If you love ice cream and dream of becoming your own boss, opening an ice cream shop could give you the career of your dreams! Ice cream has moved from a summertime indulgence to a year-round favorite of the whole family. While being passionate about your product is important, successfully operating an ice cream shop requires more than just affection for frozen confections. Before you take the plunge and invest your hard work and capital, read on to discover ten things to know before opening an ice cream shop:
- A business plan is essential for ice cream shop success
Creating a detailed business plan will play a key role in your success. In addition to demonstrating the viability of your business to potential financiers, you will gain an in-depth knowledge of the local market, a complete itemization of start-up expenses, and an operational and financial plan for your first few years.
- Opening an ice cream shop is expensive
Ice cream shops are one of the less expensive restaurants to open, but they still require a sizable investment. If you do not have the needed capital, you can seek financing from a bank, credit union, small business bureau, or investors.
- You need operating capital to cover at least six months
Many first year businesses fail from a lack of financing. Figure out the amount of capital you need to operate for at least six months and put it aside. That will give you the needed time to grow your business and establish a sizable customer base.
- Opening an ice cream shop requires permits
The specific permits and licenses you will need depends on the local and state requirements for your area. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s website can help you find the required permits for your area.
- Finding the right location for your ice cream shop is important
Look for an easily accessible location in a family-friendly area. It should be highly visible, have heavy family and female foot traffic, ample parking, and a reasonable rental rate.
- Owning an ice cream shop is hard work
While owning your own ice cream shop is rewarding, operating any small business requires long hours, dedication, and the ability to balance family responsibilities with business ones.
- Cheerful, courteous staff is a must for ice cream shops
Your staff plays an enormous part in determining your customers’ ice cream shop experience. Procedures can be taught; it is better to hire friendly personnel with an outgoing demeanor than cranky staff with experience.
- There is more to operating an ice cream shop than knowing your flavors
Ice cream shop owners are responsible for every aspect of their shop, from payroll and scheduling to ordering and accounting. Gain some ice cream shop managing experience or find a mentor before opening your shop.
- Marketing is crucial for ice cream shop success
Use every available tool to promote your ice cream shop – with flyers, ads, social media, and a loyalty/reward program, you can build a large customer base and ensure your profitability.
- Ice cream shop success requires a powerful ice cream shop POS system
Calypso’s turnkey POS for ice cream shops is affordable, simple and easy to use, and can help you manage every part of your business. It includes all the ice cream shop software features you need including an employee time clock and labor scheduling, integrated credit card processing, and seamless QuickBooks integration. With its integrated gift/loyalty card program and available social media marketing through the SunDrop mobile platform, Calypso will quickly turn casual customers into loyal fans. Contact Calypso today at 800-771-7100 to discover how Calypso can help your ice cream shop dreams become a reality!