Today we are introducing you to Shelley who is the small business owner of Shell’s Roadrunner, a popular food truck in Bunbury WA.
Shelley opened her business only a few weeks ago but she has already hit the road running. After working for someone else and operating a lunch truck for 11 years, Shelley decided it was time to start her own food truck business.
Over the years, Shelley developed close relationships with her customers and she loves to chat to them as they pick up their daily sandwich roll. When she opened her own business, Shelley’s loyal customers followed her and started visiting her new food truck to support her new business venture.
“I am more confident. I do not wake up and think, ‘oh dear I have to go to work’. I work for myself, so I am excited to go to work.”
Read more about Shelley’s business journey.
Shell’s Roadrunner is a mobile food van and I have been operating for three weeks.
I made contact with Many Rivers about two months ago. I worked for a company for 11 years doing a similar kind of thing. I was driving a lunch truck. I liked how you became close to your customers. I know things about their lives and they know things about mine. I know their personalities and I know what sandwich roll they would want.
I didn’t get along with the new owners so I left that job. I worked for another company for a while and my customers from the first lunch bar all followed me over to the next one.
Some of my customers suggested that I start my own food truck so I did. All of my old customers have been texting me for the last few months to see when I would be back on the road. Now that I have opened Shell’s Roadrunner, they come and support me and my business.
I saw Many Rivers on Facebook. I was going through the process of getting a business loan but when I was not working, none of the banks wanted to lend to me. I just needed something to get me going.
Deciding to go into Business
When I was working for someone else as a food truck driver, I would get in trouble if I didn’t sell enough. Then I’d be given less food to sell the next day but you can’t force customers to buy stuff. Then I would let the customers down by not always having the stuff that they wanted to buy. You have to have the stuff available to make money.
My first boss gave me a lot of business tips and he told me, ‘you have to spend money to make money.’
Working with Many Rivers
Gary, my Many Rivers business coach, has been really helpful. If I had any questions I can send him a text or ring him and he will get back to me. I said to him the other week that I was looking into suppliers for fruit and vegetables. So he sent me links to different places he had researched that do wholesale supply. He told me about branding and so I have been working on that too. I am not very computer literate and so he will show me how to do things on my computer. Last time I spoke to him, we were talking about business cards.
Gary has supported me in every way possible. It is so much easier to work through it with someone else rather than trying to work it out yourself when you haven’t been down that path before.
The most useful support was definitely getting a Many Rivers micro-loan. I used it to get the van fitted. I could pay for most of it, but I was a bit short, because I was starting from scratch and making my own way. The loan gave me a little bit of leeway so that I could purchase enough stock too.
The biggest challenge was just learning the business side of things and learning how much stock I need to order. I seem to be really, really busy. I thought I would need a few lettuces every few days but no! Figuring out what I really need has been a learning experience.
The one thing that prevented me from opening my business earlier was the Shire and getting health regulations approved. They just take their time.
Getting customers was not a challenge because I already have them.
The biggest success would be Many Rivers helping me out and showing me different sides of running a business. Also being able to secure a micro-loan through Many Rivers. Apart from that it would be having my customers to support my business.
I am more confident now. I do not wake up and think oh dear I have to go to work. I work for myself, so I am excited to go to work.
Future Goals for Shell’s Roadrunner
I hope to build it more and get another van later on. My biggest goal would be to open the business as a small shop or small lunch bar. I would have to employ people by that stage of course. I have only been open for a few weeks and I am already really busy.
I have achieved what I wanted. Gary and Many Rivers have made it a lot easier. It is so good to talk to someone and work though it when you haven’t been down that path before.
Thanks Shelley for sharing your business journey with Shell’s Roadrunner. We know that there are many other people out there looking to take the next step towards setting up their own business. Your story will inspire them on to take the next step.
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