In the first part of this series, we talk about the importance of determining whether there is a viable market for starting your mobile juice bar. Only when that is confirmed does it make sense to talk about other things. In this article, we will assume that there is a market in your city and we will be trying to reach them through different possible channels.
In traditional businesses, most cost will have to be incurred upfront. For your case, it might be the purchase of a mobile juice truck and all the renovation cost you need to incurred. My suggestion is to hold off on those expenses first.
Instead, spend time to build up your marketing channels. You can easily do so without having an actual business first. Most of it is about raising awareness and getting their contacts. Only when you have build up a significant channel will your business take off when it is officially launched.
Since we have ascertain that there are people searching for ‘juice bars’ during the market search phase, we need to pull these folks to your website (assuming you have one). There are a number of ways to do it. I will briefly go through each of them. In the future, I will be doing detailed posts on each of these methods:
Google Listing: You can list your business in Google listings. This can give you a few advantages including being found on Google Map as well as being placed at the top of the search result when folks in your area are searching for juice bars. The below screenshot gives you an idea of how the search result will look now when people search for “juice bar nyc”. If you notice the first result, it is due to this particular business being listed in Google listing. If you want the same thing, you can do so for your juice bar business.
Start a juicing blog: Beside Google listings, another way for your website to attract potential customers is through a blog. You can start a juicing blog and teach people how to make their own juices. Just remember that you need to make your blog as relevant as possible to the city you are serving in. For example, let’s say your mobile juice bar will be in San Francisco. Remember to include the keywords “Juice Bar San Francisco” in your blog. You can also increase your blog’s relevance to this keyword by creating content that talks about interesting stuff in San Francisco, on top of juicing recipes.
Twitter: Since you are starting a mobile juice bar, knowing how to use Twitter to promote your business is absolutely critical. In the typical food truck business, the business owners will have a Twitter account that broadcasts their locations to their followers. This is to prepare them when the food truck rolls into their area and they can start buying food from them. The image below is an example of how this is done.
The challenge is how to build up a signficant Twitter account with many followers. The trick is to not only to tweet about your location but also interesting stuff happening in the city as you travel. Over time, the interesting stuff will attract more people to follow you and makes your marketing a lot more easier.
Besides using online, there are a couple of offline options you can explore as well. I am not going to talk about pamphlets and such because I think it is a waste of time. What I am about to suggest will be more targeted and have a higher chance of getting you quality leads for your business.
Juicing classes: Use some community centers to promote your juicing classes. Take the opportunity to offer them free samples of what you will be selling. This accomplishes 2 things: raising awareness as well as getting real feedback on the taste of your juices. If they liked what you have, remind them to follow your Twitter account.
Sponsoring a local event: If there is a big local event such as school sports or a marathoon, take the opportunity to sponsor it via your free juices. Everybody loves free stuff during such events and there is usually a big crowd for you to market to.
Create partnerships with other food truck owners: Rather than building your own customer base from scratch, why not look for other food trucks that might complement what you have. Such partnerships take time to cultivate but it is something that can easily lift your business up from day one. Just remember not to target your competitors. Instead, see if there are any food trucks that serve good food but lacks tasty beverages to round off the meal.
Only when you have build up a strong channel to reach your potential customers should you start incurring heavy expenses like buying a mobile juice bar. Most follks got it backwards. They build a really nice mobile truck but with no customers to serve. This is risky and can potentially cause you to lose a lot of money.