New Business Ideas No. 1: Rolled Ice Cream

Starting any new business requires an idea. And this idea must be much more than just a product, service, or event. The idea must have appeal, benefits, or fulfill potential consumer needs to succeed. The idea must be complete with a business model so it can be delivered to potential consumers as a full concept, and have the technology available for the idea to be feasible. The proposer of the idea must also have the relevant skills, capabilities, and possess the right resources or be able to them to turn the idea into a feasible opportunity, and finally this must be exploited in the right time and place to fulfill the requirements of being a viable business opportunity.

Get all of the above right and its very likely your business idea will be successful.

From time to time I will present to you a host of new ideas, which you can look at, evaluate and see if it suits you. So this first article is going to present to you a new idea for producing and serving ice cream to customers from a simple stall.

The idea for today is made to order rolled ice cream. Imagine a hot day out and about town and you suddenly feel like a delightful fruity, fresh and creamy ice cream. Rolled ice cream is the answer.

Making rolled ice cream is very simple. You get some fresh fruit chop it up in a blender and then mix it with full cream milk and pour the mixture over a freezing cold plate that will turn the mixture almost instantly into ice cream. The reason we call it rolled ice cream is because as you scrap it up from the cold plate, the ice cream comes off as a roll.

You can use almost any fruit you want, banana, strawberry, orange, berry, kiwifruit, and even durian (but have a dedicated cold plate for that one). chocolate also works very well and you can decorate the ice cream in its paper cup with a piece of biscuit, nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, or even ’hundreds and thousands’.

The servings you make are natural, fresh, and cool. Something your customers will like coming back for, when they are in the area, time and time again.

This is an idea that almost anybody can do. It could go well as a street stall or small shop. You could even have it as an ’add on’ in your restaurant. This would also be a great idea for van where you can transport the stall to public events.

The technology needed for this venture is twofold. First you have to have a the cold plate, which should be incorporated into the stall bench itself. The cold plate can be cooled through using two old refrigerator cooling systems where the copper coil under the cooling plate. This could be rigged up by almost any refrigerator mechanic of cooling engineer.

The second piece of technology you will need are the recipes. And this is simple. Chopped fruit and full cream milk. The trick is in the preparation and quick cooling. You have to master the technique only. This will take some practice.

You can put some additives in the milk to take that ’whey’ taste away by adding some vanilla essence. Some sugar may enhance the flavour as well, but don’t make it sickly. You could also substitute the full cream milk for low fat milk or even soya milk if you want to promote the product as a healthy food.

The key here is presentation and business model. You must create some form of brand, show appetizing pictures of your ice creams, have an excellent location and be prepared to work hard. If you decide to have a stall, you might like to have some chairs and little coffee tables where people can sit, relax and enjoy your ice cream.

This idea can be very profitable, but it like any fast food business will also require time and effort. Profits will depend upon how busy you are and how much rent you pay for your location. This must be a major consideration. So imagine if you could sell approximately 300 ice creams each night for around RM 5, this could bring you a revenue of RM1,500 per day, less expenses.

So how much would this take to set up? Building a single cool plate model should cost around RM 3,000, or maybe a double cold plate stall for around RM 5,000.  Add another RM3-4,000 for signage, chairs, containers, and other miscellaneous items and you are into this business for just under RM 10,000. This would make a wonderful franchise business once you developed your own recipes and a nice little catchy brand.

So this is my first idea. Have fun, enjoy making all that ice cream and become an innovative food vendor. I’ve seen the idea work very well in Thailand and Taiwan, so consider this idea be one having a low risk factor.

Good luck.

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