Are you interested in opening your own gelato store, but unsure of where to start? Do you have some hesitations on starting this journey even though you’re passionate about it? If so, then you need to learn more about how to open up a gelato business.
A gelato store is, first and foremost, and business. Too many owners focus on the ice cream side of things and not enough on the front office aspect. Ensuring you have those things in order can make all the difference!
Be sure to see below for several tips you can use as you start the process of opening up your gelato store.
1. Create a Business Plan
First things first, before you start investing money into your new gelato business, you need to turn that idea into a concrete plan of action. How are you going to make your dream a reality?
Only you have the answer! start this process by creating a business plan to both educate yourself on the marketplace and outline your idea for other people.
This will be especially important for those of you that are interested in receiving loans from investors. Any investor, no matter what type, will want to see a concrete plan before they give you the money you’re asking for.
Make sure to include things like an executive summary, your company’s mission statement, a description of the gelato business, your marketing and sales goals, and the current management team of your business.
You’ll also want to take the time and perform a thorough market analysis to include in the business plan. Who are your biggest competitors? Are they local? How does your company differ from theirs? How much of the market do they control?
Don’t worry if you’ve never written a business plan before. Once you get going, you’ll be surprised how naturally it comes to you.
2. Create a Budget
As you begin the process of opening up your gelato store, you should be prepared to go through a season of spending.
You’ll need to purchase things like frozen custard machines, rental space for your store, ingredients for the gelato, online and offline marketing, a POS system, and so on. While these are all worthwhile investments, they can start to add up quickly.
By creating a budget, you’ll be generating more accountability for your spending. This will push you to find the best deals on all your purchases, expand your options, and make adjustments where necessary.
Start by listing all of the potential costs that your gelato store could have. How will you be able to make ends meet until you turn a profit? The answer is generally to receive funding from an investor.
There are many different types of investors you can choose from. You can receive funding from angel investors, incubators, friends/family, venture capitalists, or corporate investors just to name a few.
Finding the “right one” is up to you. Start by creating a budget and thinking through which type of investor makes the most sense for your situation.
3. Establish Your Goals
The book Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill outlines the fact that business success isn’t necessarily a product of working long and hard. It’s a product of those that have the right mindset and can visualize their success.
To start that process, you have to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Your goal shouldn’t just be to start a gelato store, you should have other goals way beyond that.
Have goals like reaching a million dollars in sales, creating your store into a local franchise, and so on. Goals can always be adjusted or added, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself for this stage of the process.
4. Get Things in Order
One of the most pressing needs, if you’re going to start your business, is getting all of the necessary permits and licensing.
To legally run a gelato store, you’ll need to obtain a food handling permit, vendor permit, and health permit. Starting up your store without even one of the three can cause your store to shut down permanently.
Next, you want to make sure you have all the proper insurance. Things like business liability insurance and workers’ compensation are a good place to start.
Lastly, reach out to your local city officials (where you intend to run your business) and ask them what type of licensing you will need. Be sure to obtain it all.
5. Get Your Name Out There
You shouldn’t wait for your new gelato store to open up before you begin to market your company. Doing so can put you way behind schedule.
To market yourself and your gelato store effectively, you’ll want to use both online (digital) marketing and offline marketing.
For digital marketing, start by creating a website and a Facebook page. Since Facebook has the highest amount of active users, you’ll find it to be the best use of your time. You might consider hiring a marketing agency to help propel yourself forward.
As far as offline marketing, it’s all about getting yourself out in the community to shake hands and show your face. Join the local chamber of commerce, find different events you can set up a sales table at, and so on.
Start Building Your Gelato Store Today
Now that you’ve seen all the different things to consider and steps to take while building your gelato store, be sure to use it to your advantage.
Be sure to read this article for more information on how to choose the best-frozen custard machines for your business.
For more tips and directions on where to get started, be sure to request a copy of our guide to open a successful ice cream business. We will be happy to assist you further.