Game Truck Business – Not a Turnkey Operation
August 8, 2017
A new type of birthday party has arrived for kids. No longer are kids going to be content with cake and ice cream followed by outside games in the yard, such as kickball or volleyball. Today, kids have a new type of birthday party request, a Mobile Game Truck birthday party.
This type of birthday party is when you hire the owner of a mobile game theater in your area to arrive at your home for 1 to 2 hours to host your kid’s birthday celebration inside the truck. Most units sit between 14 to 20 kids and have up to 5 TV screens. Every video game imaginable is included for each of the main game consoles, Xbox, Wii and PS3. The kids can all play the same game or all play separately. No matter what they decide, it’s the fastest 2 hours of their lives, I assure you. What a lucrative business for the mobile game theater owner, if he can find birthday parties to host, that is.
This leads me to the main point. Now that I’ve explained what a game truck is and it’s main function, now I want to shift and concentrate on potential owners. It is impossible not to consider purchasing a mobile game unit when you can see how lucrative it can be. These types of birthday parties typically fetch around $300.00 in two hours. If you have 6-8 parties a week, you an easily earn six figures per year owning a game truck. But, getting started is not as easy as it might seem.
When purchasing a one, you will find manufacturers who want to sell you on the idea of a game truck franchise, like Subway or McDonalds. They claim the business is a turnkey operation, that you will be successful immediately. All you need to do is pay $20,000 for a franchise fee, plus $1,000 per month for their marketing you will given an exclusive territory within the company. Meaning, they will not sell another unit to anybody else in your area.
Well, that leads to a slight problem. There are multiple companies selling the game trucks. So, if your neighbor wants to enter the business and your company will not sell him a game truck, nothing is going to stop him from buying from one of the other companies who sell game trucks. In that regard, is there really any such thing as exclusive territories?
With that in mind, there is no reason to buy a franchise. All you really need is the game truck itself and the proper marketing, which leads me to the final main point. Marketing your unit should be a very serious consideration when purchasing it. If the manufacturer tells you that the business is turnkey, but fails to mention marketing, then they are not being truthful. There is nothing turnkey about the game truck industry.
Owning a game unit alone will not get you calls or book you parties, as some game truck sellers would have you believe. When buying a game theater, you will have to invest between 65,000 to $110,000, without a franchise fee or marketing fee. With this much invested, you will want to begin earning income with your game theater as soon as possible.
Finally, be wary of any company that builds in monthly maintenance fees for marketing beyond the purchase of your unit. What guarantee to you have that the marketing will work? Even if you were to check a few references, who is to say the sources are legitimate or that the same marketing that worked in that area will work in your area. We think, instead, you need performance based marketing, where you only pay a certain percentage of the business you actually get from the marketing. That means you only pay the marketing when you get business, which is paying for performance, not promises.
Finally, to sum all this up, there are two main points. When choosing the right manufacturer for your game truck, be sure there are, 1. no franchise fees and 2. no built-in marketing fees.