There’s never been another time in history where human beings have as much access to information and resources to take a swing at something new and exciting. If you’re burnt out from grinding yourself into the ground with a self-destructive 9-to-5 and itching to start your own endeavor, the demand is high and the market is primed for launching a mobile bar or catering trailer business.
While you can probably already see yourself slinging drinks for an energetic crowd with a picturesque landscape backdrop, there are steps you have to put into motion behind the curtain first so that when you’re ready to pull it back for the big reveal all your ducks—scratch that, your drinks—are confidently presented in a neat row.
This is a broad-strokes overview with what you should be considering, and it allows you to ramp up at your own speed.
DEFINE YOUR IDEA
So you want to start your own mobile bar company? Awesome! Now what? Think through your idea to first begin establishing your brand identity—that is, all the elements (visual, emotional, etc.) that consumers identify as associated with and unique to your company.
- Who are YOU? If you try to fake a brand that’s not inherently aligned with who you are and what you know will drive your own personal passions, you may ultimately resent what you build. If you’re going to start something new, love it and make it matter to you.
- What do you want to accomplish with your business? Is this going to be a full-time gig or a casual side hustle?
- Who is your target audience and ideal event market? Weddings, beer festivals, concerts, sporting events, food truck hubs, etc.?
- Do you have a name? Is it a smart, memorable one? Jane’s Mobile Bar Company is lame—it doesn’t evoke anything compelling. Don’t be like Jane.
- What do you want consumers to say about your brand? You don’t want them to say, “Jane’s Mobile Bar Company is lame.”
- How are you going to process payments and keep track of sales? A mobile POS solution is likely your best option.
PROTECT YOUR IP
Your intellectual property is the most valuable asset you own. You have to protect it. Doing so is going to take some time and research, but it will pay off.
As you start throwing around names for your mobile bar business, and BEFORE YOU GET ATTACHED—cross reference every one (including alternative spellings and hashtags) with a deep-dive Google search and scrub across social media.
If there’s ANY chance of brand confusion or you infringing upon an existing entity with the same, similar, or even remotely similar name, your best play is to pass and pick another one. You do not want to invest time and money developing branding, claiming URLs and @usernames, graphic design, printed collateral, etc. only to be rocked by a cease and desist.
Also, test variations or abbreviated versions of your preferred name to ideally establish identical references to your online presence. Using lame Jane again as our example, it’s a sloppy look if this is how she promotes her brand:
- @janedoemobilebar on Instagram
- @mobilecateringbyjane on Twitter (Twitter has a 15-character max for usernames, so this won’t work anyway.)
Pro tip: Noting Twitter’s limit, above, you’ll achieve pro status if you can snag identical usernames across all platforms in 15 characters or less.
Oh, and before you hit “Create Profile,” did you check to make sure your website domain/URL is available? Start there, then work out toward social media in tandem. When you find the one that checks all the boxes, buy the URL and claim the social media before someone else does.
Give your name an unbiased eye to evaluate if it’s confusing to spell, challenging to pronounce, and/or is offensive or inappropriate in any way, shape, or form. Pick it apart and be critical because once you commit you have to be prepared to embody it and, if necessary, defend it.
Speaking of which, register your new business as an LLC in your home state. It’s easy to do and should cost less than $100.
Continue reading How to Start a Mobile Bar Company Right Now, Part 2...