Helpful Replyfrom street food vendor to QSR owner - how?

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Junior Burger
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2012/08/24 10:45:44 (permalink)

from street food vendor to QSR owner - how?

I started a summer food vending business in 2010 selling Hawaiian BBQ skewers, and now Kalua Pork sandwiches at special events (mostly street festivals/catering parties). It's been going really well so far, business is improving and our name is getting out there too. Eventually I would like to open up a Hawaiian BBQ QSR somewhere in a high traffic area and sell plate lunches.
 
This is my only food service experience and I would like to know how I go from being a street food vendor to restaurant owner? I want our biz to grow gradually (like it has) and minimize the risk.
 
At the current time I have a regular M-F office job, and we (me & wife) do this biz on weekends in the summer. We also got 2 kids (5 & 3) so I have more to risk if I quit my full time job. Eventually I know I'll have to take the risk and make the jump full time, but I want to do it gradually.
 
Right now the weekend only QSR's are in flea markets so I was thinking of starting that way in the winters.
 
Thanks for reading and hopefully you can help in in my venture!
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Foodbme
Porterhouse
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Re:from street food vendor to QSR owner - how? 2012/08/24 22:47:46 (permalink) ☄ Helpful
As a Small Business Consultant, I can tell you the #1 issue in small business failures is the lack of proper preparation and adequate start-up and working capital.
Regardless of the type of business, whether is selling shoes or BBQ skewers, most entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking they're in the business of selling their products.
WRONG!!
They're in the business of managing their financial resources.
Positive Cash flow is King!
As good as your products may be and as good as your sales and marketing plan may be, unless you have the financial resources to start, maintain and build your business, you will die a slow and painful death known as Negative Cash Flow.
My point is---while you're scheming and dreaming about your business, you need to be building a financial savings base because in today's world, there are very few outside resources to finance a business. As the saying goes, "Figure out how much you need---then double it!"
There are different levels of risk. Based on your family profile, you should be looking at yourself as a low risk investor. So focus your time and efforts on "crunching the numbers", get outside help from a experienced business accountant if you can afford it, or save up enough money to afford one.
Do adequate Due Diligence into every aspect of the business and when you think you have it figured out, do it again.
The less capital you have, the higher the risk. You need to determine what your level of personal risk is. What are you willing to loose if it doesn't work?This may not be what you want to hear but it's the real world.
Remember---Happiness is a Positive Cash Flow.
How do I know all of this?
In my case, it took a personal and business bankruptcy to figure this out.
I bought a 25 year old established business with good products and I had a good sales & marketing plan. I did not do good Due Diligence and had numerous "Surprises" after buying the business that drained my capital.  What I didn't have was adequate capital to pay for my mistakes, maintain and build the business. I died the slow, painful Negative Cash Flow Death!
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