People like the rich, creamy texture of frozen yoghurt and the fact that it typically has fewer calories than ice cream. If you want to cash in on the frozen yoghurt craze, here are some proven tips and techniques to start your own business.
Perform a market study. Figure out how frozen yoghurt and ice cream shops are doing in your area and whether there is a section of town that could successfully support a frozen yoghurt store. Think about the type of store you want to start (for example, gourmet, healthy frozen yoghurt or inexpensive, kid-friendly yoghurt) and match your location with the appropriate demographics and geography.
Make a business plan that incorporates the results of your market study. In addition, you'll need to decide how you will structure the ownership of your business----will this be a new start-up company, or will you be buying a franchise? Will you be the sole owner? You may decide to form a limited liability company for added financial protection. You will also need to think through the specifics of operating costs, how your frozen yoghurt business will operate, what equipment you will need, the number of employees, and the amount of expected profits and losses.
Determine whether you can fund the start-up costs for your business out of your own money or will need to take out a business loan. Shop around to see what kind of financing offers you can obtain from banks. You will need to apply for a business bank account and business insurance as well. To check out rates in your area, visit bankrate.com. See Resources for link.
Go back to your market study and use it to settle on a suitable location for your business. Possible options may be a spot in a shopping centre, a standalone store, a booth in a mall or a mobile cart. Make sure your choice is supported by what your market study predicts to be successful.
Apply for any necessary permits. Check with your city or county to find out which permits are required for restaurants and food service. Your business will need to be inspected and kept continuously up to code. In most instances, inspections can be done by contacting your local health department or the Department of Agriculture Food and Dairy Division. See Resources for links.
Even if you are making the yoghurt yourself, you will need suppliers for equipment, cones, cups, napkins and utensils. Make sure you are contracting with professional and quality suppliers with good track records. Be sure your contract spells out time frames, penalties for late delivery and quality standards.
Create a marketing and advertising plan for your business. You will need a name and a logo for your business, and will need an enticing and professional sign to draw customers into your store. You may want to hire a professional marketing firm to help you create your logo and help you decide how to advertise.