How To Start a Hawaiian Shaved Ice Business? (In 15 Steps)


How To Start a Hawaiian Shaved Ice Business

In the summer heat, shaved ice could be the essence of being refreshing! So why not let yourself live your summertime fantasies and start a Hawaiian shaved ice business?

The market for shaved ice is anticipated to continue to expand in the years ahead, offering excellent opportunities for smart entrepreneurs. The business is seasonal. However, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy your time outdoors in parks and special events, having fun with the locals while earning an income of a good amount.

Of course, starting an enterprise is a daunting task that requires a lot of hard work and determination. It’s helpful to be aware of your location. Because this step-by-step guide outlines everything, you need to know exactly how to start a shaved ice-related business.

Let’s know more about “How to start a Hawaiian shaved ice business”

Is the shave ice business profitable?

Yes, the shave ice business is very profitable. The idea of starting a business selling shave ice is an attractive venture as it is a possibility to be extremely profitable. Shaved ice has a special markup. This makes each sale significant profits.

Many people sell shaving ice at weekends or during the summer months to earn a little extra money. Businesses can earn an amount of $500-$1,000 in these circumstances.

How much does it cost to start a shaved ice business?

How much does it cost to start a shaved ice business?
ItemMinimum CostMaximum Cost
Licenses and permits$250$500
Shaved Ice Equipment$2,800$7,850
Shaved Ice Supplies$500$1,100
Insurance$300$600
Tablet Device and POS software$500$500
Website and software$100$1,000
Paper and stationery$50$100
Computers and IT equipment_$2,000
Shop furniture and seating (e.g. benches)_$750
Shop décor and lighting_$1,000
Hiring_$100
Vending trailer_$7,500
Cost to start a shaved ice business

How much does a shaved ice business make? 

The sales for a typical shaved-ice business could range from $100 to $2,000 daily. However, it all depends on several factors like the location, competition, length of the season, and your business past.

Since demand fluctuates according to seasons, the revenue per month of a shaved ice business cart could range between $200 and $10,000. From October through March, you might be considering switching to a colder option, such as hot tea, but some owners will close in winter but reopen when the weather starts to warm up.

In the first few years, you may generate enough sales to generate an average of $5,000 per month, yielding about $60,000 in the entire year. This gives you an income before tax of $50,000, assuming you earn 80% of your profits.

If you own your own business, your revenues will be considerably greater, but the higher costs will reduce your margin to 55 %. It is possible to earn $200,000 annually in revenues, yielding a handsome income of $110,000.

In five years, you can expand the business to five storefronts and three carts, which could generate close to $1 million in sales and more than half of that in profits.

Do I need health permits for shaved ice business?

Yes, it would help if you had health permits for shaved ice. Beginning a business in shaved-ice requires obtaining several permits and licenses from the state, local, and federal authorities.

Licenses, federal regulations, and permits are needed to start your startup. These include health licenses and permits issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights and patents, and other intellectual property, along with licensing and permits specific to your industry.

Since you’ll be dealing with food items through an ice-shaved business, you need to contact your local Health department. This is due to reasons of food safety and to ensure that no one is sick due to unsafe food preparation or handling. It is also possible to complete food and safety classes and obtain a food vending and handling permit in certain zones and states. 

The requirements for licenses and methods to get them differ according to the web pages of your city, state, and county government, or call the appropriate person for more. You should contact your local zoning board.

This isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly because a failure to adhere to legal requirements could lead to severe fines. If you’re overwhelmed by this task or aren’t sure where to start, it may be a good idea to employ a professional to assist you in checking every legal box. 

What equipment is needed to start a shaved ice business?  

There’s a need for a few items to launch your Hawaiian shaved ice business. Here’s a guideline to help start:

  • Ice maker and mobile cart
  • Cube ice shavers
  • Ice stand
  • Flavored syrups, cups, spoons, straws, napkins
  • Tablet Device and point-of-sale software
  • Computers and IT equipment

Cost of Supplies in Hawaiian Shaved Ice Business

Here is an estimated cost of suppliesOpens in a new tab. that are needed to start a Hawaiian shaved ice business.

Cost of Supplies in Hawaiian Shaved Ice Business
Cost of Supplies in Hawaiian Shaved Ice Business 2

Hawaiian Shaved Ice Business Plan

Every business requires a plan. It will serve as a reference guide to guide your business through the start-up process while focusing on the main goals. A business plan will also allow investors and potential partners to gain a better understanding of your business and its mission:

  • Executive Summary: A concise summary of the full business plan should be written after the plan is finished.
  • Business Overview: The overview of the company, vision and mission, ownership,
  • and corporate objectives.
  • Product and Services: Give specifics about your services.
  • Market Analysis: Analyze market trends like demand changes and growth potential. Then, conduct a SWOT analysis.
  • Competitive Analysis: Examine the main competitors, evaluate your strengths and weak points and then create a list of advantages of your service.
  • Sales and Marketing: Review your company’s distinctive selling points (USPs) and develop marketing, marketing, and promotion strategies.
  • Management Team: A brief overview of the management team’s roles, background, and corporate organization.
  • Financial Plan: 3 years’ worth of planning financials. It comprises start-up costs, break-even calculations, profit and loss projections, net income, and the balance sheet.
  • Operations Plan: The operational plan of your company includes office space, procurement of the most important assets and equipment, and other logistical aspects.

15 Steps to Starting a Hawaiian Shaved Ice Business

How TO START a Hawaiian Shaved Ice Business - step-by-step guide
Start a Hawaiian Ice Shaved Business in 15 Steps (Guide)

Step 1: Knowledge of the Market

Ice dessert, known as “shave ice”, is created by shaving an ice block. They are typically served in America and Canada. The United States of America and Canada in the form of a conical plastic or paper cup with various flavors and served with vanilla ice cream. They’re usually flavored with local ingredients like pineapple, guava, coconut-based cream, and passion fruits.

Ice Cream Production is an extremely profitable and flourishing business in a lot of countries around the world. It is an important part of the economics of the United States of America. It generates an astounding amount of billions annually, with more than 373 licensed and registered producers of ice cream and ice cream truck businesses located all over the USA.

The Shaved ice or snow cone business will continue to grow since people will always be looking to take shaving ice while outdoors, especially during the summer. Even though the market is saturated, there’s still enough space for entrepreneurs with dreams who plan to start their own shave-ice shops across America.

If you’re considering creating your own shave ice company within the US, you should make sure you conduct thorough market research along with feasibility and market research.

States located in the south of the United States, such as Texas and Florida, and others, are ideal for a shave-ice truck company due to the cold and sunny conditions that prevail there. If you don’t get the right issues wrong before launching your business with mobile shaved ice in the future, you will be struggling to stay in business.

Step 2: Conduct economic and market research

The demographic and psychographic makeup of people who purchase Shave ice is open to all genders and age groups. Female and male, adults and children alike use shaved ice, so the demographics of the business of shave ice shops are broad.

In reality, when you sell Shave ice and other desserts made from ice, there’s an array of potential customers. If you’re contemplating starting your own shave-ice shop, then it is important to make your target audience inclusive.

Step 3: Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On

It is crucial to note that there is no specific niche with regard to the businesses that sell shaved ice. Everyone involved in this type of business primarily makes and sells Hawaiian shaved ice, snow cones, frozen yogurts, ice creams, and possibly other ice-based desserts.

Naturally, it’s common to find a common Shave Ice shop making and selling all of the below-listed items;

  • Shave ice comes in a variety of flavors. Desserts include guava coconut cream, pineapple passion fruit Li Hing Mui, lychee, kiwi fruits, mango blue, cherry, grape, strawberry, raspberry, lemon-lime, and banana. Watermelon is also available.
  • Snacks
  • Training, Advisory, and Consultancy Services
  • Selling Franchise

Step 4: Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry

In any industry, there are always companies that perform better or are more well-known by people who use them over the other brands. Certain brands have been around for quite a while. Some are more well-known for how they run their business and the results they have seen over the years.

They are among the most popular shave ice stores throughout the United States of America and across the globe.

  • Tc Shaved Ice
  • Polar Chill Shaved Ice
  • Sno-La Snowball Lounge
  • Sno Biz Treats
  • Snoh Ice Shavery
  • Pelican’s SnoBalls
  • Snofellas Shaved Ice
  • New Orleans SnoBall Café

Step 5: Choose between starting from scratch or purchasing a franchise.

If you are looking to start an organization of this type, it pays to purchase a franchise from a well-known and well-established Shave ice shop instead of starting from scratch. Although it’s expensive to purchase a well-known brand of shaved ice franchise, it will be worth it in the end.

If you really want to establish your own brand once you’ve proven that you are worthy within this Ice Cream Production business and you are a good fit. Then you might be interested in beginning your own shave ice business from scratch. Establishing your shave-ice shop from the beginning can pay off in the end.

It is important to note that the majority of the biggest and most profitable shave-ice shops began from the beginning and were able to establish a strong brand for their business. It takes commitment to work hard and perseverance to set up your business.

Step 6: Understand the potential risks and difficulties you will encounter

If you choose to begin your shave-ice shop, one of the biggest problems you’re likely to encounter is the presence of well-established shaving ice shops. The only solution to this issue is to develop a completely new market.

Other threats and challenges you’re likely to encounter include economic decline and government policies that are not favorable to you. There is no way to face these issues and threats other than being optimistic that everything will go effectively for you.

Step 7: Pick a Creative Business Name

When you are deciding on the right name for your company, it is important to be imaginative because the name you pick for your company can go a long way to convey what your business is. It is common to follow the fashions in the field they plan to operate from when naming their company.

Here are some catchy names you can choose from if you’re considering opening your own shave-ice shop.

  • Ryan Whyte® Shave Ice, LLC
  • Snow White© Shave Ice Shop, Inc.
  • Drape Ventures® Shave Ice Shop, Inc.
  • Islanders® Shave Ice Shop, Inc.
  • Clear Star™, Shave Ice Shop LLC
  • Bask ‘n’ Bounce®, Shave Ice Shop, LLC

Step 8: Consult an agent to determine the best insurance options for you

It is impossible in the United States and most nations around the globe to run your business without having at least one of the insurance protections. 

Insurance is extremely important for the business that you plan to operate in. As a result, creating an insurance budget is crucial. Consulting an insurance agent or attorney can help you select the most suitable insurance policy for your shave-ice shop business.

Here are a few most basic insurance that you will need to consider buying when you plan to begin your shave ice store firm within the USA;

  • General insurance
  • Health/Medical insurance
  • Business owner’s policy group insurance
  • Workers Compensation
  • Payment protection insurance

Step 9: Protect your Intellectual Asset With Trademark, License, Patents

If you’re thinking of setting up your own shave-ice shop, you may not require a claim for intellectual property protection. This is because it permits you to run it without needing to sue anyone.

However, suppose you must safeguard the logo of your business, other software or documents you have created, or even jingles or media production ideas. In that case, You can start filing to protect your intellectual property.

Step 10: Get the Legal Documents You Need to Run Your Business

These are a few of the legal documents you will need to legally operate your shave-ice shop within the USA;

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Food and beverage handlers’ certification
  • Tax Identification Number
  • License for a business or franchise
  • Health Inspection Certificate
  • Employee Manual
  • A copy of the district’s food and beverage manager identity card is required.
  • a current inspection report or a copy of the facility’s license for providing support services
  • Enterprise Plan
  • Website Privacy Statement
  • Non – disclosure Agreement
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Employment Contract (offer letters)
  • Online usage policies
  • Security Plan
  • Business Regulations
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
  • Building License

Step 11: Raise the Required Startup Money

To raise the needed startup capital, you will need initial costs. Finding a standard and well-located kiosk facility and purchasing shave-ice-making equipment, refrigerators, shaving ice-making machines, coolers of various shaved ice flavors, and other equipment is a part of the process that will take up a significant portion of your initial capital.

If you decide to begin your business on a massive size, you’ll require funds to fund the business. It’s expensive to establish a traditional big-scale shave-ice shop. Here are some possibilities you could consider when looking for capital for your shave-ice cone shop;

  • The money is raised from savings and selling personal stock and real estate.
  • We are raising funds from business and initial investment partners.
  • Shares are sold to investors interested.
  • Requesting a Loan from your Bank
  • The business plan you have pitched and submitted an application for business grants and seed capital from non-profit organizations as well as angel investors.
  • Soft loans can be obtained from family members and close friends.

Step 12: Choose a Suitable Business Location 

If you can secure the best location for setting up your shaved ice shop, you can provide customers with easy access to your store.

It is important to note that the place you choose to establish your shave ice shop is crucial for your company’s growth. This is why entrepreneurs are more than committing to a long-term lease or renting space at a prominent location. 

If you fall into the trap of leasing or renting the space for your shave-ice shop in a non-glamorous or secluded location, something you should invest more in advertising your business and possibly providing directions to prospective customers.

These are just a few of the important factors to think about before deciding on a place for your shave-ice shop;

  • The demographics of the place
  • Shave ice is a popular choice, as well as other ice desserts, and is high on the spot
  • Residents’ purchasing power in the area
  • The accessibility of the site
  • Local laws and rules within the community
  • Security, parking, traffic, etc.

Step 13: Hire experts to match your technical and human needs

In general, there aren’t any special tools or technologies required to run this kind of business, except for shaving ice machines, Storage hardware, Counter area equipment, Computers, and receipt issuing types of machines, as well as an Audio System, Point of Sale machines, CCTV Cameras and Flat Screen Televisions.

Additionally, you’ll most likely require laptops and computers, internet access, a phone, fax machine, and office furniture, and all of these are well utilized.

In the case of leasing or purchasing an outright bar, the decision will depend on your financial situation. It’s best to begin by paying rent to test the operation at the place. If all goes according to plan, then take on a one-year lease with the option of an outright acquisition of property.

In the case of the hiring of employees for a traditional Shave Ice shop with more than one outlet, you must plan to recruit a skilled chief executive officer, Human Resources Manager, Admin, Shop Manager, Merchandize manager, Shave Ice Machine Operators Sales, Marketing Officers/Sales Sales Boys and Girls Accounting Clerks and Cleaners.

Step 14: Establish Fair Prices for Your Services and Items

One of the most important factors that can assist you in selling your shaved ice is to purchase your products directly from wholesalers and in huge quantities. In reality, the greater the number of products you buy directly from wholesalers, the lower they are likely to be.

Another way to aid you in selling your shaved ice is to make sure that you reduce costs, save hundreds, and focus your efforts on advertising and marketing your brand’s name. Apart from the fact that this method will allow you to reduce expenses, it can assist you in getting the most appropriate price for your product.

Step 15: Create a corporate image and create strategies to increase brand recognition

If your goal in creating a shave-ice shop is to expand your business, then you should be prepared to invest money to promote and advertise to promote your company’s name.

No matter what sector you are in or what you do, the marketplace is ever-changing and requires consistent branding and promotions to attract your targeted market. 

To run the shaved ice, you must develop strategies to boost awareness. This is a fantastic chance to attract new clients. Once they taste it, they’ll surely enjoy it and return. Another effective marketing tool is customer loyalty cards. Introduce them into your company and then give away a block of complimentary shaving ice after a certain number of visits.

Ice shaved business is a very trendy business nowadays. If you want to invest less and make a good profit, then starting a Hawaiian shaved ice business that what you need. Above, we have discussed everything steps by step that needs to start a Hawaiian shaved business. Best of luck!!

Khalid Hasan

I am Khalid Hasan. I have been a successful entrepreneur since 2010. Now, I have a Group of companies. My client list includes many International multinational companies. That's why I launched a blog website thinking that it will benefit everyone. that are all the tricks that are important to succeed in business here it's I will discuss them in detail. My goal is to assist new businesses man in finding solutions to business issues and act accordingly so that they succeed in business. If they are in contact with me or take a quote, I Hope, Those who are Interested to start their own business will hugely benefit from it.

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