Travis Reeks, owner of Oklahoma-city based Mexi Dogs, has embraced technology to create small business success time and time again. Travis started his first venture, a collegiate merchandising website, as just a young teen. Today, he applies many of the lessons that he’s learned along the way and has continued to utilize data and technology to help grow his business. Travis recently sat down with us to provide some insight on how he started Mexi Dogs, how he uses ShopKeep, and to give us his top pieces of advice for prospective food truck owners.

What made you want to open your business and how did you get started?

Well, I’ve had previous experience running businesses and have been an entrepreneur for most of my life. I started my first business as a teen and have since gotten involved in several other small business ventures. I started the food truck because it was an interesting business, it is a growing and increasingly popular industry, and because there is a great market and opportunity for it here in Oklahoma City.

How did you get the initial funding?

I started the business with personal funds that I had saved from previous ventures.

What were the key things that you were looking for in a point of sale system and why did you choose ShopKeep?

I’m a very technical person because of my background in tech and having previously worked on developing my own app, so I chose ShopKeep over the other competitor that I was considering because it just had more robust reporting capabilities, and the technology was better yet still simple enough for my staff and I to use.

How has ShopKeep helped you improve your business?

The biggest things that come to mind are the speed, ease of use, and the ability to pull reports and check my sales at any time. I saw a big boost in transaction speed with the 2.0 release and that’s certainly helped with productivity. Adding customer information has become easier, and the UI is simple and clean.

How do you measure best selling products and increase sales?

ShopKeep makes it really simple with best-selling items reports, and sales reports by hour or day. There are many components to each hot dog that we sell and I track all of them. You have to follow the reports, and experiment accordingly with different combinations to find what appeals to your customers most.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start a food truck?

There are many steps to starting and operating a successful food truck, but I believe that the 2 most important factors for success in this business are location registry and knowing and understanding your costs. You must register your location on all of the relevant sites such as Yelp, Facebook, Urbanspoon, etc., and manage your profile and online presence. This is especially key for food trucks over other small businesses because this is how potential customers will find your truck and post reviews. The second point is just as important, if not more – getting the financials in order. This means writing a financial Pro-forma and understanding all of your costs [food costs, labor costs, truck expenses, profit margins, etc.

What has been the greatest reward of owning your business so far? What has been the greatest challenge?

The greatest reward in all of this is knowing that I’m working on something that’s mine, and that I’m pursuing my interests and having success doing it my way. It’s very rewarding as an entrepreneur, to know that your business success is a direct product of your everyday decisions.

The greatest challenge thus far has been creating my franchise plan and presenting it to potential franchisees. Getting the plan in order is an extensive process.

To find out more about Travis and other small business owners are benefiting from ShopKeep POS, make sure to check out our Case Studies page.

About the Author

Paul Nugent is a small business advocate, and Head of Marketing at ShopKeep point of sale’s UK headquarters. Paul uses his background in the startup space, along with his POS system expertise, to allow small business owners to make informed decisions within their specific budgets.