Challenges in Shave Ice Businesses


We've blogged about the profitability of a shave ice business previously.  Of course, we all know, entrepreneurship has its benefits, but it definitely comes with risks.  As we are stepping ino fall now, I want to go through a list of challenges that can face a business, particularly a Shave Ice Business. 

1. It is a seasonal business -  this can be varied by locations.  If your business is on the east coast such as New York, eating a shave ice while it's snowing out isn't probably on the top of your potential customer's list.  So typically, your shave ice business will probably do well for the summer months, but will probably slow down dramatically in the winter times.  However, if you are in Hawaii, Florida, or California, your shave ice business may be year around, or at least last longer given that the weather is pretty consistent throughout the year.  

If your shave ice business is in a mobile trailer, then you can decide to just close it for the winter months.  If your shave ice business is bricks-and-mortar, then a lot of businesses add more varieties to their menu, so they can offer customers options in the winter as well.  Things to consider can be hot drinks, other fall and winter dessert items.  I know a lot of businesses also offer private catering for weddings, parties.  So that can also be a great revenue stream to help you survive the winter months.  

Just because the business is seasonal, it doesn't mean it's not profitable.  Some do so well that they choose to only work half of the year!  

2. Shave ice has many other competitions

in the simple days, business seemed simpler to do when the consumers had less choices.  I don't mean that as a bad thing.  But nowadays where there are slew of dessert shops and choices, it's harder to keep up with the consumers' desires.  It feels like every other day, there's another pop up shop of charcoal ice cream, organic artisan desserts, fresh hand-made boba, dragon breath balls... The choices are endless! The desserts are getting so fancy and elaborate.  Have you seen the unicorn drink with a bear donut hanging off of it? 

I don't see shave ice going away any time soon though.  People tend to enjoy the simple pleasures.  However, businesses do have to stay creative (like new flavors, ambiance of your setup) and ensure their shave ice or their products are always genuine and delicious of course! 

3. It's hard work in the summer - let's get real, shave ice is hard work! When your kids are on summer vacation, you have to work because summer months are your best time to make money.  Making your syrup, making your ice, and serving them to your customers isn't easy.  It's hard physical work.  Even if you hire help, you definitely need to tend to it and pay attention to all the details especially when you are first starting out.  

But with all businesses, you have to put your own tears and sweat into it.  It's only after you worked hard, when you succeed, the victory tastes that much sweeter.  

Please read the blog post on profitability of the a shave ice business if you haven't already.  Thanks so much for reading! 


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