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How to Start a Smoothie Business / Ice Cream Shop 1-2-3

Smoothie and frozen yogurt shops have grown in popularity as a healthy alternative to fast food - and they offer all the consumer benefits of being fast, cheap and convenient.

In the frozen treat business, it is essential to operate in a high-traffic location. Many shops do well close to schools, playgrounds or other restaurants. Find out how.

Some businesses have also gone mobile (see ice cream truck business) - bringing their treats to the eaters - by way of a truck or van. This can be a smart way to find customers who are working in office buildings, or cater special events.

Licenses and Permits:

Requirements for licenses and permits vary by state. Normally, shops that serve food are required to obtain a general business license and food handler certification. Your food preparation space will need to pass an inspection by the Department of Health as well. When approved, you will be able to receive your license.

Retail Space & Smoothie/Ice Cream Shop Design:

Commercial real estate agents can help you locate vacancies within you budget. You can also use a free service called Office Finder that can help you locate a profitable and affordable storefront for your shop. Check the city's zoning restrictions, if necessary.

Generally, you want to be near businesses already attracting shoppers and that complement what you are selling. When looking for possible locations, notice traffic patterns, construction projects, where your competitors are located and also parking situations.

After you secure a retail space, you want to create a design and layout that works for your particular eatery. You can create the interior design layout of your smoothie business, juice bar or ice cream shop using restaurant floor plan software that you can download. The Ice Cream Shop Start-Up Guide also includes sample floor plans.

Selling from a Vehicle:

The smaller the vehicle, the lower the cost. Look at small used trucks or vans if you are working in a tight budget. I have even seen ice cream vendors selling from bicycle "carts" with refrigeration units attached.

Do your city's regulations state vending trucks be stored in a special facility? Do you know where your vehicle can be parked - legally? Each locale is different, and you can get the answers to these questions at your local city office.

Smoothie/Yogurt/Juice Bar/Ice Cream Shop Start-Up Guide:ice cream business start-up guide

How to decide what type of shop to open, put together a business plan, where to find financing and other necessary information on licenses, insurance, etc.

  • Designing your shop, where to get equipment and supplies, find wholesale suppliers, set prices and accept payments from customers.

  • As Seen in Oprah's NewsletterWays to cheaply attract new customers, get repeat business, handle difficult customers and hire a great staff.

  • Plus sample forms and checklists (including floor plans, supply checklist, lease agreement and more) and lots of free resources that will save you time and money.

Ice Cream/Smoothie Shop Quick-Start Plan

Business Plans:

Since ice cream parlors, smoothie shops and juice bars vary by size, location, type, staff and items sold, start-up costs vary. Find out how much it will cost to start a business using a start up costs worksheet.

2014 Home Business Start-up Checklist!

Home Business Start-up ChecklistGet the complete checklist free! Follow step-by-step ...from choosing your niche to bringing in customers.

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