10 steps opening a successful Ice Cream Shop


10 Steps To Opening Up An Ice Cream Shop

Ice cream is one of South Africa’s favorite ways of cooling down in summer and there are very tasty Ice creams. Nothing is better than sitting next to the pool with your favorite ice cream in hand to cool down. Both children and adults love ice cream, so you will have a bigger client base. Now the question is where do you begin? How do you get your own ice cream business up and going?

STEP 1

You need to decide whether to invest in a franchise that is already established and successful, but you will need a very big budget for that or you can even start from scratch and create your own independent ice cream shop in your finances are in order. Take note that established franchises will supply you with guidelines on how to design your store, the equipment to use, and layout requirements to maintain the franchise’s image. If you start your own business, you have the say in how your store will look and operate. So you have to think carefully and calculate your budget. You can start big or small. A lot of people start small, make profits, and expand bit by bit, but most never get huge due to living from hand to mouth. It’s all about finding the perfect location to sell ice cream and you know kids are your best customers, as they don’t get tired to eat ice cream all day.

STEP 2

You need to do market research with regard to other ice cream shops in your area. You must get familiar with your competition to see what you’re up against and set a higher standard to stand out from the crowd. The more ice cream shops there are in your area, the more you’ll need to stand out. It is key to be different than what is already being done in your area and to come up with new creative ideas. Because if you are the same as everyone else and your spot is further down the road, no customer will be motivated to walk past an ice cream shop to come to yours, because what I can get by you I can get it here, ever for cheaper maybe. So when you are unique and offer something only you sell, with a secret ingredient that lures in customers. You will grow faster because only you offer that type of ice cream and customers will cross all the shops before you to buy that secret ingredient only you have available. Be creative and think out of the box.

STEP 3

Research your target market as it is very important to build a great client base of returning customers. Gain access to statistics about the type of people living in your area and what kind of decisions they make. Test the waters and different options and see what sells fast. Then work around that winning combination and make similar products around it. Create a marketing strategy that focuses on the people in your area that is most likely to buy ice cream. Make it impossible for them to resist your product! Deliver quality ice creams and practice good hygiene. People must know you are a clean and trustworthy person. Not that people are mean or anything, but in today’s world it is not easy to trust or eat anything from anyone. Hence you will see if people are aware that you are a person that keeps things dirty and smelly at your place, they will avoid buying from you, this is just reality and sometimes its better to know the truth so you can make difference.

STEP 4

Find out what legal requirements you need to comply with if you decide to go big now, the franchise route, and check if you need a business license. If you start a business that sells anything that can be consumed by a person, you’ll need permission from the Health Department and also make sure you have enough finances for a start-up or apply for a business loan. Going big, there are a lot of things you must get in order. Be sure to research matters like insurance, tax responsibilities and your responsibilities as an employer, because you won’t run a big business alone, you will need to hire staff. Have all these matters checked before going any further to avoid problems and big fines. But starting from home you don’t need to go through all the hassles. You just buy the ice cream and cones and start selling. It is up to you to sell it plain or to be creative in adding other ingredients.

STEP 5

Start to create a list of the products you want to sell. This list will then help you identify what equipment you’ll need and what consumables you’ll need to have stocked in your shop. If you go big you will need a menu of everything you will sell and prices. You will need ice cream makers, cooling systems and display fridges all the way through to ice cream cones, plastic spoons, bowls, etc. The list goes on and it’s all about what you have in mind to serve. Will it solely be ice creams or will you throw in some waffles?

STEP 6

Start working on the layout of your shop. Be sure that the look and feel of your shop reflect the area that you’re located in. If you locate your shop in Sandton or any wealthy neighborhood, make sure that your store is luxurious, because your client base is mostly rich people. Remember to structure your store so that there will be space for your equipment and that it allows you to cater to the entire store if it should be filled with customers. With a big budget, you can always involve a professional equipment supplier to help you with the design of your business space in accordance with your product list. You do not have to stress yourself over everything. Hire people and focus on making your business successful.

STEP 7

Get your information in line and create your business plan. You should Include your target market, market research, design ideas, list of products and equipment, your financing options, and forecasting for the first year. This business plan will allow you to get financing and is the blueprint for how to manage your business successfully. All this information is only important when you go big, when you start small no need to stress yourself with all this, but it is key if you dream big and plan to expand.

STEP 8

Begin the building! Be sure to work with reputable companies that can supply you with high-quality equipment and raw products in order for you to produce the best possible products. Stay involved in the building process and make sure that the end product is what you planned for. As this business will be generational wealth, it is important to go for quality as the maintenance will be lesser than quantity products. But we cannot always be sure about unforeseen circumstances that may occur, so while you hoping for the best, make sure you make room for disappointments.

STEP 9

Start interviewing potential staff members for your new business. Make sure you’ve calculated how big your workforce needs to be and that you’ll be able to compensate them in accordance with the labor law. If you are not able to spend all your time at the shop, appoint a General Manager that you can trust to manage the store and keep your best interests at heart. It all depends on your passion if running your store yourself is what makes you happy and you have a passion to serve ice cream. Then run it, because no one will run your business the way you run it.

STEP 10

Plan your grand opening! Make use of social media to create excitement about your new store. Plan opening specials and special offers to get people interested in your new store. Because this customer might already be a loyal customer to a different Ice cream shop, so what will make them switch? what makes you different? Stay involved in managing your store for the first few months until you have seen a trend in your sales. Find out which product is the fast seller and high in demand and be creative around that one. If it’s ice cream and waffles with a little bit of honey and a special ingredient for the sweet tooth people, then capitalize on it. Put in the work and make your customers feel at home. Give the best customer service and you will see you won’t need any marketing. WORD OF MOUTH will bring you in a lot of clients. Good luck you can do this.

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