Ice Cream Parlor Business Plan

Ice Cream Parlor business plan

Toppings can enhance your ice cream business.Toppings can enhance your ice cream business.

3004 image by TMorgan from Fotolia.com

On a hot summer day, nothing beats a refreshing scoop of your favorite ice cream. The treat is a favorite around the nation, but is particularly appealing in the Southern states when the sun is blasting and the municipal pools are open. Starting an ice cream business can be extremely lucrative, as long as you have researched other ice cream businesses in your area and developed a detailed business plan.

1. Decide whether to invest in a successful or up-and-coming franchise or start your own independent ice cream shop. The benefit to starting a franchise is that you will have built-in help to guide you through the process of starting your business. Franchises typically provide the store layout and design, ingredients, supplies and employee training. However, they can require significant upfront capital. Starting your own business allows you the freedom to determine exactly how much money you can afford to invest.

2. Research other ice cream or mobile businesses in your area to help you get an idea of the type of business you want to start and ideas for designing your store or cart. A low-fat, frozen yogurt shop may do particularly well, particularly if you intend to set up shop in an area that has a high interest in healthy living.

3. Learn about market statistics by visiting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website or through organizations such as the National Ice Cream Retailers Association. Visit the U.S. Census Bureau website to find local statistics about your target demographic, whether it is families, young people or health enthusiasts. (See Resources.)

4. Contact your city’s health department to learn the requirements and costs associated with obtaining a permit or mobile permit if you intend to operate an ice cream cart. Equipment, lighting, garbage, plumbing and ventilation requirements; rodent and insect control; and access to restrooms will be considered for a physical location. Keep this information with you when looking to rent commercial space so you don’t invest in a place that will require costly adjustments.

5. Develop a list of products that you will sell with your ice cream, such as bottled drinks, cookies, waffle cones and toppings. Research equipment costs for carts, condiments, walk-in coolers, walk-in freezers, soft-serve machines, storage shelves, a soda machine, tables, chairs, fudge warmers, prep tables, mixing bowls, pasteurizers (if you'll be making your own ice cream) and ice cream vendors or dairy farmers.

Source: smallbusiness.chron.com
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