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August 10, 2016 Staff

Shaved Ice Truck: Full Business Plan Example

PoundersWriting a well-thought business plan is one of the most important actions you can take to set your mobile food business up for success. Best of all… It costs you absolutely nothing to complete and forces you to answer important questions about your future business. Big questions like: Where will I vend?, What will my expenses be? And who your competitors are?

In today’s post, we’ve provided a real-life example of a business plan for a shaved ice truck. Why? Because sometimes it’s better to have an example of a business plan so that you can see how this concept is actually applied instead of learning about something in the abstract.

After reading through this plan, we encourage you to ask yourself whether or not you’ve done your due diligence before starting a truck. Have you really researched the competitors in your area to understand how they are generating revenue? We hope this example helps to improve the research phase of your business.

Executive Summary

The Executive Summary is a 1 page document that gives a quick overview of the business. Basically you will summarize each section of your business plan in a sentence or two here. The purpose of the Executive Summary is to give the reader a quick baseline. Each reader of your plan has a different interest in your company, so this page will give them a broad understanding so they can go on to their topic of interest.

Mission Statement:

  • We want to offer a higher-end, organic shaved ice experience not currently available in the Temecula / Murrieta area.
  • Our goal is to raise $100,000 for local causes in the Temecula / Murrieta area.
  • Contribute to the knowledge of other small food businesses through publication, education and funding.

Management Plan:

The business will be owned by two partner members of the LLC. One member will be critical in funding the initial equipment for the shaved ice, and sales / marketing for the business. The second member is yet to be determined and be essential in spearheading the day-to-day operations of the business, but also future direction of the business.

Operations Plan:

Shaved ice is a high-margin business compared to traditional food services businesses. We will leverage our higher-margins to do revenue sharing events with charities and fundraising events as our primary strategy initially. Shaved ice gives the business the ability to provide high-capacity output as well since minimal prep work is needed with only one – two employees at a time.

This business is in the Temecula / Murrieta area that has a growing population of 225,000+ residents and many regular events in part due to the thriving wine country in the area that boasts nearly 40 wineries at this time. This provides plenty of opportunity for future expansion or events and partnerships within a 15 mile radius.

Industry and Target Market:

Our brand is intended really to target the younger adults, moms and dads with young families that spend their time consuming content on social media websites like Pinterest or Instagram. Our shaved ice concept and brand will be more refined and in line with the values of this generation. We will get in front of audience members through fundraising events through revenue shares.

Marketing Plan:

The initial marketing plan for this shaved ice business will be to establish and develop relationships through fundraising and charity events in the Temecula / Murrieta area. We will also conduct 3 initial marketing events to kick off the business. Longer term, we will leverage word of mouth and social media marketing to generate business.

Financial Statement:

This shaved ice business will have no debt at the start of the business. The shaved ice truck will be funded through marketing partnerships. The permits and business entity will be formed “out of pocket” by founding members. We intend to have positive cash flow after year one of the business.

Corporate Summary

Shaved Ice with a mission. We offer a one-of-a-kind shaved ice experience serving the Temecula / Murrieta area that caters to the more healthy, organic and hipster crowd. Our ingredients are all-natural and our mission is to give back to the local community organizations.

Our state-of-the-art shaved ice truck features LED lighting and serves as a rolling jukebox helping our vehicle generate more exposure and enables the business to have an addition DJ business model built in as a revenue generator or value add to customers. Our business will help aid local causes and fundraising efforts in the community we serve. We plan to vend at school functions, church, and charity events where fundraising is frequently needed. We also plan to vend at birthday parties, school dances, wedding receptions, and local wineries that are abundant in the area.

malcolm1Management Plan

The Management Plan is your place to describe the organizational structure of the business. You will be describing the legal tax designation of your business, detailing your management structure, and providing your personal story.

Legal Form of Business

We plan to form a limited liability company (LLC) for the business. At this time, we are unsure what state to form in and plan to seek legal advice. The LLC will have multiple members with different skillsets to provide the best opportunity of success for the business.  

Management Team

Break down the members of ownership and any management structure you will have here. Give details about your team. This will give readers confidence that you have the experience necessary to succeed.

Investors/Advisory Board

Anthony Salvagno – Anthony has been a mobile food business owner for over 3 years operating S’wich It Up food truck in Albuquerque, NM. Anthony will advise on items such as bookkeeping, marketing, and operations of the business. Anthony will also advise on the strategic direction of the business.

Operations Plan

The Operations Plan is a detailed report of how you will operate your business. The most important part of the OP will be describing your day-to-day operations and how much time will be devoted to each aspect of your business. You will also want to consider your long-term vision for the business. Planning for and demonstrating growth will be the key component to give funders confidence in your plan.

Weekly Operations Plan

Here you will detail your hours of operation and operational procedures. Be sure to provide information that sets you apart from your competitors.

Company Milestones

This is your space to explain your long term vision. Dream big, but keep it realistic.

Year 1:

  • January 2016 – April 2016:
    • Complete business plan
    • Establish members of business and determine roles
    • Pitch different companies on vehicle and vision
  • June 2016-August 2016:
    • Acquire shaved ice truck
    • Establish business entity
    • Obtain required permits
    • Obtain insurance
    • Test shaved ice products and document recipes
    • Complete soft launch and test product with customers
  • September 2016-December 2016:
    • Outreach to schools, churches, wineries and other organizations to begin booking revenue share events.
    • Begin building booking schedule for 2016 – 2017.  
    • Large Launch event in September: We will select three organizations to provide free shaved ice in Temecula / Murrieta. We will provide free will donations to contribution to each specific cause. This will be our initial PR launch in the community and designed to garner local press, meet a lot of people, and establish our brand / mission in the community.
  • January 2017-December 2017:
    • Determine if crowdfunding campaign needed for additional funds.
    • Book and operate business throughout the year.
    • Operate regularly during hot summer months June – September. At least 10 events per month during peak summer period.
    • Begin determining type of events that are most profitable for business moving forward.

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Market Analysis

Industry Profile

Variations of shaved ice businesses are profitable Worldwide and in the United States. Within the United States, the mobile shaved ice franchise Kona-Ice has grown from 0 trucks to over 450 across in less than 10 years. This is a strong example of how the traditional business concept of shaved ice, combined with mobile and a clear mission statement and marketing plan can result in strong profitability. Within the Southern States of the United States the opportunity for higher revenue is greater because there are more months of high-temperatures when shaved ice sales are at their best.

Competition & New Entrants

There are numerous shaved ice businesses that exist within the Temecula / Murrieta area. This creates challenges due to a wide range of options in the area, but is also a strong signal of the existing demand for this food product.

Competitor #1: Kona Ice of Temecula / Murrieta – Kona Ice is a franchise shaved ice truck that is based out of Murrieta, California. Kona Ice is a mobile unit that focuses on marketing to fundraising events and splitting revenue from those events. They also cater events like birthday parties and business functions.

  • Strength –
  • Already established relationships with local schools and organizations.
  • Mobile… Can serve anywhere.
  • Proven marketing process of using fundraising splits to come into new businesses. Attractive eye-catching vehicle.
      • Strong social media presence.
  • Weakness –
    • Higher overhead due to franchise fee’s.
    • Not able to adapt marketing / change business model quickly due to franchise rules.

Supplementary Information about Kona-Ice

According to an interview with the Austin Business Journal, successful franchise revenue estimates are below:

  • Early spring $200 – $300 gross revenue (Daily)
  • Weekend: $1,000 – $1,500 gross revenue (Weekend)
  • $1,500+ gross revenue on Holidays like July 4th.

Upfront investment toward franchise fee is $15,000 in first year according to OwnaKona.com. Then a tiered structure for the following years between $3,000 – $4,000.

http://www.ownakona.com/investment.aspx

http://www.ownakona.com/faqs.aspx

Upfront investment toward franchise fee is $15,000 in first year according to OwnaKona.com. Then a tiered structure for the following years between $3,000 – $4,000.

http://www.entrepreneur.com/business-opportunities/198104

Success Story + Revenue Estimates Listed in Austin Business Journal

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:fTykuzOOhsIJ:www.bizjournals.com/austin/print-edition/2013/07/12/cool-customer.html+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Online:

https://www.facebook.com/Kona-Ice-Temecula-Valley-Corona-366199493541559/

https://twitter.com/konaicetemecula

 

Competitor #2: Aloha Shaved Ice

Aloha Shaved Ice specializes in offering Hawaiian style shaved ice. Their core offering is shaved ice, but also serve ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, and shakes.

Aloha Shaved Ice is located in a high-traffic strip mall area in Murrieta, California (40952 California Road). A Chipotle Mexican Grill and Jamba Juice franchise are located within the same strip mall area. According to the businesses website, Aloha Shaved Ice has two locations one being outside of the Temecula / Murrieta market in the great Los Angeles area.

 

  • Strength –
  • Located in a high-traffic area nearby other successful franchise restaurants and businesses.
  • Large selection of flavors and flavor combinations of shaved ice.
  • Weakness –
  • One location. Not mobile.
  • Higher overhead.
  • Inactive social media presence.

Online:

https://www.facebook.com/AlohaShaveIceMurrieta

http://www.alohaislandshaveice.com

 

Competitor #3: Bahama Buck’s

Bahama Buck’s refers to themselves as the “Original Shaved Ice Company.” They serve shaved ice, smoothies, and iced coffees. There are currently two locations in Temecula. Bahama Buck’s has over 50 locations across the southern United States according to their website. They are primarily based in Texas at this time.

According to the prospective franchisee website, the average gross sales of a Bahama Buck’s per year is $456,781.72. (Source:http://bahamabucks.com/franchising/the-numbers)

Location 1: This is a new franchise that opened in Temecula during Q4 of 2015 near the Promenade Mall. This is a permanent location. Location #2: There is also a second permanent location on Margarita Road.

  • Strength –
  • Located in a high-traffic area nearby other successful franchise restaurants and businesses.
  • “Validated” business model, marketing process, and brand due to expansion into additional franchise location.
  • Enormous list of menu items and flavor items: http://bahamabucks.com/taste-of-paradise
  • Weakness –
  • Fixed locations.
  • Higher overhead.
  • Not able to adapt to market changes quickly due to franchise rules.

Online:

http://bahamabucks.com/locations/test-location

Competitor #4: Hokulia Temecula

This is a small family owned Hawaiian-style shaved ice business that according to Twitter started in August of 2015. This is a mobile vending stand that can operate anywhere, but often vend at the Promenade Mall in Temecula, CA or the Outlets in Carlsbad, CA.

 

  • Strength –
      • Mobile
  • Weakness –
    • Have not been in business for more than a year.
    • Do not vend consistently according to social media.
    • Do not update social media regularly.

Online:

https://www.facebook.com/hokuliatemecula/

https://twitter.com/hokuliatemecula

Competitor #5: Other Small Shaved Ice Vendors

There are a variety of other shaved ice vendors that operate part-time at places like the weekly farmer’s market and other events that happen in Temecula.  Most of these appear to operate part-time and are not intent on building a brand locally, but simply making a few sales at events. I will not be doing additional research on these outliers aside from noting that there is this additional layer of competition.

Critical Success Factors

What innovations are you providing that will separate you from your competitors? What do you need to be successful?

Build Key Relationships:

The following are the relationships that I view as key for success in the Temecula / Murrieta area. Early success will depend on these relationships being formed in these key areas:

Wineries – According to WineCountry.com, there are almost 40 wineries in the Temecula area. Every weekend visitors from outside of Temecula come to enjoy wine country and sample from a variety of wines the area has to offer. The goal would be to approach these wineries and over our services as a value add to their area. Also, many weddings are held at these wineries, which is another opportunity to build a relationship.  

Schools – Local schools always need fundraising help. Our mission is to conduct revenue shares with local causes (money for sports team, bands, etc.) similar to the Kona-Ice approach. This will also help us with our mission as well.

Churches – Like schools, churches are always doing fundraising. We will approach churches using a similar revenue share process.

Better Marketing:

We hope to out-market our competitors in the following areas:

Brand – We serve only the highest quality, all natural shaved ice with a more higher-end presentation of the shaved ice that’s targeting the more adult crowd versus just kids like many mobile competitors. We believe this brand will help us penetrate lucrative weddings and events.

Rolling Jukebox –  Due to our built-in mobile PA system, we are able to attract more attention at events due to our music and also helps us secure events like weddings and dances since we can double as a desert vendor and supplier of music / entertainment.

Revenue Share – Will will get our name out within the community by sharing a percentage of the revenue for fundraising or charity events. This will help us get more word of mouth advertising, press, and generate goodwill in the community.

Differentiated Product Offering:

Here’s what makes us different as a brand and product.

  • We use all-natural ingredients in our shaved ice.
  • Our image is completely different than other local shaved ice businesses.
  • Our mission is to make the world a better place by contributing $$$ to local organizations.
  • While other Shaved Ice businesses market directly to kids component,  our shaved ice is higher end and intended to be enjoyed by adults. Although we certainly don’t want to leave any kids out that’s not who we intend to market directly to. 🙂
  • We will have a rolling jukebox incorporated into our vehicle that we believe will generate more exposure and open up more business opportunities such as weddings.

 

Critical Risk

No Existing Audience – Like all new businesses just starting out, no one knows about us in the Temecula / Murrieta area. We will need to do the hard work of getting our name out within the community.

Limited Local Relationships – I am new to the Temecula / Murrieta area (Living here about 3 months at the time of this document being written). As a result, I don’t have any relationships built up with individuals that will be key to helping the business grow. There are already other shaved ice businesses that use similar marketing strategies we will employ to build relationships with key decision makers within our community. For example, Kona-Ice targets schools to support their fundraising events through revenue shares.

We intend to use this exact process that has allowed Kona Ice to be successful across the United States. We will be reaching out to individuals in schools or churches involved in fundraising and offering revenue shares at the events. This is a proven way to begin building these relationships.

Competitive Advantage

We will serve a higher-end organic version of shaved ice to the Temecula / Murrieta area. Our product will target the more hipster, adult, and organic audience instead of young children as many of the local competitors target.

Our mission statement, along with our serving healthier / organic shaved ice is to use the high-margins to contribute to local organizations. This will also enable us to book more gigs and serve as our promotional strategy early on.

Our vehicle will also serve as an advantage by having a PA and speaker system built into the truck. This will enable us to attract more initial attention by playing music or making announcements, but will also allow us to eventually double as a DJ booth at weddings. Targeting weddings and dances + dessert will be part of the marketing strategy and also enable us to target high-value wedding events or corporate parties.  

Marketing Plan

Marketing Objective

We want to be recognized as the high-end, all natural shaved ice brand within the Temecula / Murrieta area. We also want to be recognized for our larger mission of helping raise money within the community. Our refined brand and higher purpose will distance ourselves from other shaved ice businesses operating in the area.  

Target Market

The area’s of Temecula / Murrieta have over 225,000 residents. On weekends, however, many visitors come to the town to enjoy the almost 40 wineries located nearby. Temecula / Murrieta is thought of as a family friendly area or bedroom community.

Our brand is intended really to target the younger adults, moms and dads with young families that spend their time consuming content on social media websites like Pinterest or Instagram. Our shaved ice concept and brand will be more refined and lend itself to being attractive to these types of people. We believe that the design of our truck and entire brand will lend itself to generating interest of the parent’s of small children and other young adults. We believe this will also help to propagate our brand on social media as well.     

Marketing Mix

Each section below will get to the nuts and bolts of your business. Be sure to describe everything from a marketing viewpoint.

Product

High-end, all-natural shaved ice will be our core product offering. The product will have a more refined presentation than shaved ice is traditionally served and be more appealing to the young adult / hipster crowd.

We will be able to source our all-natural shaved ice syrup directly from Snowie. Here are the various flavor options that are available for shaved ice: http://snowie.com/product/snowie-naturals/

Our Flavor Selections: These shaved ice flavors may change over time. Changing flavors will be extremely easy since we can purchase different flavors direct through Snowie.com.

  • Banana Yo Business
  • Coconut Coast
  • Tigers Blood
  • Apple of My Ice
  • Grape Vine Groove
  • Pina Cola-Di-Da
  • Margarita
  • Root Beer Fizz
  • Strawberry Bright
  • Orange Pineapple Party

All flavors $12.95 per pint, + tax, + shipping and handling.

Place

Our local will be mobile. We will be able to drive to various locations across the Temecula / Murrieta area, including the almost 40 wineries that operate in the area.

Price

Price estimates were used by determined with help from Potential Earnings Calculator on Snowie.com (http://snowie.com/potential-earnings/).

The estimated retail price for core shaved ice product offerings are below:

  • Small: $2.00
  • Medium: $3.00
  • Large: $4.00

We also plan to pilot other revenue generators in the future outside of our core product offering listed above. These products could include bottled water, hot chocolate, coffee and pre-packaged healthy snacks.

Pro Forma Financials

Use this section as an introduction to your financial statement document. Make sure to list any and all assumptions you’ve made in your financials and validate those assumptions. Be as transparent as possible.

This plan makes use of the following assumptions: (1) The owners are able to secure a shaved ice truck and initial supplies in exchange for marketing and promotion. (2) The cost of legal fees, permits, insurance, and other costs associated with starting business will be paid “out of pocket” by the ownership. (3) The food cost is an average of 10% of the product pricing. (4) Sales have been adjusted for seasonality. Most profitable months are expected from June – September when average temperatures are between 80 – 90 degrees. Temps can go over 100 degrees F during this time period. (6.) Ingredients will be supplied by Snowie and local grocery stores for ice. (7) We will use professional resources in the form of legal, accounting, and insurance advice. (8.) We only plan to operate regularly during June – September months. We will continue doing more lucrative events like birthday parties, weddings or catering throughout the year as these events present themselves.

 

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