In our previous segment, I talked about the cost of getting the best commercial cold press juicer for your juice bar. In this article, we will look at all other costs so that you have a sense of how much money you need to start this business. In the next article, we will then compare this cost vs buying a juice bar franchisee.
To understand the total costs in starting a mobile juice bar, below is a checklist which you can use to calculate the actual dollars and cents. I split them into fixed and variable costs to let have a better grasp on your budget.
These expenses are incurred typically only once and include mostly big purchases.
- Cost of truck: This is the biggest ticket item in terms of investment. You can reduce the cost by looking into second hand food trucks but it is still a chunk of money you need to prepare for.Average cost$25k to $50k.
- Kitchen equipment: After the truck, the next big item is the kitchen setup. If you are selling only juices and nothing else, then most of the cost will be the prices you pay for the commercial cold press juicer. If you want to serve finger foods and such, then you need to factor the cost these other equipment such as fryer, microwave oven, dishwasher etc. My suggestion is to be very focus and sell only juicers. Only when you start to see money coming in then start expanding your food menu. Average cost: $1k to $1.5k
- Other equipment: You also need to think about other kinds of business equipment you want to have. Sale register is one example. Some juice bar owners prefer to do without it but some want it for recording purposes. There is also point of sale system you need to consider especially if you want to take non cash payments. You will probably need a laptop or tablet for your business administration functions such as accounting, email support, website maintenance etc. Average cost: $1k to $2.5k
- Kitchen supplies: Besides the equipment, you also need to buy supplies in advance. These include cups, straws, napkins etc. These are not too expensive but they do cost a few hundred dollars if you buy in bulk. Average cost: $200 to $500
- Business identity: As a business, you will probably want your own logo, name cards and a website. All these will cost money. You can of course DIY if you have the necessary design skills. Here are some tips to save on some of these costs. For logo, try fiverr. It is only $5 per logo. Same with business card design. For making a website, use wordpress and buy a premium theme for less than $100. Set up the website yourself and do away with a website designer. If you do it the DIY way, average cost is around $150. If you want to outsource all these to a brand identity designer, prepare to pay between $4000 to $6,000.
These costs are incurred monthly. It is important that your monthly revenue is able to cover all the below or you will be running at a loss. It is ok to run for a loss during the first few months as you geared your business but you can’t run at a loss for too long. (Protip: if you want to run at a profit from day one, build your marketing channel first before launching the business. See the link below to learn how). Once you have profits, you will be able to start recouping the fixed investments incurred above. Only when you have recovered every investment dollar that your business is well and truly profitable.
- Cost of ingredients: One of the most important running expense is buying ingredients needed for the juices since all these will need to be paid upfront before you collect a single cent. I propose you at least have the money to sustain the purchase of ingredients for a few months. Depending on your menu, this will take you between a few hundred dollars to a few thousands. My advice is to be very limited and focus in your menu selection so that you don’t need to cough up so much cash in the beginning. It is also my recommended way to enter a new business.
- Salaries: I imagine you will be pretty much the only guy running the business at the beginning. If not, you need to factor in the salaries which is going to be your biggest running expense. I suggest you do not do so until business becomes so good that you can’t handle it yourself.
- Marketing expenses: You might want to also set aside some marketing budget to give your business a lift. If you are really cash strap, then do what I suggest: Build a strong marketing channel before launching your business so that you don’t have to spend a single cent on marketing. Check out how by reading this article on how to market your mobile juice bar. Average cost: $0 to $1000.
- Other running expenses: The last thing you need to factor in is the other running expenses. Items include petrol, carpark fees etc.
Through this checklist, you should be able to calculate how much you need to put aside for setting a mobile juice bar. If you do it smartly, you can launch it for less than $5ok.