Do those little snow cone shacks, push carts, or trucks make any real money? In this post, we will break out some different scenarios and factors that go into determining the annual profits of a shaved ice business. We will also outline some of the variable expenses of operating different models of this business. For the purposes of this article we are using the word shaved ice or snow cone interchangibly.
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There are some small differences between the two Starting a shaved ice business on where you live, but to the layman these are usually interchangable. They are a franchise opportunity with locations in many parts of the United States including California, Nevada, Texas, and many others. While this franchise diversifies their product offerings to include coffee and smoothies, the core product offering is shaved ice. Another shaved ice business franchise is Kona Ice.
Inthere were Kona Ice franchises in America and the number has continued to grow since then. Also, unlike stationary restaurant locations, most Kona Ice trucks do not operate as frequently and some are only open part of the year so this is not exactly an apples to apples comparision.
Of course there are success stories from other shaved ice business owners as well that are not part of a franchise.
Check out this podcast interview with Snowy Joey based out of Australia. This business was started by a high schooler and has since gone on to generate over one million dollars in revenue.
Not bad for a business that started out being operate on weekends only with a used shave ice machine.
As you can see from the examples above the sky really is the limit in terms of revenue potential in this industry. It all depends on how much you want to work, how hard you work, and how well you execute. The model is already proven and you can build a large and profitable business serving this Starting a shaved ice business. You just need to have the execution and marketing down!
Many people start selling shaved ice as a way to make a little extra money on weekend or during the warmer summer months. The nice aspect of this, however, is that you can still pay off the cost of buying shaved ice equipment, syrups, and other supplies within just a few months of operating a business at this level.
As mentioned in this interview, Snowy Joey operated Starting a shaved ice business years as a small business before getting serious about their business and expanding into multiple shaved ice units. To date, they own a business in full that has generated over one million dollars in sales.
One handy dandy tool available for free is the potential earnings calculator from Snowie. This tool lets you make estimates about how profitably your snow cone business might be.
Another nice element of this tool is that it estimates your expenses for operating the business as well, including things like syrups, spoons, ice, cups, insurance and rental space that you will need to cover. If you plan to operate a mobile unit to sell your shaved ice, the costs are much the same with the exception of monthly rent.
This is an expense that can be largely removed from the expense column unless you plan to pay to vending fees at certain special events in your area. One additional one-time expense that you will need to include into your business plan figures is the cost of acquiring a shaved ice trailer, truck, or step van. This is a mobile unit and will require some tender loving care if you want it to operate and generate revenue for your business long term.
Starting a shaved ice business a little push-cart or having a pop-up stand is the lowest cost way Starting a shaved ice business start a shaved ice business.
Since the cost to entry is so low it also enables you to recoup the investment quickly, often times within just a few months of operating the business part time.
From there you can either expand the business, by purchasing more shaved ice machines and equipment or simply keep the additional cash to create a better life for yourself. As you can see from the examples above the low-cost of the shaved ice product makes it very appealing as a product owner.
Using the figures above it will cost you roughly 20 cents to provide a cup Starting a shaved ice business shaved ice to your customer. Although the margins on a snow cone are exceptional there are two variable costs that can prevent you from realizes your businesses profit potential.
The first is rent. The second big cost that can get out of control is labor.
Starting a shaved ice business you are planning to run the business initially you can completely wipe this expense off of your books and it will make running a profitable stand a no brainer. If you decide to go out and operate the business, you will make money and be profitable.
There are a couple variables that will determine your labor expenses. First, is where you plan operate the business geographically. You can also help employees supplement their hourly wage by putting out a tip jar.
At the end of the day, monitoring labor expenses is going to be one of the critical parts of operating this business if you want to grow and make real money from this venture.
We hope you enjoyed this post! Stay tuned as we will be publishing more content to help you start your own shaved ice business very soon!
Join the growing community of foodie entrepreneurs and learn the seven ways entrepreneurs are funding food trucks in Two of these you don't need to pay back. We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe. A variety of snow cone flavors.
Bahama Bucks Photo Credit: Subscribe Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates. Serious About Food Trucks? Thirty Two Experts Sound Off. Variable cost depending on location. Varies a lot depending on where you operate.
Can also use an iPad and an app for credit transactions. These costs above assume you will sell about 67 units of shaved ice per day about sales monthly or 30 day time period over the course of an 11 hour work day. These are conservative sales numbers for research purposes only. Total Low End Monthly Costs.
Total High End Monthly Costs. This will vary greatly depending on the quality of shaver you purchase. This will vary a lot.
Variable cost depending on vehicle. Oil changes, repairs to vehicle, etc. Variable cost depending on your selection.