There are a lot of things to know about an ice cream business. These could range from the top flavours most patronized by clients, innovative services introduced by ice cream businesses and a host of other aspects of the business.

This article will cover the ice cream business, providing the necessary things that every ice cream business must have in place, amongst others.

The ice cream business is a seasonal business that has it high as well as low moments and patronage. Before starting an ice cream business, things like the location should be considered.

Choosing between having a mobile ice cream shop, a stationary shop or both are part of the important decisions to be made. A mobile ice cream shop can go anywhere there are potential clients, while a stationary shop serves a particular location (until additional shops are opened in other locations).

There are several ice cream businesses, many of which are popular brands with years of experience in the market.

This however does not mean that an investor cannot set up a thriving ice cream business. There are a lot of things to consider when starting an ice cream business. You may want to consider buying an existing ice cream business or setting up a new one from the bottom up.

There are factors to consider when buying an existing ice cream business. Such existing ice cream businesses already have a working structure in place, with all the equipment needed. However, the cost of an existing ice cream business is typically higher than that of a new one. To start from scratch, buying all the required equipment is needed.

  • Location Counts

The location of the ice cream business is also a factor. Existing ice cream business located in strategic locations will cost higher than those located in less/unattractive locations. For mobile Ice cream businesses, the business is always on wheels and can travel to any location to deliver ice cream products to clients. There are certain advantages as well as disadvantages associated with both stationary as well as mobile ice cream businesses.

Taking these into account can make the difference between a profitable ice cream business and an ice cream business witnessing low patronage. Locating an ice cream shop in areas with relatively high density will most likely result in a high rate of patronage. Therefore, places with a high foot traffic, such as seashores and sports center are great areas to set up an ice cream business.

  • The Cost of Setting up Shop

An ice cream business requires considerable financial investments. However, this largely depends on the scale of operation of the business. For large ice cream shops, a lot of resources is committed to creating a strong brand.

Significant investments are also committed into marketing and advertising for ice cream business not found in high human traffic areas. This does not hold same for those located in high traffic areas, as the financial investments into marketing and advertising are less.

  • Regulatory Guidelines

There are regulatory guidelines to follow. To set up a successful ice cream business, it is important to consider every regulatory provision guiding the operation of an ice cream business.

Failing to abide by the stipulated guidelines and working within the regulatory framework may result in the ice cream business facing strict sanctions. Hygiene should form an important guiding principle of the ice cream business.

  • Hiring the Workforce

The number of required workforce for the ice cream business depends on the size of the business. Larger ice cream business typically requires the services of more workers. The quality of the workforce is also an important consideration.

Getting the services of employees having a particular skill set can be done more conveniently through the use of recruitment services. This however will attract a service fee. But the charges are worth it as the chances of getting the required skill set is high.

  • Buying Ice Cream Manufacturing Equipment

Without equipment, an ice cream business cannot function effectively. Significant financial commitments are required to purchase the right equipment. In buying equipment for the ice cream business, it is advisable to buy durable equipment which will last, as this is a business, and the usage of these equipment will be quite much.

For mobile ice cream businesses, buying a truck is necessary, and can be considerably expensive. In any case, before investing into an ice cream business, it is necessary to factor in every bit of expenses and be prepared for it before venturing in.

  • The Ice Cream Business Plan

Before everything else, the business plan should be in place. The plan is an important document that will guide the ice cream shop to profitability. Without the plan, the business is at best operating blindly, which will result in failure. Whenever there is any form of distraction, resulting in the loss of concentration and direction, the business plan acts as a compass in guiding back the business along the path of profitability and towards its goals.

The ice cream business is quite lucrative, especially if the right measures are put in place. This article provides some of these measures that will significantly influence the business along the path of profitability.


Here is a sample business plan for starting an ice cream parlor.

Ever thought of starting an ice cream shop? Are you hindered due to your inability to plan out your business? If your answers to these questions are affirmative, you will find this ice cream shop business plan useful. We have made this plan available for use to enhance your chances of success. While reading through, it is necessary to avoid complicating it when implementing its content.

Your plan should be such that encapsulates every detail of your ice cream business. This should be done in a comprehensive manner that enables the reader to fully understand. Although your plan is meant as a guide in implementing its contents, investors are likely to go through it when you are in need of funding. Doing a great job will increase the chance of funds being approved.

Take its Seasonal Nature into Consideration

When planning your business, you need to understand the seasonal nature ice cream patronage. It’s a fact that during the winter season, ice cream sales drop. This picks up during summer when the weather is warm. Renting a shop during the winter season means you will incur expenses with little or no income. This can lead to losses with the only option being to run on a lean budget within the timeframe. Your plans should take these into consideration.

Dealing with Red Tape

Before your ice cream shop kicks off, you need to get the necessary permits and licensing. You also need to know the applicable health and safety laws that apply to ice cream shop businesses.

Getting the hang of these enables you prepare beforehand. This eliminates guesswork and unnecessary delay. Most times, different cities have their different regulatory requirements. Find what applies to your city or business location.

What Form Should Your Plan Take?

In many cases, new entrepreneurs are usually faced with the dilemma over what a plan should include. Business plans are standard for every type of business. However, you plan should be specific to your ice cream business. The basic contents will include your executive summary, your business description and the market analysis.

Other sections include funding requirement, organizational management, sales strategies and financial projections.

A critical look at these will allow you supply the right kind of information.

Choice of Equipment

Equipments for starting an ice cream shop are varied. However, you need to choose the most durable ones. These should come with at least a 6 month warranty. These consist of the light as well as heavy equipment. If you are working on a tight budget, you may want to consider the leasing alternative. This saves you money and is ideal for starters.

  • Types of Equipment

Anyone interested in starting an ice cream shop will need the following equipment; ice cream cone dispensers, ice cream dipper station, topping dispensers, ice cream servers, soda fountain, cold topping counter, an ice cream shop POS machine, and an ice cream batch freezer.

Other equally useful equipment for an ice cream shop are; a dipping cabinet, an ice cream machine, ice cream and novelties merchandiser and an ice cream hardening and holding cabinet. You also need to get serving dishes, napkin holders, and a shake freezer. These are essential to running a successful ice cream shop. They make your work much easier and efficient.

What do you Want; Franchise or Independent Ice Cream Shop?

You have the option to choose between buying an ice cream franchise or building one from scratch. If you prefer the franchise option, you will have to follow a laid down procedure in running the franchise. This option is more expensive for those with a tight budget. The franchise fee is likely to cover equipment and other aspects of running the business.

On the other hand, starting an ice cream shop from scratch comes with greater challenges. If the word “challenges” scares you, then you may not be suited for business. Every business, including an ice cream shop presents its challenges. You need to brave these challenges to operate a successful business. You will need to set up all the structure yourself unlike a franchise where most of the work has been done.

Choosing a Location for your Ice Cream Store

The level of patronage you attract depends to a large extent on your business location. Convenience is an important factor to consider. Ice cream shops located in areas removed from the hustle and bustle or general direction of traffic will hardly attract patronage. In other words, you need to choose areas with dense foot traffic. This enhances patronage. Such may include malls, airports, sports centers etc.

Choice of a Business Structure

A business structure does many things to a business. Apart from the convenience it brings, it streamlines operations too.

Other benefits include the capacity to operate in multiple locations, simplifying the decision making process as well as defining your legal status. Some of the most common types of structures are sole proprietorships (common with small business owners), LLCs, Partnerships and more.

You need to make your decision based on what legal structure best fits your business. You may want to seek legal advice before choosing a structure for your ice cream shop business.

There are lots of things to consider before setting up an ice cream shop. This ice cream shop business plan sample has offered helpful tips on how to achieve this. It highlights some of the most important sections of a plan that must not be ignored.

Also, we have provided you with the basic equipment you need to purchase. These help in no small measure by enhancing efficiency.