Do you love ice cream and want to spread your love for it to other people? Why not start your own ice cream stand business? This venture is a great start up business since you won’t have to limit yourself with a set location. You can take the ice cream stand to different locations to see where you can increase your profits. Likewise, you can start off by operating on a seasonal basis—hello summer!—when there is high demand for ice cream.
As with any business undertaking however, you have to take in some important considerations before you dive business. Generally speaking, you have to have a solid business plan, a sufficient budget, dependable and sturdy equipment and stand structure, a well-organized marketing approach, and the necessary permits and licenses.
To start, you should have a solid business plan for your venture. A well thought out and organized business plan will act as your guide as you go along. Things you must consider include the following:
- Possible locations of your stand.
- Will you be selling in only one location or moving your stand. If so, think about how often you will move your stand, as well as times throughout the day.
- Power supply considerations, most importantly, if you have access to it.
- What items you will be selling. Your own ice cream recipe or prepackaged ice cream products?
- Equipment you’ll need.
- Market research
- Marketing plan
Once you’ve created a business plan, you should definitely factor in your budget for the stand. Will you be using your own money or will you need to source money from other sources to get you started? You can always opt to partner up with a trusted family or friend, ask your family, or close relatives and friends for a loan, or consider taking out a small business loan from a reputable financial institution. Consider the scope of your business first so that you can gauge just how much money you’ll need to get the wheels turning.
When you have the necessary budget, you should then think about what products to sell and the equipment that you need to invest in. Research is key. Look around similar ice cream businesses to see what products sell and what equipment they are using. You should definitely invest in reliable equipment, but without blowing your budget on fancy stuff you don’t really need. Likewise, check the dimensions of possible locations so you will be sure that your stand will fit.
Don’t forget to get the required permits and licenses that come with starting a business. First of, you should get in touch with local government to determine all the specific rules and regulations since these are different from state to state and area to area. Commonly, aside from business permits and health permits from the food department in your area, you should also acquire the necessary permits to sell in different locations if you plan on having a mobile stand.
Lastly, you should think about marketing tactics, especially since your business is just starting out. Make use of all marketing media available to you, banners, print ads, flyers, and most of all, since this is the age of the Internet, build a blog or pages in various social networking sites. You can also consider offering promos or discounts on the opening day, and similar strategies that will surely bring customers in.