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Congratulations on your decision to start your first small business and purchase your first snow cone stand. You are on your way to having you very own profitable, small business and being financial independent.
The first step in buying a snow cone stand is determining what type of stand you are interested in purchasing. Your options break down into 2 simple categories:
1. Mobile Snow Cone Trailers
2. Non-Mobile Structures (Snow Shacks)
Each of these two options has its advantages and disadvantages. The first thing to determine is what do you plan to do with your trailer? What is your business model? If you haven't thought about it, then it's the first thing you need to do. I suggest getting out a piece of paper and really writing down what your goals are. Here are some example questions to ask yourself.
* Do have plan to have a permanent location for the stand (even over the winter)?
* Do you plan to move the stand in and out of a summer location each year?
* Do you plan to regularly visit fairs, festivals and other events?
* Do you hope to be able to do events in the future?
* Do you want very simple and easy mobility?
* Do you want a large amount of space and room inside?
* What is your budget?
What should you buy? Well that depends on each individual's funds, needs, plans, and location options. I hope you think about these 4 issues and the questions above when considering what type of stand to buy. Depending on the answers to these questions, you should get an idea of what type of snow cone stand you are looking to purchase.
Mobile Snow Cone Trailers
If mobility is of the utmost importance to you, then you have to go with a mobile trailer. Mobile trailers can be used in a permanent location, for regular traveling, or just getting a chance to work your local summer fairs. This can also be used in cities that allow a snow cone stand to set up almost anywhere. In this way you can work different spots during different times of the day, or on weekends.
These snow cone stands range in size from a 5×10 to 6×14. A 5×10 trailer is going to be more suited to a single worker and a little less high volume business. One of the primary disadvantages of many mobile snow cone stands is the size. A stand-alone shack is always going to allow more room. If your budget allows we would always suggest going with the larger size because it allows for 2 workers. When your really busy (such as at a fair) then you will be able to move much quicker with 2 individuals.
From a budget standpoint, mobile stands are almost always more expensive than a standalone building. This is due to the obvious reasons that it costs quite a bit of money to build a business on wheels. You will have to contrast the additional cost of a mobile stand compared to the benefits you believe you will receive.
Non-Mobile Snow Cone Shacks
Non-mobile snow cone shacks can also be a great option for your new business! These buildings do not have the advantage of moving from location to location but are typically much cheaper and require less upkeep.
A shaved ice building or location can be set up in one of two ways. The building can be put in as permanent structure or as a temporary structure. Obviously these two options will depend upon each individual's factors and where your location is. If you are putting a stand on your own property then a more permanent structure may be a better option. If you are renting or have to move the stand each winter then it's likely you will want a temporary structure.
The buildings themselves will be the same, but the way in which you put them on the ground will vary. Typically with a temporary location you will put down concrete blocks and set the stand down in this spot.
To transport a mobile building at the beginning and end of each season you will need to own or rent a large flat-bed truck. A trailer behind a truck will not typically work because a snow cone trailer is wider than the railing on each side. You will also need quite a few strong hands and a driver who knows what he is doing in order to lift and lower the building. This should only be done with all the equipment (besides freezes and fridges) removed, and all ice removed from the freezers. If this sounds too daunting or not worth the hassle, then make sure you have a long-term location or consider a mobile snow cone stand.
So which should you choose? Well that depends on each individual's funds, needs, plans, and location options. I hope you think about these 4 issues when considering what type of stand to buy. To read more about choosing a snow cone stand and what to consider Good luck!