How to Save Money While Running Your Ice Cream Business
Everyone wants money-saving advice these days, even small businesses. Your ice cream business has a lot of overhead, but that doesnâ€™t mean it has to be that way. Here are a few tips for cutting costs that wonâ€™t cheapen your brand.
Turn Off The Lights If You Already Get Lots Of Natural Sunlight
If your building gets a lot of natural sunlight, take advantage of it. Turn off the lights in the lobby or dining areas. Itâ€™s not needed. Now, you donâ€™t want the place to look dark, so this has to be a personal assessment.
This strategy will work in the early morning and afternoon when the sun is at its brightest. Plan on turning the lights on after lunch or mid-afternoon. If you donâ€™t get enough sunlight, see if you can make some modifications to the building to accommodate more light.
Use Cheaper Supplies
Sometimes, the answer is a straight cost-cutting measure. Switch ice cream packaging suppliers, for example, to save money on the cost of napkins, spoons, cups and other supplies. Unless everything is custom, itâ€™s not going to make a lot of difference. Napkins are napkins, for the most part.
Donâ€™t get so carried away with this, however, that you go for the lowest-quality supplies (unless this is your niche). People will know when thereâ€™s a marked drop in quality, and theyâ€™ll take that into consideration when patronizing your business. No one wants to pay the same prices they were paying before and get less. Everyone always wants more.
You could also buy reusable supplies, like glass dishes, instead of paper or plastic ones. Then, all youâ€™ll have to do is wash and sanitize your dishes.
Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances
Buying energy-efficient appliances can save you a lot of money over the long-term. How much? Sometimes, up to 40 percent, depending on what youâ€™re replacing. For example, freezers can cost a lot of money when theyâ€™re not energy-efficient.
Use an Integrated E-POS System
E-POS systems tie in inventory, accounting, sales, and employee payroll services. How does this save you money? Well, when you can more accurately track shrink, inventory, and the time clock, you can make sure that youâ€™re not overpaying employees for time not worked, running out of supplies or overstocking them, and you can cut down on shrink.
The newest cloud-based POS systems run anywhere between $1,500 and $3,000 with a monthly charge of $25, to $50. Over the long-term, however, it could mean the difference between being in business and being unemployed.
Chop Down Your Menu
You donâ€™t need to have 31 flavors of ice cream. In the 1950s, bigger was better. Everyone was trying to outdo everyone else. Today, minimalism is in. Quality is in. If you can do 5 flavors of ice cream better that everyone else in your industry, no one else will be able to compete with you.
You wonâ€™t waste money on product that underperforms, and you can also save space and concentrate on throttling supply of the 5 flavors you do sell to increase profits.
A focus on value and quality takes time to get right, and thatâ€™s because Americans have had a love affair with cheaply-made goods for the better part of 50 years. But, people are waking up to the idea of â€śsuper-premiumâ€ť products and services.
Install Low-Flow Faucets and Toilets
You can reduce your water consumption by 20 or 40 percent by installing low-flow faucets and toilets. As long as the quality doesnâ€™t suffer, this is an easy win that will pay you back over the long-term. Itâ€™s not an immediate savings though, and this is what scares many business owners. But, if your cash flow is reasonably consistent, and you just need a way to save over the longer-term, this is a good bet.
Ruth Sirmans has been managing her family’s old ice cream parlor for several years. With a sharp mind for small business and marketing and an unfathomable sweet tooth, she loves blogging about the ins and outs for nostalgic, tasty ice cream shops across the nation to help improve their businesses.