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How to Start A Successful Shaved Ice Business


Starting your own business is incredibly thrilling, however along with all the excitement, there are some obstacles you’ll have to get through in order to be successful. There isn’t a master spreadsheet on exactly how to start your own business, no matter which business you choose. One person may run things differently than the next, but there are some general guidelines you can follow to help you begin on the right track. Once you check these items off your list, your shaved ice business will be up and running in no time!

Do Thorough Research

Read books, articles, and scour online resources for any and all information regarding shaved ice businesses. You’ll need to decide whether you’d like to make snow cones, snow balls, or shaved ice. There’s also many different types of machines you’ll need to research before you make a final purchase decision. Flavors are also a major factor. Consider how many you want to have, what brand, and which specific flavors. Other products that go into it are the actual paper cones, bowls, cups, or your choosing of how you will serve your shaved ice. Maybe you’ll get creative and serve it in a unique design! Finally, you’ll need to brainstorm the perfect overall sales location to set up your business. This could be near a beach, in a truck, or a shop. Many options and variables exist, it’s up to you to decide!

Also you should visit successful snow cone businesses and jot down notes along with taking pictures. Note locations, size of building, menu, cup size, prices, hours, equipment, employees, etc. Compare as many businesses as you can to gain insight. This information will be crucial when you finally begin to establish your own business. Also if you have a friend or family member who operates a successful business you should ask them for advice, successful people can help make you successful.

Get The Scoop On Legal Issues

Before you purchase anything, you need to make sure your city or state will permit you to establish a snow cone stand. Contact City Hall, the state tax office and the health department. A simple phone call and they’ll be able to tell you the requirements for establishing a snow cone business. There may be certain regulations based on where you live. Most health departments and tax offices charge a minimal fee yearly for snow cone stands. You’ll also need to contact your local zoning board to see if any permits are needed in your location. This can be a factor on if you’ll be a stand, truck, or an actual brick store.

Choose A Location

This step is crucial! You have to find a location that combines pedestrian, bicycle, and automobile traffic. These three types of traffic are usually found along a busy street with neighborhoods nearby. Make sure the location is easily accessible and has plenty of parking. A drive through will also increase business sales due to ease of use, so keep this in mind as well.

Pick Your Machinery & Other Extras

Once the location is secure, you’ll need to buy equipment. There’s two main types of machines, a block ice shaver and cube ice shavers. There are positive and negatives to each one, however the block ice shaver produces the tiniest and fluffiness type of ice. You’ll also need to consider purchasing a cash register or money box, tip jar, gloves, cleaning supplies, a refrigerator for any toppings such as cream, a freezer, and an ice maker if you choose to make your own ice.

Design Your Business

Countless options are available for your design theme and name. You’ll need to market your business heavily, so try to come up with a catchy slogan or name for your shaved ice business. You’ll want your design to be attractive to draw in customers. Themes such as Hawaii, snow, penguins, flowers, are all possibilities for your new business. Be creative and think outside the box as you finalize drawings or names.

Attract Customers

Marketing can make or break your business. Ideally, customers will see your new business and be drawn to try it out for themselves. However to reach an even wider customer base, you’ll need to contact local news outlets. They’ll usually run a story on new local business. Also, try a free taste test on your grand opening day. This is a terrific way to establish new customers, once they get a taste they’ll likely love it and want to come back. Another great marketing tool are customer loyalty cards. Implement these into your business and give away a free shaved ice after so many visits. You’ll quickly gain loyal customers and they’ll be coming back for more week after week.

Follow these guidelines as you begin your new shaved ice business and you’ll be on the road to success in no time at all.