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You may have dreamed about setting up a commercial ice cream business. But, in reality, is it a feasible enterprise? When it comes to profits the answer is a definitive yes. If you’re looking to invest your time and resources in a business that will generate plenty of profit then a commercial ice cream enterprise has a lot of potential.

Where do the profits come from?

Ice cream is one product that offers high profit margins. Although these will differ depending on the type of ice cream that you’re looking to sell there are always ways to increase what you can earn. Most commercial ice cream machines will be able to produce an ice cream for just 12p. Given that cones today sell for upwards of £2 and ice cream deserts closer to £4, there is plenty of scope for making a healthy profit from the basic product alone.

Additions that can boost your margins

As well as the profit that can be made from ice cream there are also many other additions you can make to what you sell to increase the price per unit and generate more profit. Not only will you be boosting profit margins by offering “extras” but you’ll also be giving customers a lot more choice. Some of these added extras might include toppings, such as nuts, or sauces like chocolate or caramel. You can offer fruit or meringues to add extra texture and flavour. Ice cream can also be used to create sundaes, which are considerably higher priced than a simple cone but created from cost effective ingredients such as fruit, sauces and cream. Ice cream can also be added to cakes and brownies or to drinks in order to create a soda float or a sophisticated affogato (ice cream and coffee).

What do the actual numbers say?

If you’re looking at setting up a commercial ice cream business then a conservative estimate might be to assume sales of 50 cones a day. In the summer months you could double or triple this number given how much the demand for ice cream rises when it’s warm. If each cone is sold for £2 each and you’re open for 310 trading days every year then the potential for profit soon becomes obvious. And when you start adding flakes and toppings to those cones you can look to increase those numbers even further.

Boosting the reach of the business

There are also lots of different ways to boost sales for an ice cream business. For example you might want to run summer promotions that bring more people to your store – or create a social media-worthy ice cream desert or drink that people will want to photograph and share. Taking an ice cream van or cart to events and festivals can also be incredibly lucrative.

From the profit margins in the product itself, to the myriad of options that exist for boosting sales and upselling more expensive products, there are so many ways to generate a very healthy income from a commercial ice cream enterprise.