Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tips on Avoiding Several Fatal Errors in Operating your Concessions Business

Recently I came across an article that I thought was full of good information for concessionaires. I think there are several points that are very relative to concession business owners.

There are 10 major points in the article which are described as “fatal errors:”

*Poor Capital Structure
*Lack of Reserve Funds
*Bad Business Location
*Poor Execution and Internal Controls
*An Inadequate Business Plan
*Failure to Change with the Times
*Ineffective Marketing and Self-Promotion
*Underestimating the Competition

If you would like to read the entire article, click here.

I think that one way several of these errors could be avoided is in the writing of a good business plan right from the beginning. Please avoid the trap of “getting started first and then writing your business plan.” Don’t jump the gun! Take the time and write your plan. Seek out some professional help. Design an inclusive business plan that gives you a framework for your concessions business and a path for growth and success. In doing so several of these pitfalls can potentially be avoided and keep you on the path to success with your business!

AllBusiness.com is an Excellent General Business Resource for Concessionaires

AllBusiness.com is a great resource for answering many general business related questions. This site is loaded with helpful information on virtually every topic in the business world.

There are sections devoted to business advice, professional journals, business bloggers who deal directly with questions asked by people like you and me and sections devoted to specific industries (the restaurant section is of particular interest in the concessions field). They also have a section that is entitled ‘Tools and Services’ which contains a learning center and a business answers section which appear to be very helpful too. Finally, they have included a section devoted to forms and services. Some of the forms in this section have a fee that must be paid in order to download them. However, some of these forms (hiring and termination policies, and many others) are important to have in place for small business owners. Several of these forms are hard to find on your own and even harder to create for yourself. So, purchasing them may be the best answer for you.

AllBusiness.com is loaded with great problem solving tips and answers to questions that may come up in your particular business. Check it out, bookmark it and use it whenever necessary!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Shhh….Here are some of Our Secret Recipes

Looking for some tasty additions to your shaved ice or snow cone menu? Well, look no further! We have some absolutely fabulous recipes for mouth watering shaved ice and snow cones. Sour flavors, wine cooler inspired flavors, and cream flavors…the list goes on and on! Check out all of the great recipes we have to share at 1-800-Shaved-Ice. We also list some great topping ideas too for you. Toppings are a great way to ‘upsell’ customers and increase your bottom line revenues. Take a moment, check out our recipes and spend some time experimenting with them. You might find the next signature item for your shaved ice or snow cone business!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Logo Design for Your Concessions Business

Have you created an identity for your concessions business yet? Have you thought much about how you want to be recognized by your customers and competition? It’s important to factor that question into your decision making process when it comes to designing a logo for your business.

David Ogilvy, who is widely considered the “father of modern advertising”, had four major principles that he adhered to in every facet of his business. These four principles not only apply to designing your logo, but also carry over into many other areas of your business. These four principles are research, professional discipline (knowledge), creative brilliance and results for clients (customers).

To learn more about his principles as they are applied to logo design, click here. This article is an in-depth look at some critical components of great logo design.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Resource: Food Booth, The Entrepreneur's Complete Guide to the Food Concession Business

While I have not personally read this book just yet, it seems like it might be a valuable resource. Whether you are just thinking about entering into the concessions business or are a seasoned veteran, it would probably be a good read.

Along with being able to order the book directly from their website, they display the table of contents for it too. Judging from that, it seems to be full of helpful information.

Check it out for yourself. If you have read this book, please let me know what you think of it! Thanks!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Upgrade your Concessions Business with a New Trailer!

In addition to upgrading and replacing worn out machinery, utensils, and restocking other supplies, why not upgrade to a top of the line concessions trailer? The off season is the perfect time to go ahead and order your trailer. You can take delivery on it and outfit it in time for the first special events in Spring or the opening day at your fixed location.

Put your business way ahead of the pack by purchasing and outfitting an awesome trailer. At 1-800-Shaved-Ice, we offer several sizes and layouts specifically designed for shaved ice and snow cone concessionaires. However, modifications can be made to create a trailer for just about any type of concessions business.

Check out all of our fantastic trailers and start your order today! You won’t be disappointed in the professional results achieved when you pull up to your special events next season! People will notice and comment on how great your business looks along with the high quality concessions you offer to them.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Have You Decided to Launch into the Cotton Candy Business?

Great! We’re excited that you have chosen this lucrative business! Now that you have chosen to dive into selling cotton candy, you need to ‘outfit’ your business.

One of the quickest and easiest ways to purchase the supplies you need is to select one of the great combo kits at CottonCandyExpress.com. There are four kits available and each of them is customizable. These kits range from the Starter Kit (on sale now for $599.00) all the way up to the High Output Kit (also on sale for $1452.27). Each of these kits contains all of the equipment needed to start selling cotton candy.

If you need assistance choosing the kit that best suits your needs, we encourage you to read through our Combo Kit Helper page. This page discusses each kit in detail allowing you to make the best choice for your operational needs. Check them out today and select the one that’s right for you!

National Independent Concessionaires Association

The National Independent Concessionaires Association is an organization you may want to join. They have many excellent programs in place to aid concession business owners. From health insurance discounts, scholarship programs, discounted supplies, and a multitude of other benefits, your $125 membership fee goes a long way for you. They also host several expos and training seminars nationwide along with their monthly magazine and online forum which can be very helpful to concessionaires. The ability to bounce ideas, problems and concerns around with other concession business owners can be very valuable.

Check out their website today and see if joining the NICA is right for you.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

New Links for Finding Special Events

A few articles ago, I said I would write a post when I found links for softball tournaments. I have several good links for you to use.

The first is SoftballTournaments.com. This is a nationwide directory of youth, men’s, and ladies softball tournaments. This is a GREAT resource. Please make sure you check it out if you are looking for weekend events in your area. This is a very comprehensive website. For example, in California, they list 17 tournaments for the remainder of this year, North Carolina has 3 listed for October, and Texas has 6 listed through November. This is just a random snapshot of their listings. Please check out the listings in your area. The site provides contact information for the tournament directors too, which is excellent and makes it easier for you to get in touch with the correct person.

The other resources are:

Amateur Softball Assosication Tournament Locator (another excellent resource.)

National Softball Association (Youth and Adult tournaments are listed.)

Again, I would encourage you to contact the tournament director initially and ask them for the contact person who is overseeing the concessions. Have fun and fill up that special events calendar! It’s not too early to start booking dates for 2008!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Here’s what another satisfied customer serving our country overseas sent to us recently:

"Awesome service. Merchant offers a product not easy to find and makes it simple to purchase. The product I purchased from Hawaiian Shaved Ice fit my needs perfectly....to make snow cones in Baghdad. My entire unit is in love with the machine and plans on purchasing some more. Thanks for the snow cones from the Puerto Rico National Guard, the United States Army, and myself."
Sgt. F., Baghdad, Iraq

Thanks for the positive comments! We’re thrilled to be able to provide the supplies needed to create a ‘little taste of home.’ Thank you for your service!

How Cotton Candy is Made…

Have you ever wondered how cotton candy is made? Are you curious? Well, here’s the answer!

The first step in the process involves melting the sugar into a liquid form so that it can be spun inside of the cotton candy machine. Once the sugar has been liquefied, the machine forces the liquid sugar through small holes in the walls of the machine which shape and cool the liquid sugar. As it cools, the sugar changes from a liquid state to a solid state where it can be collected (wound on a cotton candy cone) and served to eager customers who want to devour the tasty treat!

It’s an amazingly simple process that yields a wonderfully, delicious snack! So, there you go! You learn something new every day…

To learn tips and tricks about cotton candy, visit CottonCandyExpress.com and click on Cotton Candy Info!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Your Information is Secure When Ordering from 1-800-Shaved-Ice.com

Online security is a major priority these days. Credit card fraud, scams and identity theft are concerns for everyone. Rest assured that when you place an order with 1-800-Shaved-Ice.com, CottonCandyExpress.com, or HawaiianShavedIce.com, your information is protected and secure.

Our sites are hosted by Yahoo! Store. Yahoo! hosts our stores, ordering system and ordering data. Utilizing secure serves to process your orders with top of the line encryption technology ensures the security of your personal or business information. As part of their commitment to your security, Yahoo! has HackerSafe verify the integrity of the system by doing a security scan everyday.

Your order information is seen only by us and used to process your order. To learn more about how you are protected, please read through Yahoo!’s privacy policy and our privacy policy.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Professional Apparel for your Shaved Ice Business

Looking for a way to refine the professional image of your shaved ice company? Check out the excellent, high quality, professionally designed logo apparel at 1-800-Shaved-Ice.com.

Whether you’re looking for polo shirts, T-shirts, hats, aprons, sweatshirts or other assorted apparel, we have it all available for you. In fact, we have over 140 different apparel items available.

Instituting a ‘uniform’ design or just having matching aprons adds to the professional image you desire to create with your company. Purchase them for your friends and family too…they are a great way to advertise! Check out our great designs and order today!