Wondering how to start a wagons and carts business? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Becoming a Custom Cart & Wagon Provider
In the U.S., street vendors earn a combined annual income of approximately $1 billion. When you add that figure to the number of cart vendors located in shopping malls, outlet centers and other venues, it's easy to see why cart and wagon vending is big business in America.
But before entrepreneurs can make their fortune (or at least a living) in cart vending, they first need a cart – and that's where custom cart and wagon providers enter the picture. The best wagon and cart companies offer a complete line of customizable carts and wagons for a variety of vendor categories, giving cart vendors an easy entry to the vending marketplace.
New wagon and cart manufacturers/distributors need to be familiar with the food and retail cart vending scenes. If you've never seen a cart up close before, your first step is to immerse yourself in cart vending culture, paying close attention to cart features and details that aren't seen by the public. You'll also want to evaluate a wide range of cart types so your startup can leverage product diversity and give customers multiple options in their vending category.
Marketing Strategies for Wagon & Cart Startups
Cart and wagon providers are B2B operations. But unlike other B2B sellers, you can't rely exclusively on B2B selling strategies. Why? Because many of your customers will be first-time cart vendors and won't appear in lead lists or business mailing lists. That means you'll need to take a broader approach to marketing and incorporate a handful of proven promotional strategies into your startup's marketing plan.
- Sample Product Line. Most of the carts and wagons you sell will be customized to individual customer needs. But the baseline for your marketing efforts will be a sample product line. During the startup phase, create a basic product line and manufacture samples that you can use to impress prospective clients in catalogs and marketing materials.
- Networking & Trade Shows. It's common for street and cart vendors to form regional trade associations. Since new street vendors often contact vendor associations for advice, you'll want to make sure local and regional vendor associations are aware of your startup. You may also want to keep an eye open for trade show opportunities to display your products to new street vendors as well as industry veterans.
- Online Marketing. By far, the Internet will be your wagon and cart startup's most valuable marketing tool. When new or existing cart vendors need a new cart, their first stop is usually a search engine like Google. So it's important to invest in a good business website that has been search engine optimized (SEO) to appear near the top of the search listings for keywords that appeal to your target market.
Best Wagons & Carts Company Business Plans
As a startup wagons and carts business owner, writing a quality business plan is one of the first tasks you need to address.
Now here's the good news: You can minimize the amount of time it takes to write a business plan by buying business plan software. A reliable software solution will increase the accuracy and consistency of your business plan, dramatically improving its value to your wagons and carts business.
Properly utilized, business plan software has the potential to transform your business plan from a throwaway business requirement to an integral strategic resource.
Take a Look at the Competition
Prior to opening a wagons and carts business within your community, it's worthwhile to determine how you will fit in the competitive landscape. Use the link below to get a list of local competitors in your area. After clicking on the link, type in your city, state and zip code to get a list of wagons and carts businesses near you.
Prior to opening your doors for business, be sure you fully understand the competitive landscape and where your new business will fit in.
Turning Competitors Into Collaborators
If you are seriously contemplating launching a wagons and carts business, it's a wise move to learn as much as you can from somebody who is already in the business. Local competitors are not going to give you the time of day, mind you. It'd be crazy for them to teach you the business.
Thankfully, an owner of a a wagons and carts business in another town may be more than happy to give you a few tips, provided that you won't be directly competing with them. In fact, they are often very willing to share startup advice with you. In my experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
Where would you find a wagons and carts business founder in another city who you can speak with?
No problem! Just use the link below and try a random city/state or zipcode. Then start dialing for advice until you are successful.
Acquired Wagons & Carts Businesses: Competitive Advantages
By acquiring an existing wagons and carts business, you'll put yourself in a better position with lenders and investors than if you tried to fund a startup.
A business acquisition also delivers an established brand - a big advantage in competitive markets. Although it may cost a little more to buy an established brand, the payoff will be greater market penetration, customer loyalty and resale value.
In a competitive market, the right acquisition can be leveraged to catapult your business into a market leadership position, even if you personally lack industry credentials.
Explore Franchising Options
Your chances for doing well with your venture are higher if you buy a franchise and benefit from the prior work of others and their lessons learned.
Prior to starting a wagons and carts business, it's worthwhile to assess whether there are good franchise opportunities available that might help you on your entrepreneurial journey.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding getting started as an entrepreneur may be of interest to you.
If you currently own a wagons and carts business, these resources will come in handy:
If you came here to learn about selling to wagons and carts businesses, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.