When it comes to starting an ice cream truck business, there are certain things you need to do if you are working on a shoestring budget, and one of them is to opt for leasing an ice cream truck as against purchasing one.
Interestingly, some people who are interested in starting an ice cream truck business may not know how to go about leasing an ice cream truck. Should you be among such people, then this article is written specifically for you.
In this article, we will look at how you can successfully lease an ice cream truck for your business, and things you need to look out for when leasing an ice cream truck.
Steps to Lease an Ice Cream Truck
Step One: Create a Business Plan
Your ice cream truck business plan should include your budget, financial projections, target market, menu, pricing strategy, and marketing plan.
Trust me, having a solid business plan for your ice cream truck business will help you determine how much you can afford to spend on leasing and operating the truck. With that, it will be easier for you to identify the type of truck you will need, and where to get the truck.
Step Two: Draw Up a Budget
When drafting your budget for leasing an ice cream truck, you should consider not only the monthly lease payment but also other associated costs like insurance, maintenance, and fuel because these are costs that can affect the operation of the ice cream truck.
Step Three: Find an Ideal Truck
Next, you have to identify ice cream truck dealerships, manufacturers, or individuals who have ice cream trucks available for lease. You can search online, check classified ads, or ask for recommendations from other food truck owners.
Step Four: Inspect the Truck
Make sure you look for signs of wear and tear, and ensure that all equipment, such as freezers and serving counters, are in good working condition.
Usually, we recommend that you hire a mechanic or someone who understands how ice cream trucks work to help you inspect the vehicle’s mechanical condition and every other thing that will make the truck suitable for business.
Step Five: Negotiate the Lease Terms and Conditions
When negotiating terms with the seller or leasing company, you must not forget to negotiate the monthly lease payment, lease duration, and any additional costs or fees.
Please do not engage or finalize any negotiation if you do not fully understand the terms and conditions. Only sign the lease agreement when you are satisfied with the terms and conditions.
Step Six: Get the Required Insurance
Once you have successfully signed the lease agreement for the ice cream truck, it means that you are now responsible for taking care of the truck, hence you must arrange for insurance coverage for your ice cream truck.
Step Seven: Secure the Needed Licensing and Permits
The next step to take is to get all the necessary licenses and permits to operate an ice cream truck in your area. The licenses and permits needed to operate an ice cream truck in the United States may include health permits, vending permits, and food handler certifications among others. Do not forget that compliance with local regulations is very important.
Step Eight: Source Financing
There are several financing options that can help you take care of leasing an ice cream truck even if you have a bad credit rating. Note that exploring financing might involve applying for a business loan, seeking investors, or using personal savings or soft loans from family members, and friends.
Step Nine: Review the Lease Agreement
The next step to take when leasing a truck for your ice cream truck business is to carefully review the lease agreement and, if necessary, have a legal professional look at it to ensure that it protects your interests.
Please make sure you pay attention to the lease duration, insurance requirements, maintenance responsibilities, and any penalties for early termination. If you fail to do this, you might be having the short end of the stick.
Step Ten: Secure the Needed Equipment
When you lease a truck, you also need to outfit it with ice cream machines, storage freezers, serving equipment, and other supplies. Without this equipment, you will not be able to operate the ice cream truck.
Step Eleven: Launch and Marketing
You can create an eye-catching and memorable brand for your ice cream truck, you can also utilize social media, local advertising, and word-of-mouth to attract customers.
You may also want to consider organizing a launch party for the ice cream truck as a way of announcing your presence in your community or city.
Step Twelve: Start Operating and Maintaining Your Ice Cream Truck
Finally, if you have successfully carried out all the instructions listed above, then the last step is to start operating and maintaining your ice cream truck as stipulated in your business plan.
Please do not forget that in order to enjoy your lease agreement, and to ensure smooth operations, you must make sure you carry out regular maintenance of the ice cream truck and equipment.