Numerous factors will inevitably play into your success or failure for those looking to invest in and operate an ice cream shop franchise. One of the keys, of course, is going to be located. What areas get a significant amount of traffic? Generally speaking, with ice cream shops, foot traffic is substantial. Think about it, on warm summer nights, people may be out walking, they see an ice cream shop, and on a whim, they decide to stop in for a cone or sundae.
You also want to think about the region in which your ice cream shop franchise will be located. Sometimes colder climates, ice cream shops are not going to do as well as those found in warmer areas of the country. That’s not to say this is always the case. Studying the market, assessing the demand, and ensuring that you have the drive and determination to make a go of it.
Let’s say that you do opt to open an ice cream shop. The question is, what now what. How do you begin? What aspects of opening your shop do you prioritize? How do you drum up business in those early days? This article will look at some of the nuts and bolts associated with opening an ice cream franchise.
Do Your Research on Ice Cream Franchises
Opening any business is first and foremost about ensuring that you have done thorough research. Particularly when it comes to the market in your area, you want to make sure that you understand where you fit in with the competition, the product you have to offer, and the potential audience for that product. Numerous online resources can help you begin your research. You might also consider talking to the “average person” and getting a feel for what they see as a gap in your niche. You might start with the Chamber of Commerce for your region. They can be a valuable source of information and general business guidance.
Find Your Storefront
As the other famous real estate saying goes, location location location. And when talking about an ice cream franchise, location does matter. You want not only a storefront that is visible and accessible but also one that is modern and large enough space to accommodate your operation. Here again, you might do some research. Visit a number of other ice cream shops. See what their layout looks like. Identify any weaknesses in their overall brick and mortar business. Pay attention to flow and functionality. And then, when you are looking for a location for your ice cream franchise, a budget will play a significant role in determining what you finally settle on. You want to establish your budget early on so that you know precisely what you have to spend before shopping for a storefront.
Understand the Franchise Terms
When it comes to any franchise, ice cream or otherwise, you need to know all franchise terms fully. For example, what sort of commitment are you required to make? In other words, do you have to sign on for a multi-year contract? And if so, what is the length of that contract? Also, of course, you’re going to want to look at the upfront fees. These can range from $10,000 to upwards of $1 million, depending on how well-known the particular franchise is and how extensive its reach is. And also, consider what type of support system there is for ice cream franchises built into the parent company. Does the franchisor care about your growth and success? Are they good at answering your questions and getting back to you? And do they clearly outline expectations right off the bat?
Hire Your Team
The strength of your ice cream franchise will depend mainly on the quality of the team you hire. You want experienced people, people that are good with customers, and people who care about the success of the overall franchise. This is why you want to take the interviewing process seriously. From hiring managers and assistant managers to part-time ice cream scoopers, every interview should count because every interview will equate to a new member of your team, and you want that team to be a strong one.
Have a Marketing Gameplan
With ice cream franchises, there is some marketing already built-in. Hopefully, the brand is already somewhat established, meaning the amount of work you have to do to create brand recognition should be minimal. However, that is not to say that you can forgo marketing altogether. It would be best to have some game plan and strategy to announce your new business and get the public excited about it. This is how you get people into your ice cream shop.
Owning and operating an ice cream franchise can be a lucrative endeavor. However, it also takes a great deal of work and effort on your part. You want to do your due diligence and make sure that you address every conceivable angle. Moving forward, you understand precisely what is involved in making your ice cream franchise a successful one.
First Union Lending is Here to Help
We offer a multitude of loan programs geared towards small businesses. As one of the top lenders in Orlando, FL, we have a funding solution perfect for you, from short-term loans and lines of credit to SBA loans and merchant cash advances. If you need additional working capital for your ice cream business, we would love to consult with you. Call today.