The decision to start your own hot dog business can be a difficult one as you work your way through the process, but the end results are rewarding. From deciding between a building or roadside stand, health code regulations and more, opening your own hot dog business isn't as easy as selling some all-beef hot dogs on the street. It may be a small business, but it is a business nonetheless and should be treated as such.
Decide whether you want a physical location or traveling hot dog business. Unlike many other foods, hot dogs can be sold from a building or at a roadside stand. Both options have pros and cons that need to be considered. For example, a building will have rent, utility costs and upkeep while a roadside stand is portable and has the ability to go where the people are.
Create a menu to determine how much money you will end up spending for your menu items. There are many types of hot dogs you can sell, including all-beef, chicken or pork varieties or a mixture of chicken, beef and pork. You can also sell Italian and Polish sausages along with side dishes such as french fries and onion rings. You can set yourself apart from other businesses by offering items they don't have.
Create a business plan. The business plan is the single-most important aspect of starting your hot dog business. It is a blueprint for your business and details everything that you need, financial projections and a plan for developing and expanding your business. This plan will be what banks use to decide if your business is worthy of a loan.
Choose a location. The key to any business is deciding the best location for your stand or building. You will want to choose a location that is not already overrun with competitors. If you have a cart, choose to set up in the same place each day so you can build up a customer base.
Comply with the regulations. A hot dog business must comply with all state, federal and municipal regulations for a small business that serves food. There will be licenses to apply for, liability insurance, health code regulations and more that you will have to be approved for before you can sell your first hot dog.