Looking to avoid the high startup costs that accompany opening a brick-and-mortar retail store? One alternative that’s gaining popularity is the mobile retail truck where you sell products out of a large truck. The idea is similar to the food truck, and fashion trucks in particular have become widespread, with 500 spread over the United States as of 2014 and many throughout Canada. While mobile retail has its advantages over the traditional store setup, you need the right preparation and game plan to succeed.
Scoping Out Places to Park
Considering rent is one of the largest expenses for a store and going mobile can save you quite a bit of money, but, you can’t just park your truck wherever you want. You can’t conduct business on city property, so you need to either find paid parking or work out an arrangement with a private property owner. Both are simple enough with proper preparation, but don’t expect to find a high-traffic and inexpensive place to park if you wait until the last minute. That’s why fashiontruck Canada, one of the more successful mobile retail trucks in the country, sets up its parking well in advance.
To protect yourself and your assets, you need multiple types of insurance for your mobile retail truck. You need business liability insurance to cover you if anyone sustains damages while shopping with you. This is particularly important considering your truck may be parked on the side of the road. If a driver hits one of your customers, the customer could come after you legally. Your truck needs insurance just like any other vehicle, and since the truck is the key cog in your business, you should get comprehensive coverage. Make sure that the coverage includes towing. It doesn’t cost much extra, and without it you could end up paying more than you’d like to a towing company if your truck breaks down. You also need contents insurance to cover your merchandise.
Bringing in Customers
When you have a mobile retail truck, social media marketing is crucial, particularly so you can let your customers know where you are every day. You may get a solid amount of customers who are just walking by and notice your truck, but building a social media following helps you spread the word about your business. Make posts on your social media accounts before you park anywhere noting where you’re going to be and for how long. It’s also smart to connect with people before you launch your business to build some buzz. If you think you have a good idea for a retail business but you don’t want to spend what it would cost to open a store, then a mobile retail truck is a more affordable solution. You need to find the right places to park and market your business well, but if you can do that, you can make excellent revenue with low overhead.