Wondering how to start an ice sculptors business? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Breaking Into Commercial Ice Sculpting
Looking for a way to transfer your love of sculpting into a viable business concept? Then you're in the right place -- ice sculpting is a big business that is often overlooked by artistically inclined entrepreneurs.
In the current marketplace, leading ice sculptors are part artists, part engineers and part business people. The complexity of today's most sought after ice sculptures requires more than a simple hammer-and-chisel approach. Top sculptors combine hands-on techniques with cutting edge technology to create sophisticated ice creations, many of which command top dollar from corporate clientele.
Since ice sculpted has become a highly nuanced industry, it's important to have experience in commercial ice sculpting under your belt before you take the plunge into small business ownership. The National Ice Carvings Association (NICA) offers competitions and other opportunities to showcase your talents. In addition to industry experience, you may want to enter (and place well) in competitions to help generate buzz around the launch of your startup.
Required Tools for Startup Ice Sculptors
In the old days, ice sculpting required a chainsaw, a chisel and a block of ice. These days, you will need to raise enough startup funding to cover a range of tools and equipment, some of which may come with a high price tag.
Chainsaws, chisels and ice tongs are still in the mix. But you will also need grinders, routers, torches, CO2 tanks, irons and other tools that can be used to shape ice. Additionally, sculptors at the high end of the market employ engineering design software and CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) technology to produce exceptionally detailed pieces.
Pricing Guidelines for Ice Sculptor Business Startups
Pricing is always a factor of the marketplace. Price your sculptures too high and customers will bolt for the competition; price them too low and your startup will be out of business PDQ. The trick is to understand your costs and your position in the marketplace and price your creations accordingly.
Prices for basic ice sculptures typically start around $300. These pieces tend to be small, easy-to-produce pieces with little or no customization. Larger and more complicated pieces naturally command higher prices, often ranging into the thousands of dollars for ornate pieces with special sculpting and handling requirements.
Core Characteristics of Ice Sculptors Company Business Plans
Your ice sculptors company's business plan needs to be tailored to your personal and professional goals while at the same time maintaining a consistency with other business plans, particularly in the critical business plan components that most business experts consider to be essential.
The mandatory components of an ice sculptors company business plan include an executive summary, mission statement, strategic overview, financial plan, marketing plan and timetable. Without these elements, your plan will have limited use to lenders, investors and other stakeholders..
Although it will need to be incorporated into the flow of your plan, we strongly recommend considering a PEST (Political, Economic, Social & Technological) analysis for inclusion in your ice sculptors company's business plan.
Assess the Competition
Before you open an ice sculptors business in your town, it's a good idea to see how strong the competition is. We've provided the link below to help you get a list of local competitors in your city. Simply enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of ice sculptors businesses in your town.
Prior to opening your doors for business, be sure you fully understand the competitive landscape and where your new business will fit in.
Turning Competitors Into Collaborators
If you want to open an ice sculptors business it's essential that you speak with 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?
On the other hand, an individual who has an ice sculptors business in a location that is not competitive to you can be a great learning resource for you, once they realize that you are not going to directly compete with them in their community. In fact, they are often very willing to share startup advice with you. If you are persistent, you can find a business mentor who is willing to help you out.
Do you know how to find an ice sculptors business entrepreneur in a different locale who can assist you?
Simple. Let your fingers do the walking by using the link below.
Advice for Acquiring an Ice Sculptors Business
Many entrepreneurs elect to acquire a profitable ice sculptors business instead of navigating the challenges of a business startup.
But without adequate financing, your plans to own a first-rate ice sculptors business are going nowhere. Business acquisitions are easier to finance than business startups, even though the financing process can still be exhausting.
Our Business Acquisition Financing Tips have the information you need to successfully navigate the challenges of financing your new business.
Don't Rule Out Franchising
Your chances of achieving the entrepreneurial goal of doing well in business go up significantly when you franchise and leverage their successful brand and track record.
Prior to starting an ice sculptors business, you should determine whether purchasing a franchise might alleviate your startup process.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you came here to learn about selling to ice sculptors businesses, this isn't the right place for you. Try these resources instead:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.