If you have been thinking of opening an ice cream business, it can be exciting to get the process started. However, it is critical to consider certain aspects of running an ice cream business before making a major investment. By understanding these requirements, the opening of your ice cream store can go smoothly and you will most likely be more successful at running your business
The ice cream products
Running a successful ice cream business goes far beyond a passion for ice cream. Customers have a lot of choices for dessert products, especially premium ice cream varieties. You must offer high quality, distinctive products that set you apart from the crowd and keep customers coming back. Learning about ice cream involves understanding subtleties in flavor, consistency, and delivery. You must find ice cream that has enough air that it can be scooped with ease and is still creamy and flavorful.
Once you have settled on the products you would like to offer, think about the other types of products that you want to sell in your shop. Consider featuring your ice cream in any number of different frozen treats, such as shakes, malts, and sundaes. You may also want to sell other kinds of food as well as beverages, including bottled drinks and soda. All of these products will require additional equipment, so make sure to plan accordingly.
The seasonality of the business
Running an ice cream shop is a seasonal business. Unless you are operating in a region with year round moderate to warm weather, you are most likely only going to make money during warmer months. If you are not open all year, you have to determine whether you will make enough during the seasonal peak. You must be able to scale your business efficiently during the summer, save as much as possible, and run a lean operation in the winter.
The paperwork and permits for your business
Opening a business that serves food requires a lot of paperwork. Start by securing your business license. Then, familiarize yourself with local health and safety laws so you are able to pass health and safety inspections. Food service regulations and permits vary in different cities. Depending on the area, you may be subject to additional checks like a criminal background check. You may also need a specific permit to run an ice cream business.
The location of your business
Ideally, an ice cream business should be situated in a location with ample foot traffic. Ice cream shops vary significantly in size. For your first shop, focus on locations that are in the 800-1,000 square foot range. Downtown, by the waterfront, shopping centers, and family friendly residential areas are all great location options. As you consider various locations in your area, assess restroom access, rodent and insect control, plumbing and ventilation requirements, and equipment layout.
Pay attention to parking and general accessibility for both customers and deliveries. Also, be realistic about how much you can afford to pay in rent. A downtown location may seem like the natural choice, but you may get more seasonal foot traffic in a park or lakeside location with cheaper rent.
The business plan
Now you are ready to put together a business plan. Take into account your market research, target audience, possible locations, competition, design ideas, intended financing, and advertising methods. Once you have prepared a plan, present it to potential financiers to secure the required funding.
Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to other ice cream shop owners to learn more about running an ice cream business. These professionals will be able to share insights on on the basics and specifics of owning an ice cream shop.
KaleidoScoops offers a wide range of premium, hand dipped ice cream flavors. Our cooperative business model provides ample flexibility for independent store owners. You take on minimal risk with no royalty or advertising fees. Our store owners also have less restrictive guidelines and requirements than franchisee owners. To learn more about our business model and whether or not a KaleidoScoops location may be a good fit for you, call us at (877) 426-8488. You can also Contact Us by email for more information about our products and Get the Scoop on joining an ice cream cooperative.