STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO START AN ICE CREAM BUSINESS
Under the hot summer sun, the cold ice creams parlors represent heaven on earth. Ice cream is loved by almost everyone in every age group. You can’t buy happiness but can buy ice cream and it is pretty much the same thing. To try the exotic flavors, we now have ice cream brands like Kwality Wall’s, Natural Ice Cream, etc and just like cafes and restaurants, these ice cream business has seen a rise since people have understood the benefits of investing money only in products but also the convenience of having a ready to go dessert in their hand. The college groups, Job workers, and other young people come to these small ice cream businesses in groups and these become their hub for sharing ideas and having a small get together. The ice cream business is highly profitable as there is a good margin in the MRP and people are ready to spend good money on it.
If you are interested in opening an ice cream business, you can have a look at how you can start with this small business venture which has a lot of growth potential.
Create a Plan
Decide beforehand what kind of Ice cream business you want to open and what will be its size. With that decide what will be your reach. If you want an offline store or you are willing to deliver to home? If it is an offline store, does it have a sitting area, or is only available for pick-ups. What storage area you are going to keep your goods in, and what will your area of service.
Make a plan for what is going to be the size of your business at first. The growth will only follow if you thrive in the market and the ice cream business needs investment and time as the goods which are sold and used in ice cream are perishable and cannot be stored. One should always be ready for bad days and thus also take care of the amount that you order.
The location of your ice cream business matters a lot. Try to keep your shop away from a place where there are already several stores available. Open an ice cream business in a densely populated area so even if there are competitors around, you will always have people buying from you. Buy or rent a space that is big enough to equip all your equipment and has storage space for your huge refrigerators.
Decide the products
This always has a scope of improvement but decide on a basic variety that you are sure will make people happy. There are many ice creams loved by people, a few are staples such as Vanilla, butterscotch, chocolate, strawberry while there are also many exotic flavors that are a bit on the expensive side but people still buy them. Keep the items from the menu always available and give your customer time to develop taste for your products. To keep those products, make sure you have good refrigeration, and maintain the quality of these products. Do not compromise on this.
Permits and Licenses
Taking permission to open an ice cream is of prime importance. To open any food-related store, you have to take many approvals from the government and undergo many tests to get a license to set up an ice cream business. Firstly, you will have to take permission from the landlord (if your place is rented) about making the use of space commercially as you will be taxed on that according to commercial regulations. Then for setting up the ice cream business you need to apply for around four-five licenses. This includes the GST registration, the FSSAI License, the Fire License, Local Municipal Corporation Health License, etc. Make sure you are ready with all the paperwork and to take multiple rounds of government offices, beforehand!
Get the right distributor
It is a prerequisite. You cannot have an ice cream business without having a distributor who provides you with the products. So, make a list of the items that you will be selling. You can also integrate with the ice cream companies and sell only their products. Remember, your product availability and variety are not something that you can compromise on. Your customers should not go empty-handed just because your stock was finished.
Get the Manpower
Have in-house staff that will carry out tasks like serving, billing, loading, shifting, etc. Once you have a store and you desire to build it bigger, have a trusted group of people who will help you on each level as this is not a task that can be handled alone.
Along with the in-house staff, if you are opening your horizon for delivery service, have delivery persons ready to go who can handle your ice creams with care and reach the destination on time. Build a team you can trust!
Understand your customer
Focus on the needs of your customers. Follow the pattern of what are the ice creams which are demanded by them the most and keep in mind the variety of products they would like to have. Keep the stocks up and the quality of your products intact. Provide them with the service they demand and listen to their queries and concerns. In the Ice cream business people don’t shy away from trying a new flavor so go overboard if you are one who wants to sell them, make sure some prospects will be willing to buy them too, or else you’ll never be able to gain profit.
Social Media and Marketing
Putting up pages on Facebook and Instagram and, developing a strong SEO, and investing in marketing offline can bring great audience attraction to your ice cream business. Putting up ads with discounts and amazing offers are always a plus. Along with online, spending on offline methods to propagate business is necessary. Go old school and hand our pamphlet whenever a customer arrives. You can ask them to refer your shop to their friends and relatives. Build a relationship with your regular customers.
Starting any business takes a good amount of planning. If you want your new business to succeed, understand the risks that come with entrepreneurship. It often takes a few years to get a business off the ground even with the best-laid business plan and advanced marketing. To open any business, one should be ready to work hard and show a lot of perseverance and determination. Any business will have good and bad days but it depends on the owner how they want to go about it. All the best!