If you don’t think that an ice cream shop can blossom into a major enterprise, look up the story of Ben & Jerry’s. Founded in a former gas station in Burlington, VT, in 1978, it’s now a multi-million dollar a year corporation with franchises all over the globe. If you’d like to start your own ice cream shop, the following advice will come in handy.
Find the Right Location
Arguably the most important factor to consider when launching your ice cream shop is its eventual location. Even some of the most promising businesses often fail during their first few shaky years due to poor location. You need to find a spot for your shop that boasts loads of foot and vehicular traffic that isn’t too expensive to rent.
Cross the T’s & Dot the I’s
To launch an ice cream shop, you’ll need licenses from your municipality and state as well as approval from the local health authorities. You’ll also need an EIN from the IRS if you plan on hiring employees. Form an LLC at the outset to protect yourself from liabilities and take out an insurance policy on your business assets.
Source Equipment & Supplies
Whether you’re making your own product in house or buying from wholesale ice cream and frozen yogurt suppliers, you’ll need a lot of industrial equipment. Everything from freezers to soft serve machines will need to be priced and purchased well in advance of your opening day. You’ll also need to find suppliers of ice cream ingredients, packaging and utensils.
Come Up with a Killer Edge
The brutal truth is that there are countless ice cream shops and mobile carts spread throughout the land vying for domination in their local markets. If you want your ice cream shop to stand out from the crowd, you’ll need a unique angle that draws in customers. If you don’t have a secret killer ice cream recipe to fall back on, try using unorthodox promotions.
Promote Your Shop Beforehand
One of the most egregious blunders that entrepreneurs tend to make is fudging the launch of their latest enterprise. You’ll need to build a serious buzz for your business at least a month or more before you open up the doors. Offer potential new customers discounts to get the word out and hold events that draw in the public.
Ensuring a Profitable Future
Like any small business, an ice cream shop requires relentless improvement and promotion to succeed. You should constantly be looking for better, cheaper ice cream shop supplies to boost your bottom line. If you keep your thumb on the pulse of the local market and quickly adapt to change, a thriving ice cream shop is an achievable goal.
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