Summer is on the horizon, and with warmer weather comes the perfect opportunity to start a mobile ice cream business and make some money. Whether you're looking to supplement your income or start a new career, a mobile ice cream business can be a fun and profitable venture.
Selling ice cream from a truck offers a multitude of benefits that make it an appealing business venture. Not only do mobile ice cream businesses boast excellent profit margins, but they also produce minimal waste, making them an environmentally conscious choice.
The flexibility of being able to move to different locations throughout the day or week also allows for a wider customer reach and more exposure for your business. With the ability to serve up delicious frozen treats on-the-go, a mobile ice cream business provides a unique and memorable experience for your customers.
If this is a venture you’re considering, this article is for you. We’ve put together this guide with all the essential steps and tips you need to start your own mobile ice cream business and make the most of the summer season.
- Conduct market research
Before starting any business, it's important to conduct market research to determine whether there is a demand for your product in your target market. This research will also help you identify your competition and find out what they are doing right and wrong. Some of the questions you should be asking yourself during this research phase include:
- Who are your potential customers?
- Where do they like to buy ice cream?
- How much are your competitors charging for their products?
- How can you differentiate your products from your competitors?
Once you have a better understanding of the market and your competition, you can start to plan your business accordingly.
- Choose your equipment
The equipment you choose for your mobile ice cream business will depend on the type of products you plan to sell and your budget. Essential equipment you will need includes:
- Ice cream freezer: This is the most critical piece of equipment, as it will keep your ice cream frozen while you're on the go. You can choose from a variety of sizes and types, including chest freezers and countertop models.
- Ice cream scoops: You'll need a variety of ice cream scoops to serve your customers. Make sure to invest in high-quality scoops that are easy to use and clean.
- Storage containers: You will also need storage containers to hold your ice cream when you're on the move. Make sure to invest in containers that are durable and easy to transport.
- Blender: If you plan to offer milkshakes or smoothies, you'll need a blender to mix your ingredients.
- Toppings and supplies: Would a 99 flake be complete without it’s chocolate counterpart? Of course not. Don’t forget about toppings! You can provide a variety of options, from hundreds and thousands and strawberry sauce to fudge pieces.
- Obtain licenses and permits
Before you can start selling ice cream, you'll need to obtain the necessary licenses and permits from the relevant authorities. These may include things such as a traders license or food hygiene certification. Make sure to research the requirements in your area and obtain all necessary permits before starting your business.
- Choose your packaging
When it comes to packaging your frozen treats, there are a few options to consider. For consumers who don’t want a traditional cone, one of the most popular alternative is cups. Ice cream cups come in a variety of sizes and can be made from materials such as paper ice cream cups or personalised PET cups. Whichever you opt for, consider customising your choice with your branding and logo, as this will serve as an additional marketing tool.
When choosing your cups, consider the following factors:
- Size: Choose a cup size that is appropriate for the portion sizes you plan to serve. For instance, you might want to make sure you have enough cups to hold up to three scoops, to provide your customers with choice.
- Material: Consider the environmental impact of the materials you use for your cups. While plastic cups are more durable, they are not as eco-friendly as paper cups. Furthermore, some customers may prefer paper cups because they are easier to recycle or compost. Here at Pack Genie, we’re dedicated to providing our customers with sustainable packaging options. Check out our commitment to Go Green to find out more.
- Customisation: Customising your cups with your business logo or design can help promote your brand and make your products more memorable. Look for cups that can be customised, either through printing or stickers.
- Choose your locations
One of the benefits of a mobile ice cream business is that you can take your products to where your customers are. Here are some popular locations to consider when it comes to deciding where to park up:
- Outdoor events: Outdoor events such as fairs, festivals, and concerts are great places to sell ice cream, as they attract a large number of people who are looking for a treat. Given that ice cream is particularly popular with children, you may want to aim to target child friendly festivals.
- Parks and beaches: Parks and beaches are popular destinations for families and individuals, and they can be a great place to set up your ice cream business.
- Residential areas: You can also consider setting up your ice cream truck or cart in residential areas, particularly on hot summer days when people are more likely to be outside.
Make sure to research the regulations and requirements for each location before you head to a particular location.
- Promote your business
Finally, you'll need to promote your business to attract customers and build a loyal following. Asides from the iconic chime associated with ice cream trucks, there are a range of effective marketing strategies for your ice cream business:
- Social media: Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram can be a great way to promote your business and connect with your target audience.
- Flyers and posters: Distributing flyers and posters in your target area can help you reach potential customers who may not be active on social media.
- Special offers: Offering special promotions or discounts can entice customers to try your ice cream and become loyal customers.
Tags: ice cream business, ice cream paper cups, ice cream PET cups