If you’ve always wanted to have your own business, love driving and enjoy seeing the happy faces of children, then an ice cream truck business is probably the one for you. An ice cream truck can cost anything from $3,000 to $80,000 depending on its age, features and condition.
Getting financing for an ice cream truck is just like getting financing for any mobile small business or food truck business. Your biggest expense will be the truck itself, after which you will be able to make a consistent profit over years from the business.
There are five reasons why an ice cream truck business is a compelling business idea:
- Minimal overhead
- Low start-up costs
- Not much competition
- Flexible working hours – you decide when you want to work
- Can be done as a part-time or full-time job
The most important thing is to have a very good business plan. The business plan decides whether you get financing from a bank or from private investors. The business plan should have details on the budget and profit/loss projections over a period of time to minimize the chances of failure.
Here are some of the ways of getting financing for your ice cream truck business:
Traditional Bank Loan:
Your first preference should be to get a traditional bank loan. Bank loans charge a very low interest compared to other sources of financing. However, they are not easy to get as banks are somewhat hesitant about lending to first time business owners. But presenting a solid business plan would work in your favor, as would being able to provide reasonable collateral for the loan. The approval process can take time; just don’t get disheartened by rejections. Just listen to the feedback carefully and make a better pitch the next time.
Crowdfunding involves approaching the general public for small amounts of money, not more than $50 to $100, in exchange for rewards or gifts. The trick is to get a lot of people to invest in your project. Each contribution adds up and eventually you will be able to finance your ice cream truck. You can offer to pay people free ice cream for a year or so in exchange for the loan. There are a number of crowdfunding sites such as Indiegogo, Kickstarter and RocketHub, which give you access to tens of thousands of potential investors.
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers incentives to small business owners across the country by guaranteeing much of the value of a bank loan for their business ventures. However, you will need to make a down payment of 20% to 30% on the loan. Follow the tips given here before applying for an SBA 7(a) loan for your ice cream truck business.
Credit Union Loans:
Credit union loans are a great option as they charge an interest on the balance of the loan. So, if your business takes off and you’re able to pay off large chunks of the loan faster than you anticipated, then the interest to be paid goes down as well.
Loans from Friends and Family:
Most small business owners start off with loans from friends and family. These loans are pretty straight forward; however, it is important to be clear about the terms of the loan to minimize the potential for conflict later. Make sure to lay down everything in writing.
Loans from Wealthy Private Investors:
There are many high net worth individuals who look for opportunities to invest in a small business such as yours, because of the potential for a much better return on their investment. You can certainly try your luck at impressing such individuals with your passion backed up by a solid business plan.