Starting In The Ice-Cream Van Business? Here’s What You Need To Know
If you’re thinking about starting up in the ice-cream van business, then you’ll need to plan ahead and make sure you’ve covered all the bases to make sure your business is enjoyable and profitable too. Aside from making sure you’ve got the right kind of insurance cover in place, there are also some practical things to consider. There are far fewer independent ice-cream vans operating today than in previous years, but there are still ways to stand out from the crowd and make your mark in the sector.
You don’t need a tremendous amount of experience to start a really successful ice-cream van. You’ll need a good business plan that covers aspects such as stock and fuel costs, but in terms of specific skills, there aren’t too many. By comparison to a catering business that produces fresh dishes, you’ll get away with a lower skill-level, and can concentrate on great customer service. You’ll need to make sure you have a strong understanding of food preparation hygiene, you’ll need to understand stock rotation and storage and how to operate the limited machinery on the van, but beyond that, you can get going straight away.
When you run an ice-cream van, you’ll find that waste is kept to a minimum almost automatically. Much of your stock is kept frozen, and as long as you rotate it effectively it shouldn’t go past its best-before date. Other items have a long shelf life, and you can buy your raw ingredients at low wholesale rates, meaning that any wastage will be very limited indeed. This allows you to remain flexible but also to predict your expenses accurately and regularly, which is always helpful. Your profit margins can stay high and consistent too, with the only real variables being your customer flow.
There are some challenges in running an ice-cream van too, principally in terms of the competition from supermarkets. However, you can always offer something that big supermarkets can’t, which is convenience. Ice-cream can’t be packed for a picnic, so making sure that you are where the crowds are on a sunny day is central to your planning. The weather is a tremendous factor in the volume of your sales, and it can be a real challenge to make a profit when it’s raining. You can always diversify and sell umbrellas and disposable raincoats. After all, you will often be the only vendor in a park or car park, and if you’ve got what your customers want, whatever the weather, you’ll maximize your sales.
For more information about the kind of catering insurance that’s right for you, visit https://www.cateringinsurance.co.uk/ice-cream-van-insurance/
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