How to Open a Ice Cream Shop — Ultimate guide
Work out a business plan
Strategy and planning are the main things you need to pay careful attention to.
This is necessary in order to develop a clear and specific understanding of how a business is built, how finances work, and what needs to be prioritized.
In addition, it will show you the right way with regard to the first capital investments, because to start you will have to make an initial contribution of funds to purchase equipment and rent premises.
The financial model also comes in handy, it’s the kind of thing that lets you know ahead of time what the profit will be for certain expenses. It’s as convenient, fast and reliable as possible.
Choice of Location and a Premise
Ice cream stores are very popular in resort areas and coastal areas, places where there are many vacationers and tourists. If you do not have the opportunity to open a shop in such a place, it is best to do it in the city center, where thousands of people walk every day.
It is possible to open an ice cream shop in parks, shopping and entertainment centers, on embankments, main streets, in markets, near the subway, etc.
But before launching the business, it is important to look at how close or how far away potential competitors are. In summer almost everyone buys ice cream, so the queues for it are very long. As for the premise, you don’t have to choose the biggest and most expensive one.
You can find a small building at a medium price and decorate it inside and out. The main thing with the premise was all in order in terms of safety, it should not be in an emergency condition. In this case, even the lowest price should not attract you.
Come up with a cool name
Ice cream conjures up pleasant associations with childhood and bright summer vacations. To come up with a successful name for the store, you should think hard.
What is your business aimed at first of all? That’s right, to sell pleasure and relaxation. Sweets always give us a positive and good mood. The most frequent consumers of this dessert are children. Children love cartoons. Do you catch the connection? Link your store name to the name of a cartoon character.
To ensure a good level of sales, we need to popularize the project on the Internet. To do this, profiles are created in social networks, where you will post news, promotions, photos. It will be useful to publish ads and on the pages of interest — district, children’s, romantic.
All these promotion tools will be free. But there are also paid options to popularize your services. For example,
you can buy advertising from a media personality on a social network or ask for help from promotion specialists.
Since everyone associates ice cream with childhood, joy, summer warmth and vacations, you should maintain these pleasant associations in the minds of your customers.
Make generous discounts for them, especially for children. For example, on June 1st, International Children’s Day, you can treat the little ones to ice cream for free or have fun contests with sweet prizes.
This will raise your reputation in the eyes of your customers and build trust in your brand. Make some ice cream toppings completely free.
If your competitors’ syrup costs a certain amount of money and yours is free, who do you think the customer will go to? Try to make the prices democratic so that everyone can afford to enjoy a sweet summer dessert.
Registering a business according to the law
To start your own business of selling ice cream, you need to put much less effort than it seems at first glance. The questions arise mainly on the legal side of the issue: what documents need to be obtained, what the procedure itself looks like, and how long you have to wait before you start selling directly. All this is very worrying for the novice entrepreneur, but in fact everything is much simpler. Any entrepreneurial activity can only be carried out by business entities.
Therefore, the first step is the registration of an individual entrepreneur. Usually it does not take more than a few days, so you do not have to wait long. But before you start selling, the place of sale itself should be organized. The trade should be coordinated with the food safety and consumer protection service of your city or district.
In general, it is forbidden to trade: near administrative and religious buildings, monuments, fountains, flowerbeds, at intersections, in the protection zones of utilities, at bus stops, on bridges, in tunnels and at railway crossings.
It is important to remember that permission to locate a retail outlet is granted by the executive committee of the local council, so the procedure and timing for issuing a permit may vary from locality to locality.
Do not forget about the documents on the products: you must have the bill of lading, a copy of health certificates stamped by the business entity from which you received the goods, and documents on the quality of goods.
Offering an amazing assortment
That is why it is very important to have a wide range of flavors and types of ice cream. You can’t surprise anyone with a simple plombière anymore.
Today it is popular to create ice cream with the addition of various fruit, berry, caramel or chocolate syrups, cookies, fruit, jelly, coconut shavings, pistachios, and so on. Portion design is actively developing, for example, several colorful ice cream scoops are placed in a single waffle cup and jam is poured on top.
Do not forget about fruit ice, because it is a favorite of many children and teenagers. Make it beautiful, bright and attractive. Just imagine, there is even glow-in-the-dark ice cream! Children, adults and the elderly will be delighted by such curiosities, so you will definitely have no equal among the competitors.
Trade in ice cream is largely a seasonal business, because in the summertime in a particularly hot and sultry time people want something cool and refreshing. Unfortunately, in the fall and winter people prefer warmer desserts, such as hot pastries.
Your job is to make sure there is a year-round demand for ice cream in your store. This is extremely difficult to achieve, but it is possible. Change the assortment, lower prices, or add other desserts to the menu to save the situation.
Many people really want to feel a piece of summer in the cold and gray winter days. Ice cream can help to feel again under the rays of the scorching sun.
Create such an atmosphere in your establishment that people want to return to it again and again at least because of it’s warm and positive vibe.
We wish you good luck and prosperity and sincerely hope that you will succeed in this beautiful business. With the right attitude, professional team and faith in your abilities you will definitely be able to make thousands of people happy and give them a sea of emotions and positivity.
Create your own work team
Every entrepreneur knows how important it is to find good and responsible employees. The profitability of your business will depend on the quality of your staff.
During the search for employees, pay attention to how ready and willing to work, how positive he/she is. We all have in our minds since childhood the image of a nice and friendly ice cream salesman who sells people a piece of sweet joy and a good mood . That’s why an employee should be smiling and be able to make a customer feel welcome.
As a rule, these qualities have young people who do not mind making extra money during the summer vacations. So you can look for good ice cream makers and sellers just among the young people.
Before opening a store, you need to buy the necessary equipment for trade and storage. It’s a small bar counter, a couple of freezer cabinets, a coffee machine, a microwave, a work table and chair, an apron, a kitchen scale, and a trash can.
You can’t do without a laptop, a cash register, a safe and a surveillance camera. For the beginning you can buy freezers that were already in use, there is nothing wrong with that, the main thing is that they work properly and have a good condition.