Much like starting any business, the prospect of opening an ice cream shop, froyo, or other frozen dessert shop may seem like a daunting task.
But just like all good things in life, your efforts will be rewarded! Having a plan in place before you take the plunge into starting a business can make a HUGE difference. That does not mean that you need a massive full scale business plan and pages of excel sheets.
However, having the basics down on paper really helps. Let's talk about a few necessary steps to starting an ice cream, froyo, boba, or any type of treat shop.
The type of frozen treat shop you want will alter the courses of action that you take.
Brick & Mortar: With a brick and mortar shop the potential to make more money, year round is much higher. However your upfront costs, overhead, and staffing is a bit more complicated. If you are willing to put in the work to create a full-scale business, this is the option for you.
Ice Cream Truck: While your overhead will be less, you will have to rely heavily on marketing to make sure people know where and when to find your current location. Social media is your best friend here, but paid traffic can make all the difference.
Seasonal or Year-Round? Depending on your location, seasonal might be the way to go. If you are somewhere with fairly decent weather year-round such as California or somewhere on the West Coast, you can continue making treats year round. This is definitely something to think about before beginning. Keep in mind that no matter where you are, business slows during winter. So be prepared for that.
Getting down to business!
Before you open your shop you will need a.... Business plan! If you are seeking investors or a larger loan you may need something more in-depth. But for most of us, the basics will do. This plan will serve as a sort of guideline and checklist for getting started. So, what should this business plan consist of?
There are many way to go about this and the order can be changed slightly. But, I always tell people to start with a basic menu. As this tends to be one of the most exciting things about opening and help get the brain-power flowing.
So start with a concept of your brand and the menu.
Then you will need a company description. This is often times easier to write once you have a concept down. Here you will write about your strategies for business growth and future projections.
Management and Ownership structure will need to be figured out. From there you can work on your staffing. For example: how many employees will you need to start off with? How will they be trained and paid.
Marketing & Competition: Figure out who your local competition is, and see what is working for them and what you could be doing better. Check their yelp, visit them etc...
You will also need to learn everything you can about marketing your business, or hire someone that has a proven track record advertising in the food industry. Good paid and organic traffic can literally make or break a company.
A financial projection and summary of this will also be needed. This is kind of your best guess into the future.
And last but not least is your executive summary. This is a break-down of everything above and an overview of your plan.
Ice Cream Shop Start Up Costs ( Or any frozen dessert, tea house start-up costs)
In general startup for a brick and mortar start at $20,000 but can go as high as $50k or more if you are trying to get SUPER fancy. You can cut costs by purchasing used / refurbished equipment (or by renting from places like soft serve rentals). And depending on whether or not you rent or buy your location.
Some of the things you will need are as follows...
Down payment - usually around 20% of your startup costs
Renovations or constructions costs (unless you acquire a business that is already functioning)
Equipment -Such as soft serve machines, freezers, mixers etc..
Frozen treat supplies - Like the ones we sell at Frozen Solutions
Permits and licenses - Which will vary depending on what state you live in.
A POS system and front of house cash and employee management.
Advertising - so you can make sure everyone can find your ice cream shop! If you need help with advertising please reach out to us, as we are well connected!
And last but not least... You will need to account for employee wages.
You can shop our ice cream products HERE. We have the best prices and largest supply.