Wondering how to start an ice cream and frozen yogurt shop? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt Startup Secrets
Ice cream and frozen yogurt shops are a popular business concept for entrepreneurs just starting their entrepreneurial careers. After all, I-scream-you-scream-we all scream for ice cream, right?
But launching a successful ice cream or frozen yogurt stand is a lot harder than it sounds. The popularity of frozen confections and low barriers to entry translate into a fiercely competitive marketplace, especially in the most promising, high traffic locations.
In fact, location is often a key to success in the ice cream service industry. Unless you've invented a "gotta-have-it" specialty ice cream or frozen yogurt flavor, your business will need to be located in a spot with high foot or road traffic, preferably in a vicinity where there aren't any other established ice cream vendors.
Since ice cream is a perishable product, many ice cream and frozen yogurt stands only offer a handful of flavors. But to enhance appeal, they offer customers a virtually unlimited number of toppings. The right toppings can transform a boring vanilla cone into a cornucopia of flavor. Better yet, toppings keep longer than ice cream and subsequently, reduce spoilage.
Relationships with wholesale suppliers are an obvious prerequisite to success. As a way to reduce costs even further, consider buying mixes and making your ice cream onsite. With a little creativity, you may be able to create a specialty flavor that ice cream and frozen yogurt connoisseurs associate with your brand.
Depending on where you're located, your business may be seasonal or year-round. Seasonal ice cream shops have an advantage over year-end businesses because they benefit from student workers and can avoid year-round utilities.
Learn more about finding a location for your ice cream business in our Location, Location, Location section!
Tips for Generating a Top Quality Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt Shop Business Plan
There is no right way to write an ice cream and frozen yogurt shop business plan – but there are plenty of wrong ones. Although you'll have a certain amount of liberty in the form and content of your ice cream and frozen yogurt shop's business plan, you'll also want to make sure to cover the required material. Even small omissions can have radical implications for your company.
If you're unfamiliar with business plan essentials, you may want to think about purchasing business plan software. Robust software solutions incorporate best practices while streamlining the writing process, ensuring that your business plan reflects your company's commitment to quality.
Our list of business plan software packages offers a comprehensive guide to the best solutions on the market.
Selling to Local Customers
Most ice cream and frozen yogurt shops rely on local customers. Site selection is probably one of the biggest factors in determining company success or failure for this type of business. Get educated on business site selection, and make smart decisions about where to locate your new ice cream and frozen yogurt shop.
Before you open an ice cream and frozen yogurt shop within your community, it's a good idea to find out how many competitors you have. Use the link below to get a list of local competitors nearby. Complete the form by entering your city, state and zip code to get a list of ice cream and frozen yogurt shops that are close by.
If there's too much competition, it may be wise to consider starting the business in a less competitive marketplace.
Finding a Non-Competitive Business Mentor
As part of your due diligence on opening an ice cream and frozen yogurt shop, it's essential that you talk to somebody who is already in the business. It's very unlikely that the local competition will talk to you. Why would they want to educate a future competitor?
However, an entrepreneur who owns an ice cream and frozen yogurt shop in a location that is not competitive to you may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, as long as they don't view you as a competitive threat. In that case, the business owner may be more than happy to discuss the industry with you. If you are persistent, you can find a business mentor who is willing to help you out.
How does one quickly and easily locate an ice cream and frozen yogurt shop owner who is willing to talk to you but doesn't live nearby?
It's easy. Here's a link you can use to find a mentor outside of your area.
Reasons to Pursue an Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt Shop Acquisition
More than a few experts advise prospective ice cream and frozen yogurt shop startup entrepreneurs to pursue an acquisition strategy. Yet many new entrepreneurs find it hard to resist the allure of an ice cream and frozen yogurt shop startup.
The availability of acquisition capital should be a major factor in your decision. Commercial lenders are usually more inclined to fund acquisitions than startups.
Buying a business to get acquisition capital is a legitimate ownership strategy for ice cream and frozen yogurt shop entrepreneurs.
Is Franchising the Right Option?
Startup small business owners sometimes lack the experience and resources to make a go of it in a competitive business environment. Franchised startups have an edge over other startups because they launch with many resources already in place.
Our frozen yogurt franchise directory contains information about some of the best ice cream and frozen yogurt shop franchisors in the nation and gives you the ability to identify the one that is right for you.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you currently own an ice cream and frozen yogurt shop, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to ice cream and frozen yogurt shops, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.