business may not be as portable as a food truck, you can still take your business to your town's hot spots. Brainstorm a mini-version of your business. Maybe it can fit into a van, a festival booth or farmer’s market table. What goods or services can you offer in a small space? For example, if you own a specialty running shoe store, maybe consider offering personalized fitting services and a selection of your best-selling sizes and styles at a park. If a customer needs something you don’t have, you could get a staff member to bring it to you from your store.
Develop a Unique Identity
All the great food trucks have a unique identity. It might be a wild design that makes a particular truck easy to find in a crowd. It could be the staff has a special way of taking and delivering orders. Or it could be a signature item on the menu. Having a unique identity makes a food truck distinctive and memorable—a key asset in a sea of competition.
Your business can develop a unique identity, too. Think beyond your branding and your logo when you're considering your identity. Try to focus more on making the way you do business a memorable experience. Do you take and deliver customer orders? Consider adding something extra to the delivery that becomes your signature. Do you answer lots of customer service calls? Empower your people to send notes, videos or small gifts to customers and prospects. Do customers walk into your business? Think about developing a notable way of greeting each person who comes through the door.
Which of these strategies could you use to kick up your nimbleness and creativity and stand out from your competition? Remember to ask yourself this question the next time you stop at your local food truck.
For more tips on how to keep customers engaged, access 4 Growth Hacks for More Engaged Customers, with insights from CEO of Growth Hackers, Sean Ellis.
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