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Lots of businesses start out as home businesses and grow into something great. Gelato and ice cream businesses are no exception. There are many American households who bake goods and make ice cream or sweet treats on the side. The fun comes in building that business to expand outside the house. You’ll need a business plan, some basic funding (can be bootstrapped), gelato supplies, and a space to rent.


Step One: Finding a Space

The minimum space requirement for most gelato stores is about 600 square feet, but can be as high as 1200 square feet. As you’re looking at a space to rent, you need to be conscious of expenses and potential for foot traffic. Rent will cost most people a minimum of about $40,000 per year. Bear that number in mind as you’re considering your potential expenses, like the costs to order ice cream spoons or pay employees. There is also interest to consider if you plan to take out a loan to cover these costs.

Step Two: Calculating Supply Costs

The most crucial step in moving from a home business to a store front is in managing your inventory, which is the single biggest factor in determining whether you sink or swim in the retail world. Order in bulk to cut costs, especially on non perishables like frozen yogurt cups. You shouldn’t order your ice cream stocks too far in advance, as it could spoil the final product either with frostbite or expiration dates.

Step Three: Employees

The single biggest cost you’re likely to incur running your own operation is the cost of hiring others to work with you. Your best option to lower these costs is to take a direct hand in managing day-to-day efforts at your shop. You’ll need three people at any given moment to run the store effectively, but two can do the job on non-busy days (such as weekdays). You’ll also need to hire part timers to cover the odd shift here and there. All of these expenses quickly add up, especially if you have employees in reserve.

Final Thoughts

Once you’ve calculated your costs, you should factor about $1,000 in sales per day. It’s a modest goal for a 70-80 hour work week, and you should be able to hit that on most days. Failing to hit that goal isn’t the end of the world, but it will reduce your revenues from the business.