Many frozen dessert stores can easily add products to their menu every season, but adding products doesn't mean they will add profits to their store. This month we dive deep into the difference between adding products and adding profits to your frozen dessert store.
To first distinguish the difference between a product center and a profit center we first need to define the two. First, a product center is a new product. It could be a new flavor, new product, or new product category that you're adding to your store. A profit center is something you add to your store that will make you money.
How do you turn a new product or product category into a profit center.
Identify the need. Every store has something that they're known for. Whether it's their connection to their community, the connection with their customer base, a key product that they sell, or key demographic that they sell to. The best thing to do is to capitalize on this trend and continue with it rather than start from scratch. For instance, don't start to make sundaes just because you don't serve any sundaes or throw water ice into the mix because you don't offer that to your customers. Take the path of least resistance and continue to do what your known best for. If you're a shop that sells a lot of hard ice cream or soft ice cream cones, which make up the crux of your business, then keep doing that. Create new profits by doing what you're doing but with a new twist. For example, look at the cones you're serving the ice cream in. If you get some cones and roll them in chocolate, sprinkles or other amenities then you can charge more. Offer waffle cones dipped in chocolate or marshmallows, or something to the like, and you have the potential to charge more for each product and make more profits. We didn't create a new product, people were already coming in for it. We just created a new way to market our product. Another quick example would be milkshakes. Start adding candies and offer other combinations into the shake, like peanut butter and oreo cookie, so you can charge a little more.
What is the need of your market? Find out what your customers are asking for. Are they asking for dietary products, vegan, dole whip, or no sugar added products? Do they demand a homemade or handcrafted product. What are you missing in your store that the competition is doing? These are all things you can look at but it may require patience. This is essentially like adding a new product, but you're only adding it because you see the need. But this need you're filling should still be akin to what you're known for.
How to execute the process. The first step is to create a recipe-driven menu. You want customers to come into your store, point at an item, and say I want that. Make it as easy as point and click for them. Be creative and try different things. Small thinking leads to small profits so continue to experiment and think big. Try new flavors, crazy flavors, offer waffle cones or donuts for the ice cream. Make sure your operations can handle the new profit center by having the staff trained and the proper equipment ready to go. Make sure your customers get a good first impression when they give your product a shot. This will only happen if everything and everyone is properly trained on the process. This is a visual business so remember to promote your product visually. Promote it visually then sample it often. Get the new products into the hands and mouths of your customers to let them sample it. Understand the cost of all your products. If a product costs you $5.75 to make and you sell it for $5.75, you're not making any profit. Make sure the numbers make sense. Finally, evaluate the data to learn how it's really working. If it's not working out so well for you then pivot and go in a different direction.