To compliment this blog post, I have included a short video that I made last year on the 4th of July. What better time to release it than on the 4th this year?
I used this video to start a discussion during our 2015 Snowie Summit. The discussion was about expanding your business.
This has always been an interesting observance for me. I work with people all day long that are debating on whether or not they should get into a Shaved Ice Business with Snowie. This decision is easy and relatively risk free for some, and down right terrifying for others. No matter who you are, when you are venturing to do something for the first time, it is usually nerve racking and scary.
This fear is natural and we try to comfort you in the process by removing many of the risks. We cannot, of course, remove all of the risk, but we can make it so that your obligation is centered around tangible products. So the first thing we eliminate is being a franchise. What does this mean to you? Well, it means that you do not have any Royalties, Franchise Fees, Marketing Fees, nor do you have any future obligation to us for any fees at all. The only thing we ask is that if you brand yourself using our name, then you must purchase our flavors, keep your stand clean and in good repair, and that’s it.
How much more comfortable does that make it for you to know that if you get into the business and you feel like it is not working out, that you can sell your equipment to the public and make yourself whole again?
To the public? Why would I say that? Well, when you are in a franchise, you cannot sell your equipment to just anyone, they must be someone that can go through the approval process of the franchise and ultimately sold through them as well. With our equipment, you can sell to anyone you wish, you just need to make sure that they are in contact with us and committing to our simple contract as well.
One other point I would like to touch on is Territories. I have created a video that speaks to this a bit and will include that here:
People, for whatever reason will take a lot of comfort in territories. Let me give you a different perspective. When you are “protected” by having a territory, you are only protected from your own brand. You still need to compete with the many other Shaved Ice companies in your area. If you owned a McDonalds or something similar, then Territories are extremely important, but for Shaved Ice, in our opinion they are more restrictive than they are liberating.
Another example is when you venture beyond your territory. You will inevitably find yourself with a relationship to get into a wonderful event that is just outside your territory. Nobody has that territory at the time, so you take advantage of the relationship and get into that space. However, you will either need to pay the corporation to then own that territory, or you will need to give up that relationship when someone comes along and buys the territory. In our opinion, if you made the effort or had the relationship to be able to get into that location or event, then that business should be yours.
In our individual Shaved Ice business, we have gone to many areas. We are based in Salt Lake City, but have done Shaved Ice at events in Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Nevada, Idaho, Florida, Georgia, and more. If nobody has gotten into that event, then someone from Snowie should be in it! So you simply need to chase every event that makes sense for you to be in.
Wow, I have gotten completely side tracked. My purpose for what I have written so far was to address the initial stress that one experiences when choosing a business to get into. What has been interesting to me is the similar stress that one encounters when they are looking at expanding their current business.
At first glance, this should be an easy decision, if you are doing well, then it would make sense and be easy to duplicate. This is actually true. Sure it carries with it, risk, but the fear that accompanies that risk should be significantly less the longer you have been in the business. However, it is hard to discount the fear that one encounters when you have a stand that is making an average $400/day and you wonder if a different location will do just as well. There is no way of knowing that answer without actually taking that step. It could be that you next location will only do $150 per day, and if that is the case, what do you do? Our advice is, move it! It is the same advice that we gave you for your first one. Maybe your second stand will do just as well or better, or maybe you have decided to do events with your second stand. Now you have one stand that is making consistent money while your other stand is out far less, but making more money each time it is out.
Or maybe, and this is where my video comes into play, you are now in large events but you cannot truly service the crowd. If you pay attention to the video here, you will notice that we have four stands servicing a HUGE crowd at a park for the 4th of July. We are in four concentrated areas where people gather the most. The video goes from location to location. It is hard to tell how far I travel between stand to stand, but I didn’t want to bore you at the same time. The point is that when the crowd is large and concentrated enough, you can duplicate your money with every stand you take.
Let’s say you did a large event and made $3000 at that event, you can then easily estimate that if you brought in a second stand, you could make $6000, a third, $9000 and a fourth, $12,000. This all depends on how large your space is and the size of the crowd. Another example of this is a baseball diamond where I have done Shaved Ice. I would normally run two stands, one at 1st base, the other at 3rd. However, on firework nights, I would bring two additional carts to stick in the outfield to help service the sold out crowd of 10,000 people. This took my regular busy nights that were around $1500 to $9000 on a sold out firework night. If I only maintained my two stands, I probably would only have made between $5000 – $6000. But by bringing in two additional stands, I was able to service more of the crowd, but there was not a large enough crowd to duplicate the sale on each stand. However, it was still completely worth it for me to bring additional stands in order to add $3000 – $4000 to my total sales.
One of my favorite things about this business is the expandability of it. We have even made this more cost efficient by adding the Satellite cart. https://snowie.com/new-products/snowie-satellite-cart/ While this video only shows you the bus and kiosks, you could pull the same thing off with one kiosk and three satellite carts, thus saving you a tremendous amount on your initial investment.
Speak with a Snowie Representative today to see how we can help you expand your business for less than ever.