Starting an Ice Cream Business (Frozen Dessert Business) 3 Minute Tips Series
Good afternoon! Today we are featuring a mini series on how to start your very own ice cream parlor. Originally, the series was going to be split up into three parts, however after some consideration I decided it would make more sense to just keep them all together!
With that being said, I have separated the parts on this page, and the parts are still written as if they are separate pieces. Do with that as you will, just wanted to give some context to the content were sharing!
Anyways, Thanks for reading.
Part 1 of 3 - How to Start an Ice Cream Business: Concept, Location, and Financing
A lot of people come to us and they have an idea.
They know they want to start an ice cream business. And my first question is, okay, what's your vision and then inevitably they would answer, ‘I don't know, I just want to start an ice cream business.’
The first thing when you're starting an ice cream business, you have to have a vision. You have to have a concept. Are you going to be a walk in store, a walk up store? Do you want to sell hand-made products for your customers? Do you want to be a self serve shop? You want to have Italian Ice?
A frozen dessert business is all encompassing. So when you're thinking of opening one up, we have to have a little bit more of a finite vision to the store. At that point, we can really help you take your idea into a fully developed concept. Another reason it's important to have a vision is, well, we have to find a location in the ice cream business. Location, location, location.
Just like with any business, it's extremely important. These stores at best will become a destination. So you don't have to be on the main street like some other businesses. But you have to be on a main street in the ice cream business. And the reason you need a concept is your concept can affect what location is going to make sense for your store.
For example, if you're a walk up business or walk up window and that's what you want to do, well, you don't need 2000 sqft. If you want to have a walk in ice cream shop where you're making homemade product, whether it be ice cream gelato, Italian ice. Well, guess what. We need more square footage. So your vision and your concept affect your location.
Once we have a concept and we have a location, we have to understand the financing of the business and a century will help you with some cash flows will help you understand what's it going to cost for this business. You need to know that what's it going to cost to open what's my profit potential? Because after you have your contact, after you have your location, you got to make sure you have enough money, execute the plan. The worst thing you can do in starting a frozen desert business is to do it on a shoestring where you don't have money.
Because I can guarantee you we've opened our helped customers open post over 2000 stores and it always inevitably goes over budget in some manner.
You got to make sure you have the right amount of money. So you need a contact. You need to find a location that fits your concept that makes sense then you need to have the financing to execute. Once these three three things are in place, we can move forward in opening an ice cream business. And essentially, we can help you with every aspect of these things.
But this is part one, starting an ice cream business. What kind of business do I want? A one finding a location to make sense for that vision, making sure I understand the investment, the profit potential and my financing in place. Before I start doing things, follow these steps and you're on your way to opening a successful ice cream business.
Part 2 of 3: How to Start an Ice Cream Business
Let's get started. So in part one, we talked about three things. We talked about developing your concept, finding a location.
And we talked about making sure you have the right financing or money to do the business. Let's say all those three things are done. So now what got your location? You got your money, you got your concept. Next thing is, we need a plan.
Most towns are going to require a sealed architectural trolling layout and design for your store at Century. We do that. We help you. We develop the plan. We do the layout and design very important.
A flow to functionality of your store can lead to success or failure in your business. Okay. So you have your layout and design. We also need a menu. We know our concept.
What are we selling? How are we pricing it? That helps us when we're talking to suppliers and vendors on what we're going to buy, how we're going to buy having a menu, having the pricing really helps us stay focused on the store. Okay. Recipe development.
This is kind of a a kick off your concept development, concept design. So when we have our store, our stores being built, we've hired our contractors. We have our layout on design. While all that's happening, we need to develop our menu and our recipes. We're making our own ice cream.
We're making our own Italian ice or our own gelato. This is the time we do it. We're developing a new product for the market. A lot of times, we'll work with customers, and we develop these new products from ingredients that are out there that really become a hit in their store. We've done it many, many, many times.
So these two things, as your store is being built from your contractors and you're keeping tabs on that. You're also working on this side of the It menu, the development, the pricing, your sourcing supplies. You're talking to vendors. Before you talk to vendors, you want to make sure you have an idea what you're going to because sell a lot of these suppliers have an expansive line of products, and you want to have some of the direction in those conversations. Otherwise, you can get led down a lot of tangents and it becomes overwhelming.
Develop your menu. Develop your products again. The products that you sell it are very important. The success of your store, no matter what market you're going into starting an ice cream business, somebody is already there, right? The customers in your new market are already buying frozen desserts from someone else.
Why are they going to come to you? Okay. Is it part of your layout and design and the atmosphere of your store better be. Is it new menu items that you're offering or different menu? Unique menu items?
Great. Is it homemade products. Are you selling the vegan products? You organic products. Are you developing new flavors, unique flavors that are specific to your brand.
If you combine all these three things in your new market, well, then you could penetrate that new market and have a successful ice cream business. In part one, we talked about finding a location, having a concept, making sure you have the financing. Part Two here. Let's develop our location. Let's lay out our location.
Let's get our contractors. Let's build the place right. Develop our menu, develop our product, and our concepts make it unique. Make it different, make it special. And finding the right partners to do this with.
Whether it's your vendors or your equipment. Suppliers like Century here where we sell, just work with an equipment. We have all these consultative services to help you. So if you solve part one of our series and now seen part two, you're well on your way to open in that successful ice cream business.
Part 3 of 3: How to Start an Ice Cream Business
So let's get started. In part one, we talked about having a concept and having an idea, finding a location that works with that concept. And then next, having the financing and dollars in place to execute your plan.
Part two, we talked about developing your location, having a layout and design, getting all your plans and approvals and permits with the town, finding your contractors. Then we talked about developing your menu, your pricing, and then your concept, your recipes, meeting suppliers. So at this point in starting your ice cream business, you have your location, you have your plan, you have your menu, you have your vendors, your partners, your equipment partners, your consultation partners, everything's in place. Now. What?
Okay, now you should be getting pretty close to the finish line here. Next step, marketing and advertising. Develop a marketing plan for your store. That makes sense. How are we going to have our grand opening?
What key community partners are going to Target to let them know about our store, to market our store, to advertise our store. Very, very, very important. Finish the aesthetics of your store. The status of your store is marketing. When somebody walks into your store, they should know who they're walking into.
If you come in here and Century Equipment, you're going to see Century on the wall. Century on the floor, century on the TVs, century on the machines. You're going to low. You left Century Equipment or when they leave your ice cream store, they should know it. That's part of marketing.
Okay. How are you going to brand your store? Are your employees? What kind of uniforms are they going to wear? All that is marketing and branding.
It's very, very important. And it should be part of your marketing plan. Your marketing plan should be written down on paper. You should know who you're going to target when you're going to Target and why you're going to target. These people get involved in the community even before you open.
Your marketing should also be part of your SEO, your Facebook page, your Instagram pages, your website. If you're going to have one, all that should be executed at this point and should be part of your marketing plan. We move over to our employees. Well, guess what. The employees are going to be a big part of your success.
They can also be extremely big part of your failure. You have an employee handbook. Have you spelled out what a uniform is? Have you spelled out cell phone policies? Have you hired employees before you're going to have to hire kids?
And how should we hire them when you work with Century? We teach you that stuff. Most important tip, I can give you higher personality. We can teach them how to make an ice cream cone. How to make a Sunday can't teach him how to have a personality.
You day to develop a company culture. And that needs to be in your employee handbook. And that culture needs to be a part of how you hire these employees. You have your marketing. You have your advertising.
You have your plan. You getting your employees. You got them trained. You got them ready to go. They know how to make your menu items.
Guess what? Getting pretty big. Pretty ready to opening your ice cream. Business times up.