Starting an ice cream business is a fun way to bring people together. It brings back fond memories of days spent at the beach or a birthday party, and it also gives you a chance to create new flavors and topping combinations.
If you’re thinking about opening your own small ice cream business, there are several things you need to know. From choosing the right location to getting a great deal, these tips will help you start your ice cream shop.
Include Food Handler Certification
Having a small ice cream business can be a dream come true. However, it’s important to realize that you’ll also need to comply with regulations to operate your shop legally.
Getting permits and licenses for your small ice cream business can be easy. But you’ll need to check with your local health department for specifics.
For example, many counties require all employees in food service establishments to have a food handler permit. Some counties, such as Lexington-Fayette and Madison County, offer in-person course options, while others, such as McLean County, allow online training.
Regardless of your county or state’s requirements, you can easily get the training you need by enrolling in an approved food safety course and taking a test. Getting your food handler card in Illinois can be done online and takes a few hours to complete.
Find a Great Location
Finding a location to attract customers is important if you want to start a small ice cream business. In addition, it would help if you chose a place with lots of traffic and ample parking.
The location should also have a good lease agreement. This will help you save money in the long run.
Another thing to consider is the area’s climate. For example, if you’re opening an ice cream shop in a place with cold winters, consider whether or not you want to close down your store during the winter.
The best places to open a small ice cream business are places families with children often go during the summer, such as parks, athletic fields, beaches, schools, and movie theaters. This can help you attract steady customers and make more money during the warmer seasons. You can also use social media and digital marketing to help get your brand in front of new customers.
Get a Great Deal
As with any new business venture, you will need capital to get your ice cream cart or small shop off the ground. This could be in the form of a small business loan or a traditional commercial mortgage. Other options include finding a venture capital firm or securing a line of credit from the local bank. While this might be challenging, it can help you secure the funds to start your ice cream truck or small shop on the right foot.
Get Your Finances Ready
When you’re ready to start, consider obtaining a small business loan to cover the initial costs of testing recipes, securing your location, buying inventory and equipment, and paying your first employees. Next, consider using your funds or tapping into your retirement accounts for some funding, but assess the risks associated with these options before committing.
When you start your ice cream shop, you must invest enough time into creating a plan. This will help you map out every decision, cost, and expectation.
Knowing your target market and how you can appeal to them is crucial. This will help you determine what kind of marketing and promotions to use.
The best way to determine which of these methods is right for you is to do some homework and research. This might involve visiting the local banks, talking to friends in the business, or simply doing your homework on the internet. Then, you will find the perfect financial partner to help you make the right decisions for your unique situation.