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May 17, 2015 Staff

You Can Get Way More than Food from a Truck

If you can dream it, you can build it! That’s been the motto for the true entrepreneurial spirit going on decades, and what new, intriguing wonders have been created and started up because of it? We’ve seen this so much in the world of Truck Business the past decade or so, not just with Food Trucks but plenty other businesses that have grabbed onto the mobile-display market.

That’s right, truck-based operations aren’t demarcated to just shoveling out food; with new designs, big storage capabilities, and the ability to move and display/service one’s product in various locations depending on the day, many new out-of-the-rolling-box thinkers have set up unique and exciting business ideas on wheeled construct. Thus again has the market started opening up to new possibilities and ideas for other budding entrepreneurs to try their hands at, not to mention another avenue one can consider to start up their business.

And without the need for buying all the big, expensive cooking and refrigeration equipment, ventilation/hood systems, dealing with food certifications and permits, lunch hours, the need for multiple employees at a time (which many trucks practically have to have to handle both food creation AND customers even when slow), these trucks can come in at an even more affordable start-up cost than previously. Thus one can purchase a large, moving storage space and display easily and fill it with whatever one needs to start rolling out.

Just take a look at some of these truck businesses that have already popped up from other creative minds!


Fashion/Clothing Trucks

Definitely the frontrunner in recent years, they were probably the first to follow food truck’s momentum in getting out on the street, offering the owner’s designs in an attractive, trendy fashion. It offers itself as a great way for one actually launch their independent brands and ideas without having to worry about impressing other stores, fashion moguls and who knows else (and yes, you are correct, I know NOTHING about how that business works, so ignore my obvious ignorance please). They’re particularly popular in sunny states like Florida, where The Trendy Truck has gained quite the following already.

On a similar side note, All Shoe-based trucks have also popped up, like BNIB (Brand New In Box), and is certainly a strong market possibility with the trend-forward popular culture crowd that’s developed in big cities nowadays.


Book Trucks

In order for books and libraries to keep up with electronic offerings these days, sooner or later someone came up with THIS fun idea. Now in various big cities one can likely find at least one or two large vehicles with sides open to display stacks of books for people to take out. Some operate like a library, where one can simply take it out and return for later purposes, while others choose not to deal with the hassle and handle it book-store style via purchase. The Penguin Book Truck has made its way from London to pop up various truck throughout the US for people to resource from.

Thrift, Supply, and Gift Trucks

Ftt2or all your miscellaneous needs, there’s always a store filled with doo-dads and thingamabobs one can look through. Whether it’s focused or not, these sorts of items can find just as much display set up outside a mobile trailer as they can in any store. From focused specifically on set supplies one would look for in your Target-like stores (Skullastic sells school supplies) to the re-sale and thrift businesses filled with jewelry and other interesting items (Popsickle in LA offers a trendy, attractive trailer to display their wares), quite a few business owners here have survived, truly proving that any kind of product can be sold out of a mobile face. In these scenarios, one would probably want to ensure business in a location with good weather and ample outside space to set up, either that or really ensure a well-done and stacked display on the outside or inside of the truck (however one has customers view things).

Flower Truck

tt3Move over farmer’s market stands and parking lot greenhouse-thingies, for the new way for customers to look through potted plants is via vehicle! The Flower Truck keeps an window o the truck where different pots and sheaths are hung on display, along with inside the truck setup, allowing for the same easy access as a market stall with more ease in travel, setup, and flexible location.

Barber Truck

The Original Mobile Barbershop has retrofitted a vintage airstream trailer with everything they need on the inside to bring a customer in, sit them down, and give a complete, proper, old-fashioned hair cutting, trimming, and whatever classic barbershop experience one desires. Truly a display of the full possibilities towards what one can accomplish here with the right vehicle, remodeling, and vision.


Beauty Product Truck

Shops filled with makeup, creams, bath mixes, and other such products for one’s skin health and happiness are definitely in tune with having customers come through and sample displays. So why not have a similar set-up and presentation on the side of a truck or trailer? Bath Petals thought it a good idea, so they started up their business on wheels instead of in a mall.

tt5Video Game Truck

Yes, even video games can go mobile! Basically bringing an arcade to the customer, large bus-based businesses like Video Games 2U can be hired for parties and other events, the inside filled with seating and various game consoles and their respective games for customers to go in and play for the duration of the scheduled time! Whether using it for kid’s birthdays or perhaps set up outside a Con with the latest unreleased game demos for the older fandom to gawk over, there are certainly markets to be found here, they just need to be searched and handled properly. This won’t be a ‘set up any big city and good-to-go’ business unless one really has found an ideal location and has something EXCEPTIONAL to offer street go-ers (perhaps one has their hands on the new ‘virtual reality’ systems in development, a trailer would be an ideal place to set up a game room).

tt6Party Bus

I take back what I said about Fashion Trucks; the ‘Party Bus’ phenomenon made for young people to go crazy and travel bar by bar, getting wasted in the meantime, has been going on quite a while. And certainly this fits into the mobile-business lineup, though being used exclusively for reservations and parties (as the name implies) much like the previously mentioned video game trucks usually have to for success. Though, despite the norm they’ve developed, there’s always room to turn it into a new and different experience, perhaps upscaling the interior and products/services offered, or even doing full themes (hell, could even make one like the Mystery Rooms that have been popping up recently).

Does make me wonder if the Peddle Pubs count into this category or not.

Art/Furniture Trailers

They’ve made appearances at neighborhood Art Festivals, Fairs, and other events, so why not take it to the regular streets? Local artists who take large trailers or storage boxes, set them up in a park and use it to display their pieces like a miniature gallery. There’s none set up in a full business-on-wheels fashion that I’m aware of yet, but if one can do it with clothes and makeup and books then why not contemporary paintings and photographs? One would of course definitely want to locate the right times and locations, mainly events and markets at first. Also in this category, the display of unique, modern and/or environmentally friendly furniture pieces can be seen.

Not that any of this is really a NEW idea, as we all act like it is. The reality is that selling products from carts, trailers, and wagons has been going on for centuries. Whether it’s food, clothes, books, hocking jewelry, or whatever, someone has tried to sell it out of a wooden cart or the back of an attractively-displayed town-to-town roaming cart. But as technology and society developed, we found no need (and indeed, with new rules, difficulty) to continue this. It’s the reinvention and twists towards our modern tastes and interests that has really shown the bright future made from connecting to our pasts; just in a much shinier way.

So stop stalling and start looking into things! If you have a business idea but don’t think you can get it up, look into the possibility of making it mobile! I’m sure there’s a truck out there to fit it (and if not, we can certainly help build you one), and a market to make it a success! Good luck and keep moving onwards!

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