Kala’s Entrepreneur Intuition Tip #1 – Food Trucks and Future Trends
If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember the book mobile, which in essence was a library on wheels. When the book mobile van would pull into town, residents would greet the van and pile inside to check out their favorite books.
I was thinking the other day about how popular food trucks have become and how trends have changed for goods and services. Amazon rules the retail world with point and click shopping from your phone or computer. Online shopping frees the consumer to shop when and where they want without having to dedicate time to trudge through the mall, searching for an article of clothing or product only to find that it’s not available in the store.
The trend has changed from the consumer going to a specific brick and mortar store to get the goods or services they are seeking, to the product or service coming directly to the consumer. Grocery stores and restaurants offer take out and delivery to the home, online shopping delivers most anything you can think of to your front door and services like pet grooming, massage, health care and beauty services now bring the professionals to your home to complete these tasks.
As an author, I’ve seen these trends change in this profession as well. Bookstores are struggling and book tours are disappearing. Many readers these days order their books online, in e-book or print form and have them delivered to their home rather than going to the book store to purchase. Writers are doing more online campaigns to introduce their books to readers, going to where the readers are, rather than hoping to find them in stores.
These thoughts brought me back to the food trucks along with the new concept of pop up stores, where an entrepreneur will appear at a restaurant, bar or event to sell their wares for that night only. This is taking off in many cities and the entrepreneurs are finding that going directly to their customers are bringing in the money and brand recognition of their product to their target audience.
So I wonder, why can’t authors do this too? I think the future of book sales for authors is definitely through online sales, but authors can also have some fun in their local area through pop up events in places that connect to their books. For example, when I was on book tour for my book, Ghosthunting North Carolina, I went across the state on book tour in Barnes and Noble and indie book stores, but I also went to venues where people who were there for other reasons, would be able to meet me and check out my book.
One of the most popular pop up events of this type that I did was to give a talk at a City Museum in Raleigh, where I shared stories about the haunted history of the local area. The audience was already interested in history and being there in October to learn some fun facts about why some of the most historic areas have ghosts, just added to the fun.
Now I’m thinking about what if we expanded this pop up event into something old and something new. How about a fusion experiment between the book mobile and the food truck. A food for thought truck! How about a book truck! The book truck could show up at events, just like the food trucks do, except it would offer books for sale and maybe coffee and doughnuts too, but mainly books, books, books.
It’s got cachet, it’s got style and it offers the opportunity to engage with readers in a local way.
I’m surprised that other entrepreneurs haven’t jumped on this “food truck band wagon” with pop up events.
How about a food truck vehicle that promotes a certain brand with free giveaways or a truck that sells what people need at the event they are attending and forgot to bring with them, like umbrellas, rain gear, scarves and gloves, lip gloss, flip flops, band aids. Think of it as an ever changing mini mart on wheels, targeted towards the season and type of event being held.
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