…….6: don’t go into this business with “Blood Money”, Blood money is all the money you have, with no room for error. You need to have a money reserve to pay your bills and support your family for at least 4 to 6 months, if not longer. This is not a business with over night success, it takes time to build, enjoy the journey, and realize the destination could take some time to get too……..
This is a very good point. I’ll add that if you need to finance the purchase of the cart, you are adding to the risk of getting in the business. Nothing worse than starting up and then not making what you had planned, and having a monthly payment to add insult to injury.
All of the startup costs involved in starting my own business were from saved “mad money” that I had squirreled away for a couple of years. I paid for the cart, vehicle, licensing, registration, and one years insurance from expendable money. So that if it was a failure, I could sell off the assets of the business and walk away with my tail between my legs.
As it turned out, the business met/exceeded my expectations (which were pretty low to begin with) and I plan to be in business for a while. Don’t think that you will be netting a couple hundred a day, no matter what the cart manufacturers tell you. They should have a disclaimer like all these weight loss programs that parade skinny chicks on TV. “Results not typical, your results may vary………”
As far as checking out a cart before buying – it is highly recommended. Even if you’ve never seen one before. Anyone with common sense can see a piece of chit when it is in front of them. I was lucky enough to live within driving distance of a cart manufacturer and was able to see what I was buying and the facilities it was made in. These people had mobile kitchens the size of motorhomes that they were making for people like the American Red Cross. It was obvious that hot dog carts were child’s play for these folks.
If you aren’t near a manufacturing facility, you should check the local dept. of consumer affairs and the local BBB where they are located to see if there are any complaints. Of course, on the internet, you might see a complaint or two, but look out for a consistent pattern of behavior.
Maybe talk to a fellow hot dogger and see what they have, and who made it.