Summer is a great opportunity to make some good money. We have covered quite a number of business ideas before. In 2022 one of the articles was on 8 trending summer business ideas. One of them was starting an on-the-go food business. This is a collective that refers to a wide range of food-based business ideas. You are essentially looking at businesses focusing on foods that busy people can purchase on the go. For example, takeaway businesses like restaurants, smoothies and juice bars, ice cream sales, snacks, cold beverages, and so many more. Let us zone in on starting an ice cream business.
An ice cream business is one you can roll out in any of several different ways. You can consider starting an ice cream shop. The shop concept can be a brick-and-mortar one or it can be a mobile one e.g. a mobile food truck. You can consider using a mobile approach. That mobile approach can branch out into a number of options. For instance, you can use a mobile cart. Alternatively, you can sell from your car or from a fixed outdoor spot. When it comes to how you serve the ice cream there are also several options.
You could use an on-demand approach where you serve in real-time e.g. using ice cream cones. Another approach could be the pre-packaged approach. This is when customers buy ice cream that is for instance already placed in cups, cones, and so on. You could even consider selling ice cream in various quantities i.e. not just small portions meant for one person. All this is to make you realize the many key approaches you can consider when starting an ice cream business.
What you will need for your ice cream business depends on how you want to approach it. The key approach options we discussed will inform on that. Despite whichever approach you adopt, working space is needed. This can be rented space or it can be from home. Then you will need equipment and machinery for ice cream making, packaging, and cold storage. You will also need transportation which can be yours or you can outsource or hire; it depends.
Registration And Licensing
An ice cream business falls under the food industry. Never lose sight of the fact that the food industry is heavily regulated and for good reasons. Thus you need to ensure your ice cream business is registered and you have the requisite licensing. For licensing your ice cream business you will have to engage your respective local authority or municipality. It is also wise to familiarize yourself with food industry licensing in Zimbabwe. There is an article from before that you can kindly check out to learn more.
Financial And Human Capital Needs
Both aspects will depend on the type of approach you will employ in starting your ice cream business. Typically the brick-and-mortar approach tends to be costlier than the mobile approach. This is because there will be a need for renovating, remodeling, and specialized machinery and furniture. With the mobile approach, you will of course need some specialized equipment or machinery. At the most basic you will need an ice cream maker. You will also need working material e.g. ingredients, utensils, packaging, and the like.
You will also need cold storage equipment; which should be reliable power-wise. It is not particularly easy to mention specific figures on how much you will need. However, anything from US$2000 will be adequate to start an ice cream business. Human capital needs will largely depend on your scale and sophistication of production. It is quite possible to start the business solo with probably just some casual help (not necessarily paid help). Having adequate and the right equipment will often make it easy to minimize the number of hands needed.
Important To Consider
Differentiation is pertinent when starting the ice cream business. Obviously, there are many people running the ice cream business. Key competitors in this space are fast food restaurants and mobile ice cream vendors. This does not mean you cannot secure your own market share; you definitely can. Close study them and find ways to differentiate your ice cream business. Just to give you some hints. Fast food restaurants are fixed so they only serve those who can reach them. Mobile ice cream vendors are mobile but are still limited because they either walk or cycle. There are many areas they cannot reach.
Thus there is lots of potential for you to start your own ice cream business. Invest in unique and catchy branding and packaging. That can make your ice cream business stand out. It is worth noting that you do not necessarily have to stick to just ice cream. You can (in fact, must) include other different types of frozen or cold foods e.g. yogurt. You can also include some sought-after cold beverages e.g. water and juices. Another witty thing to do is to have different flavors and also a wide variety of toppings. There are many creative ideas and recipes when it comes to ice cream; closely look into that.
Market Prospects And Marketing
The ice cream business is full of market prospects. Ice cream appeals to virtually all age groups. The average person is said to consume roughly 10 kilograms of ice cream in a year. What is important is to figure out how to stand out amongst the many players running ice cream businesses. Establish an active online presence but be vastly more visible on the ground. Figure out loopholes and more importantly market gaps; they are always there.
The Zimbabwean climate now mostly makes it ideal to run an ice cream business. You do not necessarily need to just wait for summer though of course summer is peak. Strive to build an ice cream business that can enjoy good sales seasonally and all year round. The study established players to discover ways to stand out.