Kim Ima will be the first to admit she doesn't know much about running a company, but when it comes to pleasing customers her instincts are right on the money. Her mobile dessert business, The Treats Truck, has has grown into a New York City sensation, beloved by over 9,000 Twitter followers and pulling in $200,000 a year.
Ima had always toyed with the idea of running a company, but it had to be the "right" thing, something she was passionate about. She simply adored baking, but opening a bake shop seemed too expensive and risky. "Location is so important and I thought it would be too hard to pick the right spot," she says. But one day she and a friend started brainstorming and suddenly the phrase "Treats Truck" popped into her head. "I just loved the sound of that," says Ima. "I pictured a 1950s-style truck filled with treats!" In that moment, her business was born.
That was in 2007, and since then, Ima has expanded her Treats Truck concept into new menu items, a cook book, catering and other lines of business. She's finally opening a store front, too. Ima says she likes to imagine her business existing on "two levels" -- the branding level and the actual "local life" of the business. To further the branding level, she leaps at opportunities for exposure wherever she can. She has used her theatre training to promote her business in commercials for VISA international and Blackberry; and she's done lucrative promotional deals with McCormick spices, Coach, TiVo, Glamour magazine and others.
We've shared our advice with Kim Ima on how to expand The Treats Truck even further, but we welcome your advice. Please add comments below and tell us what you'd do if you were Kim. We will Tweet out the best responses.