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09 Apr 9 Steps to Launching a Successful Ice Cream Truck Company
Starting an ice cream truck company can be a great way to get started as an entrepreneur.
The financial barriers to entry aren’t prohibitive, and the company provides for some flexibility in terms of working hours. An ice cream truck company is also extremely scalable. All you have to do to expand is buy a second vehicle.
Take a look at some of the unique factors and steps involved in this unique and delicious company if this has piqued your interest in learning how to start an ice cream truck business.
1.Evaluate the capital for your ice cream truck company.
The truck itself is, unsurprisingly, the most important asset you’ll need to start your ice cream truck company. Consider buying a used ice cream truck with freezers already fitted. If you can’t find one that works for you, you’ll have to buy a truck or a phase van and make the required modifications. With all of this in mind, budget between $10,000 and $20,000 for your truck.
Gasoline and maintenance costs are only a few examples of operating expenses. You will measure your costs until you know the length of the path you want to travel.
Of course, you’ll have to buy ice cream on a regular basis, as well as any toppings, cones, cups, or other supplies you may need. The good news is that you’ll get paid right away for your goods, which means you’ll have money in your pocket to keep your inventory stocked. Most ice cream truck companies may expect to spend about $1,500 for their startup inventory.
Permits and licenses are additional costs to consider when starting an ice cream truck operation. These costs can vary depending on the location of your ice cream truck and the local regulations enacted by the government. Also, get an insurance quote for your ice cream truck from your insurance provider.
You won’t need to budget for labor costs if you intend to launch an ice cream truck company on your own, at least at first. However, if you want to recruit people to drive your truck and sell ice cream, include those expenses in your startup budget as well.
2.Make a decision on what kind of ice cream to market.
While most typical ice cream trucks specialize in novelty ice cream, some specialize in soft-serve or hard ice cream. Novelties are by far the simplest choice, as the only requirement is enough freezer space. Since the ice cream is pre-packaged, it also alleviates some of the food safety issues that come with operating an ice cream truck. It will also be easier to manage and monitor your inventory.
This is one aspect of starting an ice cream truck company that you can take your time deciding on. Consider the choices carefully because they can have a significant effect on everything from your branding to the demographics you draw, as well as your bottom line.
If you decide to serve soft serve or hard ice cream, you’ll need to budget more money for equipment and staffing. It’s possible that your truck would be more costly as well. As a result, one of the most important decisions you’ll make as you prepare your ice cream truck startup is whether to serve novelty ice cream or soft-serve/hard ice cream.
3.Select and buy your tools.
If you want your ice cream truck to become a prosperous, successful company, you’ll need to invest in technology that speeds up transactions, simplifies inventory management, and gives you actionable insights.
Starting your company with a modern cloud-based POS will ensure that you put the best foot forward, increasing efficiency and automating some of the more mundane aspects of running a business. You can increase sales by accepting a variety of payment methods (cash, credit, or Apple Pay), tracking sales trends in real time even when you’re not at your business, collecting customer email addresses to encourage repeat visits, and quickly identifying top-selling items to create a profitable ice cream truck menu.
Freezers and ice cream machines
Of course, you’ll need freezers, which should be bolted to your truck’s frame and floor. Hiring a licensed refrigeration mechanic to ensure your freezers have the correct power supply and maintain the proper temperatures is a smart idea. This is one area where you don’t want to cut corners when opening an ice cream store.Your refrigeration system’s failure will easily destroy all of your inventory, costing you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in lost sales.
If you’ve chosen to serve soft-serve ice cream, you’ll need the necessary equipment to make and serve it. You’ll also need a generator to keep all of this equipment operational. An inverter, which converts the 12-volt power from your truck’s battery to the 110-volt power required to run the freezers and ice cream machines, is another choice.
A music box and an amplification system to let people know you’re coming are two other items you may need when starting your mobile ice cream company. Consider purchasing a canopy to provide shade to customers as they position their orders. You can also invest in decorative signage to let customers know what they can purchase from you, as well as specialized equipment for extra treats like shaved ice or slushies that you may want to sell.
It’s also crucial not to overlook protective equipment. Flashing lights on the top and back of your ice cream truck or van alert pedestrians and drivers that you’re stationary, as well as warn them that there are children nearby. A backup alarm that sounds when you put your truck in reverse is also a good idea, particularly if you plan on setting up in parking lots.
4. Plan your route
Stopping points at nearby colleges, parks, and music and sporting venues are obvious choices for an ice cream truck route. However, before you make plans to set up shop in the nearest park’s parking lot, double-check your town’s rules to make sure it’s legal.
You must also ensure that you are not attempting to take over a path that has already been developed by another ice cream truck, as this may result in animosity from that truck’s loyal customers, as well as a reduction in your sales. Make the necessary research to ensure that you can find a profitable and legal path in your field.
5.Choose your suppliers and make arrangements for inventory storage.
Since ice cream and ice cream novelty products are widely available, you can search around to find the best deals. Look for commercial vendors who can provide you with the highest profit margin.
Keep in mind that the need for a freezer won’t go away until your regular route is completed. Unless you want to sell out and restock every day, you’ll need a freezer at the commissary where you park your truck each night to avoid losing any of your stock.
6.Get all of the required permits and licenses.
If you’re learning how to start an ice cream truck company, you’ll need a business license before you even start driving your truck. To apply for one, contact your county clerk’s office or another relevant government office. To get the licenses you need, you will have to pass a written test. To sell food on the street, you can need a special permit.You will also need a peddler’s permit from the police department in some jurisdictions.
You can need a resale permit if you want to buy your ice cream and other products in bulk. When it comes to starting an ice cream truck company, none of these permits or licenses are more relevant than the others. In other words, even though you answer all but one, you risk being fined or even shut down for an indefinite period of time.
7.Follow all rules and regulations set out by the local health department.
And if you’re selling pre-packaged novelty items, you’ll need to comply with your local health department’s regulations. Although there might be some overlap, these usually go beyond the licenses and permits you’ve already dealt with. Start by contacting your city’s health department to learn about the rules you’ll be operating under and what you’ll need to do to stay in compliance.
You won’t be able to start your first route until you’ve completed those criteria. You should expect to be tested by health inspectors on a regular basis, including before you reach the road. The inspectors will want to see all of your records, including your ice cream truck’s licenses, permits, and evidence of ownership.
8.Purchase the required insurance.
Any food truck company, including an ice cream truck business, requires not only regular business insurance, but also insurance that covers motor vehicles and food operations. Be certain you have both general liability and company owner’s protection. You’ll still need workers’ compensation and disability benefits if you have staff.
9.Promote your ice cream truck company.
The good news is that, thanks to that instantly recognizable music, you have a bit of advertising every time you drive down the street when you start an ice cream truck company. However, that is most likely insufficient. As a result, you’ll need to be a bit more inventive when it comes to marketing your ice cream truck.
If you start your ice cream truck business in the summer, you can advertise your arrival through flyers and social media. Make a huge deal out of your grand opening, and make sure to tell potential customers where and when they will find you.
Taking advantage of social media
Instagram is a great place to share tasty pictures of the ice cream you’re serving, and Twitter is a great way to let your loyal customers know where you’re at all times. Maintaining a social media presence is also an excellent way to keep in touch with your clients. Create a website, a Facebook profile, a Twitter feed, an Instagram feed, or a TikTok account to keep customers informed about new ice cream flavors you’ve added to your menu, as well as any changes to your hours or route. To further spread the word, you will deliver exclusive offers to customers who follow you on social media.
Mr. Iceberg is an ice cream Truck company that is ideal for all of your special occasions. We’ve been serving delectable ice cream treats that are both exciting and soothing for years. Toronto, Mississauga, Markham, North York, Brampton, and everywhere else in the Greater Toronto Area are included in our coverage area.
To ensure ice cream truck availability, make your reservation as soon as possible. Please get in touch with us.