East Coast Mobile Business Launch Pad owners, Eduardo Bocock and Jason Tipton, know it can be scary to expand a company.
Bocock started East Coast after buying his first food truck. He purchased it in Texas and brought it to Virginia. However, once he got there, he soon realized that his dream of having a successful food truck had turned into quite the nightmare.
"I had to rebuild it, essentially, so that I wouldn't die in it," says Bocock. "Then, I was like, I can't possibly be the only person with this problem."
Bocock's contractor left a less than stellar impression on him, so the innovative entrepreneur crunched some numbers and came up with a viable business plan that would allow him to help other would-be truck owners. His plan hinged on making his clients successful.
When Tipton joined forces with Bocock a couple of years later, the two decided that their customers' needs would drive their Manassas, Virginia-based company's decisions.
"What we want is our customers to succeed," says Bocock. "Why? Well, 'cause they'll open another food truck, right? And they'll succeed, and you know, they'll come here."
Today, East Coast Mobile Business Launch Pad is a one-stop shop for getting restaurants on wheels up and rolling through Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. They also have clients around the country and the world. Not only does the company customize food trucks, but it also sources trucks, customizes the kitchens, orders equipment, arranges branding, advises investors on business structuring, and offers advice about what food to sell.
"Nobody offers the same number of services," says Bocock.
"We're set up to serve the widest possible range of people that want to start a food truck," says Tipton. "And our services, you can take 'em or leave 'em."
East Coast Mobile Business Launch Pad has even made the decision to provide financing for select customers.
"We were seeing people who had really good concepts, and who would be successful in they had the financing," says Tipton. "If we could just help them bridge the gap to getting a completed truck, we know they [would] pay us back."
The payments from their financed trucks serve as additional revenue during slower periods at East Coast and offer Tipton and Bocock the security they need to be able to think about ways to expand.
"Our big-picture growth plan is to replicate the auto industry," says Tipton. "To have a centralized production facility, and have service centers in major urban areas around the country, where we sell food truck builds, we demo food trucks, and we service the local food truck fleet."
"Our entire approach to growth is problem solving," says Tipton.
Ultimately, the East Coast owners are confident that they'll be able to service and transform the community they love for years to come. Each is a food truck owner himself and feels that his experience helps him to stay on top of industry trends and the evolving needs of truck owners.
"When I opened my food truck, none of [this] was available," says Bocock. "I made all kinds of mistakes and burned all kinds of money on all the wrong things because you don't know which is the right problem to solve."
"We want our customers to feel like we're their partner in their endeavor," says Tipton. "We've got their back, right? That they're not alone in starting their business."