Starting an ice cream truck business can be an excellent choice for an entrepreneur launching a career.
The financial barriers to entry aren’t overwhelming, and, to some extent, the business allows a fair amount of flexibility regarding hours. Also, an ice cream truck business is highly scalable. To expand, all you need to do is to purchase a second truck.
If this gets you interested in learning how to start an ice cream truck business, take a look at some of the unique considerations and steps involved in this unique and delicious business.
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1. Assess the resources you need to start your business
The major asset you need to start your ice cream truck business is, not surprisingly, the truck itself. Look into purchasing a used ice cream truck that has freezers installed. If you aren’t able to find one that meets your needs, you’ll have to purchase a truck or step van and make the necessary alterations. Taking all of this into account, plan to spend $10,000 to $20,000 for your truck.
Operating expenses include gasoline and maintenance costs, among many others. Once you know the length of the route, you plan to drive you can calculate your costs.
Of course, you need to purchase the ice cream itself on a regular basis, in addition to any toppings, cones, cups or any other supplies you might need. The good news is that you’ll receive payment immediately for your products, so you’ll have an income that you can turn right around to keep your inventory well stocked. Most ice cream truck businesses can bank on spending around $1,500 to purchase startup inventory.
Other costs when starting an ice cream truck business include the permits and licenses necessary to operate. These expenses will vary depending on where your ice cream truck is located and the local laws that the government has put in place. Also, consult with your insurance company to receive an insurance quote for your ice cream truck.
If you’re planning to start an ice cream truck business by yourself, at least initially, you won’t need to budget for labor costs. But if you expect to hire staff to drive your truck and serve ice cream, make sure to factor those costs into your startup budget as well.
2. Decide what type of ice cream to sell
While most traditional ice cream trucks sell ice cream novelties, some do well selling soft-serve ice cream or hard ice cream. Novelties are by far the easiest choice since the main requirement is sufficient freezer space. It also reduces some of the food handling concerns that come with running an ice cream truck business since the ice cream is pre-packaged. Your inventory will also be easier to manage and keep track of. When starting an ice cream truck business, this is one aspect you’ll want to take your time deciding on. Consider your options carefully because it will have a profound impact on everything from your branding to the demographic you attract and most importantly your bottom line.
Though inventory management for pre-packaged ice cream might be easier, a truck that sells soft serve or hard ice cream has the potential to be more profitable. The variations are virtually limitless with this kind of product. You can vary prices by the scoop, combination of ice cream flavors, toppings and more, all of which makes your offerings more appealing to potential customers. Also, if you’re selling soft serve or hard ice cream, you still have the option to add novelties to your inventory such as prepackaged goods.
Nevertheless, if you make a commitment to serve soft serve or hard ice cream, you must plan on a more significant investment in equipment and staffing. Even your truck may be more expensive. As a result, making the novelties versus soft-serve/hard ice cream decision is one of the most crucial you will make as you plan your ice cream truck startup.
3. Choose and purchase your equipment
Among equipment you’ll want to consider when starting an ice cream truck business is an iPad-based point of sale (POS). Since most ice cream trucks get by with a calculator and a cash box, you might be wondering if the added cost of a POS system is necessary. It all comes down to your long-term business objectives. If the goal of your ice cream truck business is to grow into a thriving, profitable venture, investing in technology that speeds up transactions, simplifies inventory management and provides your business with actionable insights is key.
Starting off your business with a modern cloud-based POS will ensure that you put your best foot forward, improving productivity and automating some of the grunt work that comes with running a business. You can maximize sales by accepting a variety of payment types (cash, credit, or Apple Pay), monitor sales trends in real-time even when you’re away from your business, collect customer email addresses to encourage repeat visits and create a profitable ice cream truck menu by quickly identifying top-selling items.
Freezers and ice cream machines
You will, of course, need freezers, which should be bolted to the frame and floor of your truck. It’s a good idea to hire a professional refrigeration mechanic to make sure your freezers have the proper power supply and maintain the proper temperatures. When starting an ice cream shop, this is one corner you don’t want to cut. Problems with your refrigeration system can destroy your entire inventory in a matter of hours, costing you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
You can choose from either commercial chest freezers, which are typically between five and eight feet long, or from smaller, non-commercial freezers. To determine which type of freezer you should invest in, calculate the floor space you have available in the truck and estimate how much space you’ll need to store a full day’s worth of ice cream. Don’t forget to factor in enough space to move around within the truck.
If you’ve decided to serve soft-serve ice cream, you’ll need the appropriate equipment to create and dispense the ice cream. Also, you’ll need a generator to keep all of this equipment running. Another option is an inverter, which converts the 12-volt power of your truck’s battery to the 110-volt power needed to power the freezers and ice cream machines.
Other equipment you might need when starting your mobile ice cream business includes a music box and an amplification system that lets people know you’re coming. Consider getting a canopy to shelter customers from the sun as they place their order. You can also invest in decorative signs to let people know what they can buy from you, and specialized equipment needed for additional treats you might want to offer, such as shaved ice or slushies.
Make sure you also have the bowls, scoops and spoons you need—and don’t forget to stock up on plenty of napkins! Remember, you’ll also need adequate shelving to hold all these items.
It’s also important not to forget safety equipment. Flashing lights to place on the top and rear of your ice cream truck let pedestrians and traffic know you’re parked, and to help warn them that there are children around your truck or van. A backup alarm that sounds a warning whenever you put your truck into reverse is also a good idea, especially if you plan to set up in parking lots.
4. Plan your route
The obvious choices for an ice cream truck route are stopping points at nearby schools, parks and music and sporting venues. However, before you make plans to set up shop in the parking lot of the nearest park, check your town’s regulations to see if this is allowed.
Some municipalities, under pressure from parents or homeowners, don’t allow ice cream trucks to operate near schools or parks. Others may restrict where and when you can turn on the music that attracts your customers.
You also need to make sure you’re not trying to poach on a route already established by another ice cream truck, since doing so may insight hostility from that truck’s loyal customers, while also cutting into your sales. Do the research you need to make sure you can find a profitable and legal route in your area.
As the seasons change, so may your route. If you’re selling in a region that experiences harsh winters, you may have to store your truck until spring. You may want to adjust your route during summertime as well when driving near schools is not as profitable. Consider launching your food truck at the beginning of summer to find the largest possible audience for your products.
Consider making your ice cream truck available as well for local festivals, whether music festivals, food truck events or state fairs. At these events, you may be able to afford to offer your ice cream at a discount and instead make your profit from selling souvenirs and non-perishables. As you gain a following, have t-shirts made that provide a new kind of mobile advertising for your truck.
5. Select your vendors and plan for inventory storage
Since ice cream and ice cream novelties are readily available, you can shop around to find the items you want at the best prices. Look for commercial vendors to give you the best possible profit margin. Though not the most cost efficient, if you need to refill your inventory at the last minute, you can purchase treats and supplies at the local supermarket or warehouse club such as Costco or Sam’s Club. This is a good last-minute option during a sales surge on a hot summer’s day.
Remember that your need for a freezer won’t end when you finish your daily route. Unless you plan to sell out and restock each day, you’ll need a freezer available at the commissary where you store your truck each night so you don’t lose all your inventory.
Nail Artist Lila Robles on the Beauty of Airbrushing and Celebrating Her Xicanx Heritage
March 3, 2021
Lila Robles, aka @nailjerks, creates the type of art that stops you mid-scroll. Her medium is manicures, with airbrushed nails featuring intricate detailing that is nostalgic and romantic, yet retains an edge. Which is why her work, unsurprisingly, has already caught the attention of brands like Sephora and KVD Beauty, singer Kali Uchis, and rapper Leikeli47.
Robles was drawn to airbrushing at a young age—she saw it on the low riders passing through her hometown of San Jose, California and the t-shirts being sold at the county fair. “Before I started doing nails, I went to school for graphic design, and my very first art purchase was an airbrush kit,” she tells Vogue.
In 2009, Robles was looking for a creative outlet that would allow her to “connect more with people and myself.” She started to invest in getting her nails done, which grew quickly beyond a routine pampering session into a deeply-rooted passion. Hours of surfing the web to find inspiration and artists she could follow eventually led her to M.I.S.S., an online women’s magazine founded by Gabriella Khorasanee and stylist Liz Baca. They shared her love of “weird nail art and would create nail calendars with dead stock sneakers,” Robles remembers.
Shortly after connecting with Khorasanee and Baca, Robles decided turn her passion into a career. She began interning for M.I.S.S., helping them create nail art for shoots and writing as one of the main columnists on their site, while attending school to be a manicurist. In 2014 she received her license, and started working for a San Francisco-based salon that same year.
Fast forward to 2021 and Robles is now an independent nail artist, traveling across the country to create custom designs for a list of devout clientele, collaborating on shoots that span beauty and television (13 Reasons Why), and teaching private classes to aspiring artists.
When it comes to her aesthetic, more is more. “I like bright colors and I like a lot of depth and variation,” she says. “And I love to layer, like creating bubbles for the background and then going back to top it off with charms.” Robles’s inspiration spans “bootleg Patrick Nagel salon window posters and Japanese artist Pater Sato to fellow airbrush artists Malcolm Stuart, Daniel Barrigas, Everett Regua and the early nail designs where you would get sunsets or your name written across in script.” To create the sharp lines she’s known for, she uses the Nail Labo’s AIRTEX airbrush gel system.
Her love of bold, colorful makeup is deeply rooted in her heritage. “Growing up xicanx has definitely inspired me,” Robles says. “I’d listen to freestyle music like Stevie B, my first bicycle was a low rider that my uncle gifted me. I loved the interchangeable custom upgrades you could add on which would then lead me to muscles cars and eventually nails. For me, it’s all one in the same—building and customizing until you create something that is uniquely yours.”
Seeing the industry embrace the beauty she grew up around has been powerful. “It’s part of our heritage—the long nails, having your boyfriend’s name on your nail or shirt,” she says, “and it’s really cool that the editorial space is branching out to let people express and celebrate their style, along with the history that comes with it. It shows people another side of what nail art, or art in general, can be.”
Lonely No More! Top Ideas On How To Decorate An Emptycorner
Do you have an empty corner in your home but no idea what to do with it? Put them to work with these stunning decor ideas
Most homes have empty corners and sometimes we don’t know what we are supposed to do with them. In some cases, an empty corner looks fine, and other times the emptiness can become glaring making the room look imbalanced. But worry not dear readers, there are umpteen ways to fill empty corners. Bring a lifeless corner to life with Design Cafe’s top ten ideas on decorating empty spaces.
Small And Functional Corner Shelving
Shelving is an excellent idea to add extra storage and is perfect for corner walls. This is also a great option if you want to maintain a minimalistic look. Avoid adding too much visual weight in these spaces so if you are using shelves decorate them with best-sellers or family portraits displayed in wooden frames.
Fill The Corner With A Sofa
A sofa or couch is another simple decor hack for corner spaces. A sectional sofa perfectly nestles into the corner of your living room and provides enough space to move around making it an ideal space to entertain your family and friends.
Also Read: 15 Latest Sofa Designs For Your Living Room
Create A Cosy Window Seat
If the windows of your home touch the corner of your living room, then think about a window seat. A miniature sofa with fluffy pillows makes for a pleasant place to relax be it your bedroom or living room. Apart from being a beautiful place to rest it can provide other benefits too like extra storage to keep your belongings such as books.
Illuminate The Corners
Layered lighting is one of the most crucial aspects of interior design in any room. You have the flexibility to create various degrees of atmosphere and what better way than to illuminate an empty corner using lights. Floor lamps are the perfect accessory to fill up empty corners as it brings aesthetic value to any room. If you have a sofa a floor lamp will put your seating in a spotlight.
Add Hints Of Freshness
Plants are a great way to reconnect with nature. Bring some of its beauty into your homes, especially in those dead corners. Use potted plants to give your corners a fresh, vibrant look and add colour into simple decor that needs a hint of green to look complete. Place some plants on gorgeous stands to give your corners a sophisticated look.
Hang Chairs For A Playful Corner
A perfect blend of fresh and cosy! Fill your corner with a hanging chair and make it an ideal place to lounge and relish all those lazy hours of the day. What better than a little enjoyment with relaxation? The perks of having a hanging chair are that it goes with any kind of setting and spruces up corners.
Create A Gallery Wall
You do not need a large wall to create a lovely gallery in your home. Any corner wall works. Use this dull blank space to create an eye-catching display. Choose artwork of different shapes, sizes, and textures for a more significant impact. Use this idea into smaller corner spaces to make the room a bit larger.
A Corner For A Unique Sculpture
Make the most of dull corners of your living room with unique pieces of sculpture. They can fill a space and make a statement at the same time. The choice is yours if you want to place it on a high pedestal or displayed on its own as it adds interest to an unexpected place.
An Ideal Corner Workspace
Try this idea if you have an unused corner create a mini office! Use your living room furniture to give the impression of another room within a room. This will enhance its functionality and make the place look bigger. If your corner has a view to look into, then working will be fun and panoramic.
Add A Fireplace
Not all spaces can accommodate a fireplace, but here is where the corners can shine. You can tuck a fireplace into the smallest of nooks. It will add a touch of warmth and luxury. A corner fireplace will save you space and your room will look pleasant. It will instantly transform into a manner-worthy home with a crackling fire to enjoy.
Whether you are arranging an entire room or looking for items to fill a corner spot, there are ample decor options. And going beyond those listed above on decorating empty corners, if you have any fresh ideas do share it with us in the comment section.
Delightful floor lamp design for the living room
Delightful floor lamp design for the living room
A simple floor lamp design can change the appeal of any corner. A floor lamp can provide diffused light over the whole living room. This rectangular piece with a wood accent creates a warm atmosphere. This pretty floor lamp is also lightweight and takes up very little floor space. The simple design of the lamp matches the rest of the living room interior and makes a cohesive look.
Ceramic contemporary lamp
A classic white ceramic lamp is the ideal addition to any modern home. The lamp design and colour are timeless. Put this lamp in your living room or by your bedside to attract attention to this beautiful piece. We love the combination of the plywood table with the lamp for an elegant look.
Mid-century modern lamps
Embrace the mid-century modern aesthetic into your home with this lamp design. Developed during the mid 20th century, this aesthetic has functional and simplistic designs made with clean lines. This design is made of wood and is very sleek-looking. This lamp will shine in the living room both as decor and room lighting.
Artistic pendant lamp lights
Bring in the Bohemian vibes with this hand-woven cotton rope pendant lamp. This pendant lighting will add a traditional touch to your home. With the appropriate mood lighting bulbs, you can get a warm and welcoming hue in your living room. Add this pendant light on top of your dinner table or kitchen eating to highlight the space below.
Creative lampshade design
Unleashing your creativity into your home decor helps to make it more meaningful. This cute rainbow lamp design is an example of this. This modern furniture will stand out among other simplistic and contemporary designs. The best place for this lamp will be in the kid’s room or nursery.
Lava lamps for creating a fun space
Unlike standard lamps, a lava lamp is a novelty decor item. A lava lamp is made up of a glass container with a clear liquid inside. Wax is present inside the liquid. An incandescent bulb is situated in the container. The heat from the build causes the rise and fall of wax bubbles inside the lava lamp. The gorgeous lava lamp design has a beautiful marble finish making it look very contemporary. The ideal location for this lamp can be a kid’s bedside table.
UFO pendant lamps for an elevated design
A great way of adding ambiance and brightness to the living room is by hanging pendant lights. This lamp design is a lightweight structure with geometric weaving. Put these lights over the sitting area of the living room or over the dining table to add drama. Warm lights are the most complimentary to this design.
Charming pastel lamp design
Black and white minimal lamps are old school, and the color is the talk of the town. Colorful lamps are eye-catching, and they can make any space livelier and joyful. Pastel color lamps can be used to add a Danish pastel or Korean aesthetic to your living room. This blue pastel lamp will give you the feeling of spring throughout the year. Light Up your living rooms, bedrooms, and kid’s rooms with the feminine and sunkissed look of pastel lamp design.
Romantic floor lamp with tripod stand
Every living sofa seat deserves a complementary floor lamp. This floor lamp is a tripod lamp design. It is made with wood and can match contemporary and rustic interior decor. The light-colored lampshade is ideal for diffusing light throughout the living room without dimming the brightness.
A charming and simple retro bedside lamp design is a unique decoration for modern homes. Vintage lighting such as this can be put in the office or living room to create a retro ambiance. We can imagine using this lamp on a dressing table to make getting ready a fun task.
Modern black and white lamp design
You cannot go wrong with a goose-neck black and white table lamp. This design combines all the timeless designs to create a classic lamp. While colour may be the trend right now, every home needs a few staple pieces that will go with the room’s decor. This lamp will be the perfect addition to any home office space or living room table.
Moroccan design lamp experience
A carved Moroccan lamp like the one shown above can decorate the room in a beautiful patterned glow. With this lamp design, you get both luminescence and wall artwork. This lamp would be perfect for a traditional home. We can see this lamp being used in bedrooms and Pooja rooms because of its warm and soothing vibes.
LED-wall lamps for an elegant look
Wall lamp design is another creative way of using lamps for lighting homes. LED lamps such as these decorate the space and provide well-distributed light. Using shapes as shown can make the lamp the focal point of your living room. These Led Lights are an excellent tool for movie nights and create ambiance with their mood lighting.
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