How to Start a Snow Cone Business

by Nicki Howell; Updated September 26, 2017

Many individuals are attracted to starting a snow cone business because of low start-up costs and high profit potential. The operation of a snow cone stand is relatively easy to learn. Many retirees enjoy this type of business because of the opportunity to interact with community members. But depending on what part of the country you live in, this business can be seasonal in nature. Here’s how to start a snow cone business.

Items you will need

  • Ice shaver
  • Flavors
  • Freezer
  • Block ice maker
  • Snow cone cups
Step 1

Find a location. A successful snow cone business is typically located in a high traffic area dense with businesses. The location should be close to schools and special events and have heavy foot traffic.

Step 2

Secure the proper permits. All states require that businesses be registered with their local or municipal governing agency. Contact the city and county where you'll operate your snow cone business and ask about obtaining the necessary licenses. The cost for a business license can range from $50 to $100.

Step 3

Contact your state health department to obtain a food card. Most state health departments require those serving food to obtain a food handlers card. Contact the department and ask what is required. You will typically need to take a test and pay a nominal fee.

Step 4

Purchase the necessary equipment. After you secure the required permits and location, you’re ready to purchase equipment. You will need an ice shaver, flavors, freezer, a block ice maker and snow cone cups. If you will be running your snow cone business from a mobile unit, you will need to purchase that as well. Companies such as FlavorSnow sell these units.

Step 5

Make a plan for staffing. While first starting out, most snow cone businesses are a one-person operation. However, as your business grows you may need to hire an extra person to staff your business.

Tips

  • Focus on events. Mobile snow cone businesses have an opportunity to target community events. Read your daily newspaper for concerts, little league games, art festivals and other types of community announcements.

Warnings

  • Find a reliable supplier. When interviewing potential suppliers find a business that can turn around a shipment in a week or less. FlavorSnow and 1-800-Shaved-Ice both offer quick shipping to clients. Also, consider purchasing higher volumes of supplies to qualify for price breaks.

About the Author

Nicki Howell started her professional writing career in 2002, specializing in areas such as health, fitness and personal finance. She has been published at health care websites, such as HealthTree, and is a ghostwriter for a variety of small health care organizations. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Portland State University.