Starting a business involves an immense amount of time, effort, and planning, but offers potential rewards that many feel compensate for that investment. One business idea with particularly sweet rewards is an ice cream shop. These are popular establishments with people of all ages, so producing a successful business in this industry is certainly possible. However, this is no decision to make in the rush of a sugar high, it requires as much work as any other business. Compiled here is a brief overview of the initial decisions you need to make to open your ice cream shop.

Cart, Counter, or Shop?

Choosing the type of ice cream business you want to run is a decision that must come before any other others because it will shape every other choice you make, from cost to location to supplies.

  1. Cart: This style of ice cream business operates wherever the owner likes, depending on the laws of their city. Often found at events and festivals, or in outdoor family locations like parks, an ice cream cart is a versatile choice with a comparatively low cost to start. With no rent or major marketing campaign, the necessary investment lies primarily in equipment, such as ice cream cups, mini tasting spoons and the cart itself.
  2. Counter: This type of venue is generally limited to soft serve ice cream selection due to limited space. They are located inside other venues, in general, such as malls, and usually have a lower start-up cost than do stand-alone stores, but more than carts. For this route, you will also be required to invest in ice cream shop supplies, including a soft serve machine.
  3. Shop: These establishments are located wherever you find a retail space for rent that you can afford, with a common choice being strip malls. These are the most expensive of the three choices, a result of all the cost requirements of any retail store, as well as the necessary ice cream shop supplies and equipment.

Franchise or Original Concept

This choice and the one above often influence each other. This occurs in many ways, such as if a person has determined to open a certain franchise that only operates as a stand alone shop. There are pros and cons to both choices, and must be made individually, taking your abilities and skills into account.
The choice to open an ice cream shop likely will be one applauded by any community. Plan carefully your location, keeping in mind what kind of business you want to run. With options that requiring little more than the ice cream shop supplies, before you know it, your business could be a sweet success.