by Brian McKay
Nearly everyone loves ice cream. Naturally, then, starting an ice cream store sounds like the perfect startup opportunity. After all, what could be better than making money while bringing smiles to your customers and delighting your own taste buds?
If you are serious about starting an ice cream store, though, you will need to formulate a winning plan of action. Here’s the insides scoop on the issues you can face, as well as how to overcome them.
One of the great things about selling ice cream is that you will pick up a lot of spontaneous sales. However, this is only possible if you are based in a location where the foot traffic is high. Let’s face it, an ice cream store stuck in the middle of a trading estate will not succeed.
Appropriate locations include shopping malls, waterfronts, and anywhere used by people for leisure. Rentals in these areas aren’t cheap, which is why financing for ice cream store startups is crucial. Attempts to succeed without money will backfire spectacularly. Avoid this trap at all costs.
Buying ice cream is usually an impulsive decision. When you run a store (rather than a truck), you need to ensure that your branding captures the imagination. Firstly, you need to think of a concept that will attract people. The brand should be fun, exciting, and get people smiling.
You could also use ideas like allowing customers to create their own flavors or scoop the ice cream themselves. Either way, the branding should tell the full story. Logos, shop awnings, and web designs should all be taken into account. Otherwise, consumers will continue to walk on by.
The Winter Blues
Ice cream sales are seasonal, with summer revenue easily outweighing the winter. Therefore, it’s imperative that you factor this into your forecasts. Plotting your growth based on the figures gained in the height of summer could results in some very costly mistakes. Do not forget sustainability.
It’s equally important to think of concepts to get you through the winter slump. Introducing fancy coffees is one option while hot deserts with a scoop of ice cream on the side is another. Running ice cream workshops and tours can also get people through the door. In summer, you can focus on the sales.
When dealing with equipment, the freezers and ice cream machines are top of the agenda. However, investing in mobile POS terminals can be a great way to bring a sense of flexibility to the shop floor. It makes life easier for your employees while improving the client experiences too.
If nothing else, this step gives your business a fresh and modern flavor. Becoming memorable in this way will start to improve the chances of gaining repeat sales and loyal visitors. Moreover, it should encourage them to spread the word to friends and family, which will also boost sales.
Running an ice cream store isn’t easy, and will require a lot of hard work. When you master this challenge, though, the results are simply phenomenal. Enjoy.