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Everybody cherishes some shaved ice – those sweet, flavor-pressed piles of shaved ice in a cup. Be that as it may, have you at any point viewed as maintaining some shaved ice business? The huge market for frozen desserts in the United States, which is worth $53 billion, is dominated by snow cones. You could take a piece of that market and make a good living while providing countless people with tasty treats with low overhead and startup costs.

Naturally, starting any kind of business requires a lot of knowledge and hard work. The hard work is up to you, but this step-by-step guide will teach you everything you need to know to get started on your entrepreneurial journey into shaved ice..

Step 1: Find Out if this is the Right Business for You?

Positives Vs Negatives

To begin, it is quick, simple, and inexpensive.
There is no need for prior experience.
Mobile business allows for greater adaptability.
Everyone likes dessert, so this is a fun job!
You may work whenever you wish.
Most places have seasonal demand.
Strict rules and regulations
Work that is repetitive and even tedious
  • Industry size and past development – The US frozen dessert market was esteemed at just shy of $31 billion out of 2021.
  • Forecast for growth: The market is expected to grow by nearly 5% annually through 2030, which means that the brave entrepreneur will have a lot of opportunities.

Cost of Starting Snow Cone Business

The most important expense for starting a snow cone business is the necessary equipment, which can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000. You can hope to pay $500 for a passage level shaved ice machine, and around $3,000 for a truck and other hardware. A marketing plan, a computer to run the business, insurance, and fees for licenses and permits are some of the additional costs.

Is Snow Cone Business Profitable?

Since snow cones are only in demand during the warmer months in most places, you’ll make almost all of your money between May and September. From October to April, you might need to think about moving to a chilly climate elective, as blistering tea, however a few proprietors shut down for the colder time of year.

You should be able to make a profit of around 90% due to the low overhead. $3 is the average cost of a snow cone. From May to September, assuming 500 sales per week, you will generate $30,000 in revenue. This indicates that you will earn approximately $27,000 for just five months’ worth of work.

Following a couple of years, you could possibly open a retail facade and work three trucks. This will bring your overall revenue down to half, however with all year deals at the shop (more than $100,000) and three trucks of hotter months deals ($90,000) you ought to have yearly income of almost $200,000. This would provide you with a clean benefit of $100,000.

Entry Barriers

  • Snow cones, like any other food business, must adhere to strict FDA laws surrounding food manufacturing and handling. There is also a lot of competition in the food market, not just from other snow cone vendors, but also from competitor frozen dessert suppliers, such as the ice cream truck. 
  • The fact that the snow cone business is both seasonal and transportable is another significant barrier to entry. This makes it difficult to cultivate consumer loyalty and encourage repeat business, as well as to retain permanent employees and a constant revenue.

Step 2: Create a Strategy

Identify a Gap

Research local vendors of shaved ice and snow cones to find out what sells best, how much they charge, and customer feedback. You want to fill a gap in the market. For example, perhaps the nearby market is missing low-sugar shaved ice cups.

This could initiate word-of-mouth marketing and immediately attract customers.

You should investigate the local market in order to identify the ideal location for your snow cone business. Are snow cones in high demand in your area? Additionally, what are the seasonal trends? Google Trends is an excellent tool for finding out.

Obviously, the best areas for some shaved ice business are those where the environment is blistering and dry, which likewise will more often than not be the ones in which summer endures longer and the winters are milder. You might want to think about moving to these areas if you want your snow cone business to be extremely profitable.


Snow cones are nothing more than syrup-flavored ice. The two most common types of syrup are concentrated and ready-to-use, both of which are available in a wide variety of flavors. SnowCone.com, the market leader, offers more than 50 flavors! They range from straightforward lemonade with peaches to strawberry cheesecake and egg custard.This permits you to make a menu, offering something for each sense of taste, and turn your item contributions. Multi week you could zero in on berries, the following, island heaven.


While the ingredients necessary to make a snow cone cost less than 40 cents, the average snow cone costs $3.00. As a result, the profit margin before overhead is healthy at 85-90%. When you know your expenses, utilize this Bit by bit overall revenue number cruncher to decide your increase and last sticker cost. Keep in mind that the launch price should be subject to change if the market warrants it.

Target Market

Most of your clients are probably going to be families partaking in their recreation time in the daylight. Individual adults as well as older children hanging out with their friends are potential customers.

Think about where families and friends typically congregate to find customers. Vending locations include festivals, sporting events, malls, parks, and beaches.

You could likewise target individuals holding occasions whose visitors could partake in some shaved ice. Birthday parties, school functions, weddings, carnivals, music festivals, and church functions are all examples of this.


In the beginning, you will operate a mobile cart and work from home. But as your business expands and you hire more vendors, you might decide to open a snow cone shop or rent a space to store the carts.

On Craigslist, Crexi, and Instant Offices, you can look for commercial space to rent in your area. If you’re looking for a commercial space, you might want to follow these general guidelines:

  • The location is central and can be reached by public transportation. 
  • The space is well ventilated and has a lot of natural light. 
  • The lease can be extended as your business grows. 
  • It is ready to use and doesn’t need any major repairs.

Step 3: Write a Business Plan

Every firm requires a plan. This will serve as a manual to help your startup navigate the launch process while staying focused on your core objectives. A business plan also helps potential partners and investors understand your company and its vision:

  • Executive Summary: A brief overview of the full business plan that should be written after the plan is completed.
  • Business Overview: An overview of the company’s vision, mission, ownership, and corporate goals.
  • Product and Services: Describe your offers in detail.
  • Market Analysis: Conduct a SWOT analysis and evaluate market trends such as variations in demand and development possibilities.
  • Analyze your top competitors, assess their strengths and shortcomings, and make a list of the benefits of your services.
  • Sales and Marketing: Look at the unique selling points (USPs) of your business and come up with sales, marketing, and promotion plans.
  • Management Team: An overview of the team’s tasks and professional backgrounds, as well as a business structure.
  • Operations Plan: Your company’s operational plan includes how it will get supplies, where it will put its office, what its most important assets and tools are, and other practical details.
  • Financial Plan: A three-year plan for money, including start-up costs, a break-even analysis, predictions of profits and losses, cash flow, and a balance sheet.
  • Appendix: Add any other papers related to money or business.

Step 4: Create a Marketing Plan

Some of your business will come from passersby or people who find you online, but you should still spend money on marketing! Getting the word out is especially important for new businesses because it will bring in more customers and make people more aware of the brand. 

Link your website to your social media accounts once your site is up and running. Social media is a great way to market your business because you can make posts that are interesting and sell your goods.

  • Facebook: A fantastic paid advertising network that allows you to target certain demographics, such as men under the age of 50 in the Cleveland area. 
  • Instagram has the same advantages as Facebook, but with a different target demographic.
  • Website: SEO will help your website rank higher in relevant search results, which is critical for driving sales. Make certain that your website’s calls to action are optimized. Experiment with the text, color, size, and location of calls to action like “Buy Now.” This has the potential to dramatically increase purchases.
  • Google and Yelp: Getting listed on Yelp and Google My Business can be critical to generating awareness and customers for businesses that rely on local clients.
  • Signage – Display eye-catching signage in your store and on your website. 
  • Flyering – Distribute fliers in your community and at industry events.
  • In-Person Sales – Sell your snow cones at local markets and trade exhibitions. 
  • Post a video – Make a film about your snow cones. Use comedy and it might go viral!
  • Paid ads on social media – Select sites that will reach your target market and run tailored advertisements.
  • Influencer marketing entails paying people who have significant followings to promote your snow cones. There are micro-influencers with smaller followings and lower rates.
  • Testimonials – Display client testimonials on how much they enjoy your snow cones.
  • Create infographics – Post infographics and use them in your article.