Everyone loves ice cream. And so, the idea of opening an ice cream shop often features in the list of dream professions. It’s such a great product to work with and one that’s guaranteed to make customers happy. However, opening an ice cream shop isn’t just about having a sweet tooth and a passion for all things dessert. There are some other very important steps involved too.
Be sure you know your product
A passing fancy for ice cream isn’t going to cut it when it comes to actually selling it for a living. There are plenty of different ice cream brands for consumers to choose from today and you need to know what kind of ice cream you really want to sell, as well as why your brand is going to be different from others on the market. Do you know how to create the product you want to sell, how best to market it and who your target audience is? All this will be essential knowledge if you want to ensure your business gets off to the best start.
Ice cream relies on seasonal trade
Many products are appealing to consumers all year round – fruit and vegetables, for example, or furniture. You can still make an income all year round but the most lucrative months are going to be in the summer. It’s essential to understand the effect that this can have, both in terms of being prepared for leaner times and ready to take advantage of the peaks in demand.
Make sure you’ve got the admin covered
An ice cream shop is essentially a food service business and if you’re going to open one legally you’ll need to ensure that you have the right paperwork and permits in place. These will be different depending on where you are so this may take some looking into. Don’t forget that you’ll also need to have all health and safety aspects of running a food service business covered and you may also need to get a criminal background check.
Have you got a vision for the business?
This is where all the detail starts to become important. For example, where are you planning to locate your ice cream shop? The availability of passing trade will be an important factor, as will other competitors in the area. You’ll also need to think carefully about how you price your product – premium ice cream, for example, is priced much higher than your every day scoop.
Do you know your audience?
Market research is going to be essential to determine whether there is a demand for ice cream in your area – and, if so, what kind of tastes exist. This will be particularly relevant when it comes to choosing flavours to stock and the combinations of toppings and extras that you’ll be able to offer.
Opening an ice cream shop is a great way to channel a passion for ice cream into a lucrative business – our short and sweet guide will help your to get started down this exciting path.