Ice Cream Shop Business Plan Template

Whether you want to start your own ice cream business or expand an existing one, you need a business plan. The following ice cream business plan template lets you know what elements you need to include in a successful ice cream shop business plan.

To ensure your ice cream shop business success in this highly competitive market, you need a properly structured ice cream business plan. With over 12 years of experience, we have helped over 5,000 entrepreneurs create business plans to start and grow their ice cream shop businesses.If this is your first time writing a business plan, we’ll walk you through these sections and give you some key things to consider.

Things to Know Before Writing an Ice Cream Shop Business Plan

Ice Cream Store operators offer customers a range of frozen desserts, such as ice cream, gelato, and sorbet, as well as a range of toppings, such as crushed candy or syrups.

The revenue of ice cream store operators is expected to grow over the next 3 years.

Consumers are predicted to continue choosing healthier dessert options over ice cream and gelato over the 3 years to 2025, as per capita disposable income is expected to increase by 2.5%.

Additionally, industry operators will offer healthier options, leading consumers to spend more at industry establishments. Industry revenue is expected to grow an annualized 1.4% during the period to reach $5.4 billion.

This industry’s major products and services include

  • frozen desserts
  • Ice cream sold over the counter
  • Iced beverages served at a counter
  • Ice cream and beverages are served at a drive-through
  • Ice cream and beverages served at walk-up windows, through delivery and others

Key Success Factors for Ice Cream Shop Business

Despite the challenges of the ice cream industry, We have identified five factors that can help you boost profitability, efficiency, and ultimately success.

  1. Premium goods and services: Operators who sell premium and specialty ice cream often earn higher profits.

  2. Supplies of key inputs: Ice cream does not have a long shelf life, and ice cream kept in a freezer for too long burns, so a steady supply is essential to maintain quality.

  3. Access to the appropriate land/property: Some models of service, such as walk-up windows and drive-through windows, require specific types of properties.

  4. Effective cost controls: It is critical for industry operators to keep input costs low if they wish to achieve higher profit margins. 

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What is an Ice Cream Shop Business Plan?

The primary goal of this ice cream shop business plan is to outline the parameters under which the principals will continue to build, develop, and operate an ice cream shop in a prominent location.

A solid, comprehensive plan will serve as a road map for the next three to five years of the ice cream shop business. Any bank or investor you approach will require an ice cream shop business plan, so putting one together will be critical to securing funding.

In short, writing a business plan can help you succeed if you’re thinking of starting an ice cream shop business or pitching to investors or venture capitalists.

ice cream shop business template

Why You Need an Ice Cream Shop Business Plan

You can stay current with market trends by developing an ice cream shop business plan. In addition, it lets you track results over time, test lead generation strategies, and develop new marketing approaches.

Ice cream shop owners who have a business plan grow 30% faster than those who don’t, and 71% of fast-growing businesses have a business plan.

The following is what a good ice cream shop business plan will show you:

  • Where you are right now
  • What you want to achieve
  • How will you get there
  • How will you measure your success
  • Where and when to make corrections

An ice cream shop business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Funding Sources for Ice Cream Shop Business

The main sources of funding for an ice cream shop business are personal savings, credit cards, microloan program, merchant cash advances and bank loans. When it comes to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay the loan and interest.

To gain this confidence, the loan officer will not only look at your financials but they will also demand a professional business plan. A well-developed business plan will ensure that they are confident that you can successfully run a business.

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How to Write an Ice Cream Shop Business Plan

To write an ice cream shop business plan, you don’t need to be an expert. Our step-by-step guide will show you how to write an ice cream shop business plan, or you can just download our proven sample business plans to get a better idea.

Ice Cream Shop Business Plan PDF and Word

Download our Ice Cream Shop business plan in PDF and Word here.

Executive Summary

The executive summary is the most important part of the document since it outlines the whole business plan. Despite the fact that it appears first in the plan, write the executive summary last so you may condense key concepts from the other nine parts.

It’s a part that catches the investor’s eye and provides key information about your company’s overview and upcoming short- and long-term goals.

Tell them what kind of ice cream shop business you have and what stage you’re in; for example, are you a startup, do you have an ice cream shop company that you want to expand, or do you have a lot of ice cream shop businesses?

Finally, an executive summary should provide investors with a preview of what they may expect from the rest of your document.

  • Provide a high-level overview of the ice cream shop industry
  • The name, location, and mission of your ice cream shop company
  • A description of your ice cream shop business, including management, advisors, and a brief history
  • Discuss the type of ice cream shop business you are operating, Give an overview of your target customers, and how your company differs from competitors in the industry
  • Create a marketing plan that describes your company’s marketing strategies, sales, and partnership plans.
  • And give an overview of your financial plan

Check out these executive summary examples to help you write a perfect one for your ice cream shop business plan.

Business Plan Template

Free: Executive Summary Examples

An executive summary is the most important part of your business plan, and it need not be challenging to write. This is why we have put together some awesome free Executive Summary examples for you.

Company Analysis

The company analysis follows the executive summary as the second section of an ice cream shop business plan. Your company overview will be short and clear, similar to the executive summary.

Even if they just have a few minutes, your reader has to understand what your company does and who your customers are.

The following sections will be included in your business plan’s Company Analysis:

  • Company summary: Your company analysis will describe the type of ice cream shop business you are running and its future goals. The type of ice cream shop business you might be focused on ( Self serve ice cream shop, Ice cream truck and Gourmet ice cream shop etc)
  • Company history: When and why did you start your ice cream shop business?
  • What milestones have you achieved so far? Your milestones could include sales goals achieved, new store openings, etc.
  • Legal structure and ownership: Do you have S-Corp status? Is it an LLC? A sole proprietorship? Describe your legal structure.
  • Mission statement: An overview of your ice cream shop’s guiding principles. Learn how to write a perfect mission statement

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Industry Analysis

You need to include an overview of the ice cream shop business in the industry analysis you performed before sitting down to write your ice cream shop business plan.

While this research may appear to be unnecessary, it helps you to build strategies that maximize business opportunities while lowering or avoiding the identified risk.

Furthermore, market research can improve your strategy, especially if it identifies market trends. As an example, If there’s a trend toward ice cream flavor combo, it’s a good idea to make sure your plan includes plenty of ice cream flavor combos.

The third purpose for conducting market research is to demonstrate to readers that you are an industry expert.

Industry analysis can be presented as a 8-step process when written as part of a company’s business plan.

  1. Give a quick overview of the ice cream shop industry. Define the ice cream shop business in terms of size (in dollars), historical background, service region, and products.
  2. Examine previous trends and growth patterns in the ice cream shop industry.
  3. Identify the market’s major competitors.
  4. Age, gender, and general lifestyle of the targeted market
  5. Determine the factors that have an impact on the ice cream shop industry. These might include government regulatory rules and other businesses’ competitive activities.
  6. Using research data, the industry forecast expected growth over the next five to ten years. Predictions should be made for both the long and short term.
  7. Describe how your ice cream shop business intends to position itself in the industry. Concentrate on how your ice cream shop can benefit from opportunities highlighted in the industry.

Customer Analysis

The first condition for an ice cream shop business is to identify its target customers clearly. Customers can be categorized into the following segments: Students, Children, Parents, Restaurateurs, Teenagers, Families, 

The customer analysis section is an important part of any ice cream shop business plan since it evaluates the consumer segments that your company serves. It identifies target customers, determines what those customers want, and then explains how the products will meet those requirements.

Customer analysis may be divided into two parts: Psychosocial profiles and Demographic profiles.

With regards to demographics, include information about: the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of your customers. When targeting businesses, describe what kind of business, size, and location your target customers are.

The psychological profiles of your target clients reveal their wants and needs. The better you understand and identify these demands, the better your chances of attracting and retaining customers will be.

Business Plan Template

Free: Business Plan Examples

Do you need help creating a business plan? Check out these six free, proven business plan examples from different industries to help you write your own.

Competitor Analysis

Who are the main competitors in your target market, and what makes them your main competition? How will you beat them? Use competitor analysis to:

  • Identify the strength and weakness of your ice cream shop business competitors.
  • Search for opportunities to distinguish your ice cream shop company from competitors.

The first step is to determine who your direct and indirect competitors are.

The direct competitors consists of other ice cream shop businesses. These are alternatives to direct competitors that customers have.

Customers have other options for purchasing from indirect competitors than direct competitors. Grocery stores, convenience stores, and ice cream vending machines or kiosks are examples of this. You must mention such competition to demonstrate that you recognize that not everyone who wants ice cream will go to an ice cream shop.

When it comes to direct competition, you should describe the other ice cream shop businesses you compete with. It is most likely that your direct competitors will be ice cream shops located nearby.

Once you’ve identified the competition, concentrate on the direct, head-to-head competitors, since they are the most threatening to your ice cream shop business— but keep an eye on the indirect competition as well, just in case.

Provide an overview of each direct competitor’s business and detail their strengths and weaknesses.

You will be able to position yourself competitively in the market if you perform proper competition research. Perform a SWOT Analysis to learn your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, and competitive advantages in the following areas:

  • Prices – Are they offer cheaper ice cream products or more costly than you and other competitors, what value do buyers get for that price?
  • Quality – Are they offer better quality ice creams, the perceived worth in the eyes of the customers
  • Customer service – How they respond to their consumers, whether they treat them poorly or well, and the degrees of satisfaction customers show
  • Reputation — The sum of everything mentioned above: their credibility, how loved the brand is, and the loyalty of their customers

The final section of your competitive analysis should include a list of your areas of competitive advantage. for example: Are you going to offer premium ice creams? Will you offer unique ice cream products that your competitors don’t offer? Will you offer better pricing or will you offer greater customer support?

Consider how you will outperform your competitors and include them in this portion of your ice cream shop business plan.

Business Plan Template

Free: SWOT Analysis Examples

Take advantage of our free SWOT analysis examples. Make your business future-proof by identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats using this free SWOT Analysis Template.

Marketing Plan

Creating a marketing plan for an ice cream shop business involves identifying the target demographic and finding ice cream products that suit their preferences.

As part of your marketing plan for an ice cream company, you should include:

Pricing and Product Strategy

Your ice cream shop business must offer ice cream’s flavor that are different from those of your competitors, better in quality and taste and affordable in price. Research what your competitors offer and how they price their ice creams products. Unique and quality products identifies your ice cream shop business as the place to go for unique ice cream products and differentiates it from others.

Placing and Promotions

Place refers to where you have your ice cream shop. Highlight how the location will affect your success. Where is your ice cream shop located, for instance, in a busy retail district, shopping plaza, mall, etc? Consider how your location might generate a steady stream of customers

Promoting your ice cream shop business is the final part of your marketing plan. In this step, you document how you will drive customers to purchase your ice cream shop business business. A few marketing methods you could consider are:

  • Adding extra appeal to your ice cream shop’s storefront to attract passing customers
  • Networking
  • Marketing on social media
  • Advertise in local papers, magazines, and on the web
  • Placing banner ads at local venues

You should also think about your ice cream’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP), which should explain why clients should choose you over other ice cream businesses. Ensure that your USP is reflected in your marketing.

Recommended Resources: Are you writing an ice cream shop business plan yourself? this guide on how to write a marketing plan in a business plan can help you in creating a successful business plan.

Operations Plan

While the previous sections of your ice cream shop business plan described your goals, your operations plan discusses how you will achieve them.

An operational plan in business plan is helpful for investors, but it’s also helpful for you and employees because it pushes you to think about tactics and deadlines.

Your operations plan should be divided into two individual parts, as seen below.

Everyday short-term processes include all aspects of running your ice cream shop, such as making ice cream, serving customers, and maintaining equipment.

Long-term goals are milestones you hope to reach. It may be the date when you expect to serve your 1000th customer or when you hope to reach $X in sales. Another example would be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or start a new location or service.

Management Team

A strong management team is necessary to demonstrate your ice cream shop’s ability to succeed as a business. Highlight the backgrounds of your key players, emphasizing the skills and experiences that demonstrate their ability to grow a business.

You and/or your team members should ideally have prior experience working in an ice cream shop. If so, emphasize your knowledge and experience. However, you should emphasize any experience that you believe will help your ice cream shop business succeed.

Consider forming an advisory board if your team is lacking. An advisory board would consist of 2 to 8 people who would act as mentors to your company. They would assist in answering questions and providing strategic direction. If necessary, seek out advisory board members with experience running ice cream shop and/or retail and small businesses. 

Suggested Resources: This guide on how to write a management team section in a business plan can help you to create a winning ice cream shop business plan.

Financial Plan

As part of your financial plan, you should present a 5-year financial statement broken down monthly or quarterly for the first year, and then annually. Financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement.

Income Statement

A profit and loss statement is more commonly called an income statement. It shows your revenue and subtracts your expenses to determine whether you were profitable or not.

As you develop your income statement, you need to develop assumptions. For instance, Will sales grow by 2% or 11% per year? Your choice of assumptions will greatly impact your business’s financial forecasts. Conduct as much research as possible in order to ground your assumptions in reality.

Business Plan Template

Free: Income Statement Template

Create a financial statement for your business by downloading our free income statement templates.

Balance Sheet

While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities.

The balance sheet shows your ice cream shop business’s net value at a specific point in time. It categorizes all of your company’s financial data into three categories:

  • Assets: Tangible goods with the monetary worth that the company owns.
  • Liabilities: Debt owing to a company’s creditor.
  • Equity: The net difference when the total liabilities are subtracted from the total assets.

The equation that expresses the relationship between these financial data elements is Assets = Liabilities + Equity.

Create a pro forma balance sheet for your ice cream shop business plan that highlights the information in the income statement and cash flow projections. A balance sheet is normally prepared once a year by a company.

Balance sheets indicate your assets and liabilities, and while they contain a lot of information, they are simplified to highlight the most important things you need to know.

For example, spending $100,000 to build out your ice cream shop business will not result in instant revenues. Rather, it is an asset that should help you earn money for many years to come.

Similarly, if a bank write you a check for $60,000, you do not have to pay it back right now. Rather, that is a liability that you will repay over time.

Cash Flow Statement:

Your cash flow statement will help you determine how much money you need to start or grow your ice cream shop business. In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing an ice cream shop business:

  • Cost of equipment like blenders, refrigerators, etc.
  • Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
  • Cost of fixtures like tables, chairs, a menu board, etc.
  • Cost of ingredients and maintaining an adequate amount of supplies
  • Taxes and permits
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Legal expenses
  • Business insurance

Pro Tips: If your are a DIY business plan write, this guide on how to write a financial plan in a business plan might be helpful for you.

Business Plan Template

Free: Balance Sheet Template

Create a financial statement for your business by downloading our free balance sheet templates.

Appendix

List any additional material you cannot include elsewhere, such as resumes from key employees, licenses, equipment leases, permits, patents, receipts, bank statements, contracts, and personal and business credit histories.

Attach your full financial projections along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling in the appendix.

Bonus Tip: Here is a step by step guide on what to include in a business plan appendix

Summary of the Ice Cream Shop Business Plan

An ice cream shop business plan is a worthwhile investment. As long as you follow the template above, you will become an expert in no time. By following the template, you will understand the ice cream shop business, your competition, and your customers. The plan will help you understand the steps necessary to launch and grow your ice cream shop business.

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Since 2010, Wise business plans’ ice cream shop business plan writers has developed business plans for thousands of companies that have experienced tremendous success.

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We will show you some real-world business plan examples so you may know how to write your own, especially if you are seeking a bank loan or an outside investment and need to use SBA-approved formatting.

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