Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in the U.S. making it a lucrative business in the right hands. Whether you’re a brewer or a connoisseur, starting a mobile beer truck business is a great way to cut overhead costs and cash in on the craft beer boom. But how exactly do you start a mobile bar?
Here’s everything you need to know about running a mobile beer business.
Know Your Beer
Starting any business requires knowing the product inside out. Beer is no different. If you can’t tell the difference between an IPA and a stout, you’re going to run into trouble before you even get behind the wheel.
The internet has made research on this front far easier than it used to be. Bloggers and breweries alike are ideal sources of information on the art of brewing the perfect beer.
If you plan to source local then do some leg work. Visit breweries, test their product, and teach yourself the jargon for describing different beers. You’ll be happy you put the work in when a customer asks for a recommendation.
Know Your Market
You should be as well versed in who’s going to buy your product as the product itself. Knowing your target audience is the backbone to any solid entrepreneurship endeavor. And no, “beer drinker” won’t cut it.
Lock down exactly who you plan to sell to and spare no detail. Ask yourself:
- What does my customer do for work?
- What do they do for fun?
- Where do they live?
- Are they single? Married? Have kids?
- How much do they earn?
- What are their goals?
Answering these questions in a meaningful way will help you develop customer personas. These detailed roadmaps of your target audience will prove invaluable when making decisions on the running and promotion of your business.
Know Your Competition
Mobile bars aren’t uncommon so chances are you’re going to have some healthy competition. Take that as a challenge.
The better you know your competition the better you’ll be able to stand out from them. This is called finding your unique selling proposition (USP) – the thing that makes your business unlike any other.
Keeping tabs on your competitors is also a great way to test marketing strategies without any of the risk. If a campaign fails your competitors, you’ll be able to make note of it and avoid the pitfall yourself.
Liquor licensing is serious business. Breaking the rules is the fastest way to sink a business and your bank balance, so make sure you’re on the right side of the law.
Check your state, city, and/or county permit requirements and don’t cut corners. You’ll also need to apply for a business license and a sales tax permit. Depending on the setup of your mobile bar, applicable vehicle permits might also apply.
Red tape might be frustrating to deal with but it’s better than the repercussions should you get caught out without the proper licenses.
Get Your Mobile Beer Truck on the Road
Running a mobile beer truck is the best of both worlds: entrepreneurship without the overhead of a static location. Knowing your beer, your market, and your competition will start your mobile bar off on the right wheel. And with the proper licenses, you’ll be pouring your first pint in no time.
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