Principles of Success
15 Principles for a Successful Hot Dog Cart Business.
Of course the reason why you desire to embark on a new career by operating your own hot dog cart is because you want to be successful. And we want to help. As you noticed all throughout our business guide we offered numerous tips to help you succeed in all different aspects of the hot dog cart vending business. What we want to do now is share with you some universal fundamental principles which you can find present in any successful individual or business. Of course we will make application of the principles in a way which will pertain specifically to your objectives as a hot dog cart operator. Also for the purpose of repetition for emphasis, we are reviewing some points that we have already touched upon in previous portions of the guide.
So here is a list of 15 principles which can help serve as the building blocks of your business.
Even though hot dogs are a food with wide appeal, it is impossible to be all things to all people. So get to know your target market. This will help when choosing the types of hot dogs and condiments that you will offer. It will also help in terms of specifically targeting your promotion and advertisement.
2. Be Different
Of course there may be other hot dog concession stands in your area, but it is good to find a unique niche that will separate you from other hot dog stands. Maybe it is in the variety of hot dogs you offer, or the types of condiments. If your competitors are doing it, don’t. Find a way to stand out in the over saturated marketplace.
“All I would tell people is to hold on to what was individual about themselves, not to allow their ambition for success to cause them to try to imitate the success of others. You’ve got to find it on your own terms.” – Harrison Ford
3. Be Reliable and Consistent
Customers will depend on you to fill their lunch time needs. So they need to know that they can count on you to be there at the same time each day.
You also need to be consistent with the product and services that you offer. Your customers start to build up a certain level of expectation, and you don not want to let them down. Your consistency and dependability will go along way in building a large and loyal customer base.
4. Be Fast and Efficient
We live in a society where everyone is in a hurry. Of course this especially will apply to the busy lunch hour where your customers may have a limited amount of time. So without substituting food quality and friendly service be as quick and efficient as possible.
5. Understand Local Habits of Your Customer
There are many different regional variations of the typical hot dog. So it would be good to understand the make up of your community. This can have a factor in determining the types and variety of hot dogs, condiments, side dishes and beverages that you offer. Also depending on the health or religious concerns of those in your community there could be a basis for offering kosher or vegetarian Hot dogs, or there could be a benefit to offering gluten free buns.
Also we can link this back to point #2. This can help to set you out as different if no other hot dog vending carts are responding to these needs of the local community.
6. Say Thank You
Do this a lot. Make sure you let your customers know that you sincerely appreciate them.
Also if you have any employees you want to do the same. Other than just saying it you want to look for ways to show it.
7. Keeps things Clean
People are turned of by messiness. This especially applies to food establishments. Makes sure you regularly do through clean ups and regular maintenance. Make sure you and any employees show proper focus to dress and grooming. Observe all applicable health codes in connection with safe food handling.
8. Maintain High Quality Standards
You do not want to scrimp or cut corners. If anything customers are willing to pay a bit more if they know you are offering quality products. Your reputation is of vital importance. Do not risk it by offering old products or inferior quality.
A smile is contagious. Friendly customer service is one of (if not the most) important aspects of a successful customer based service. If you are genuinely friendly, show personal interest, they will in turn genuinely like you. With that being the case they are more than likely to keep returning.
10. Extreme Optimism
Always believe that the glass is half full. A positive attitude will always win out in the end and it is highly contagious.
11. Suggestive Sell
This can also be described as the up-sell. There are a couple of advantages to this. Not only may it get them to purchase an item that they wouldn’t otherwise, but it shows personal interest in your customers.
We can also link back to point # 4. If a customer is undecided our kindly suggestive selling can help speed up the process and will improve efficiency.
12. Leave Your Comfort Zone
Never become complacent. Never accept that this is the way you’ve always done it. Be open to any new ideas which could improve your business.
In connection with this we would want to invite our customers to offer honest and constructive feedback. This may include making up feedback cards and having a suggestion box.
13. Build a Team
Initially you may not have any employees. But if the time does come to hire employees, just do not hire to fill a position. Employ a person to be part of your team and to help build your business.
We can also expand this principle to include any other business relationship you pursue, such as suppliers, accountants, landlords, etc… You want to view them as partners which will help build your business. This view will help us be selective and show our due diligence when making important decisions.
14. Be a Good Neighbor
Do not let your business interfere with any other businesses or residences in your community. This could include the simple little things. For example you can provide a trashcan for your customers and you can help pick up litter at days end.
You also may actively get involve in local charity events, or get involved in other local betterment initiatives, such as adopting a highway. Not only do you feel good by giving back to the local community, but this also generates a lot of positive publicity for your hot dog cart.
15. Introduce Yourself to the Area
Make a point of personally visiting all businesses in your community. It would be good to print up some quality flyers and take them around to the businesses in the area. You can drop them off in mailboxes, post them on information boards and better yet hand them directly to business personnel. Your neat and professional dress while doing so will also make a lasting good first impression.
By following the 15 fundamentals discussed above, this will go along way to ensure your continued success in your new business endeavor.