Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of our customers and readers! From everyone at 1-800-ShavedIce.com, HawaiianShavedIce.com, and CottonCandyExpress.com, we wish you all a successful, profitable, and enjoyable 2009!

For those of you in the shaved ice and snow cone business, "may your summer be warm, long, and profitable!" We appreciate your patronage during 2008 and look forward to the opportunity of serving you in the coming year.

FREE Business Resource

Not many things in life are free. In the business world, it's virtually impossible to find something worthwhile that is truly free. Here is a resource that is a valuable tool and yes, it's really free.

"SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" is a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

SCORE is headquartered in Herndon, VA and Washington, DC and has 389 chapters throughout the United States and its territories, with 10,500 volunteers nationwide. Both working and retired executives and business owners donate time and expertise as business counselors. SCORE was founded in 1964."

In the past, we have talked about the importance of creating a good "toolbox" of resources for your business. We've also referred to "magic lanterns" from time to time too (a definition we adopted from David Ogilvy). SCORE should definitely be considered an invaluable tool for your toolbox and a magic lantern (a resource to go back to time and time again).

I would encourage you to visit SCORE's website. It alone has a ton of valuable information addressing a multitude of topics. You also have the ability to ask questions through their website. They also list their low cost workshops online. And, if you're interested, you can find a SCORE office near you where you can set up a time to get face to face advice from a seasoned, professional business person.

Check it out and use this resource to answer your questions! It's a great FREE resource!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Setting Goals for 2009

So, what goals have you set for your concessions business in 2009? While some of you may say that goals aren’t necessary for your small business – especially in light of the current economy. Most business leaders will tell you that you are completely wrong. This is exactly the time when goals are most important for businesses of any size. Just because your business is seasonal, part time or extremely small doesn’t discount the importance of setting up goals. 2009 is going to be a continuing struggle for businesses of all sizes. When compiling your goals for the coming year, keep in mind the old adage, “If you keep doing the exact same thing you will keep getting the exact same results.”

One thing that most business analysts and professionals are recommending is a “back to basics” approach for 2009. Take a look at what has worked well for you in previous years. What were your keys to success? How can you take those keys and exploit them in the coming year to ensure continued success with your business?
Here are 4 basic suggestions to get you started:

1. Cut Costs – Find ways to reduce your expenses, but not at the expense of customer service or product quality.
2. Drive Sales Volume Up – Investigate ways to successfully market your business in a way that will positively impact your sales. This can be tricky in tough economic times. Drop marketing that doesn’t work. Now isn’t the time to waste money on methods that aren’t yielding anything positive for your company.
3. Conserve Cash – Cash is king in any economic arena. Work hard to keep cash reserves on hand. While it’s important to make sure you have equipment, supplies and adequate inventory to operate your business properly, this may not be the best time to go shopping for “bigger and better.” Save the money and keep it in reserve…just in case.
4. Stay Focused – It’s best to keep your goals realistic. Keep your list small and stay on track with them. When you write out your goals, include your reasons for setting this goal too. Why is it important to you? What is your motivation? This information will be helpful down the road when you reexamine your list.

These are just a few examples of some goals to set for your business. We encourage you to sit down, examine your own business and set goals that are in the best interest of you and your business. At 1-800-Shaved-Ice.com, we wish you all a profitable and successful 2009. Please feel free to email us anytime or leave a question/comment here in the blog regarding anything related to operating your concessions business. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your business with you!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

From everyone at 1-800-ShavedIce.com, HawaiianShavedIce.com, and CottonCandyExpress.com, we want to wish you and your family a safe and enjoyable holiday season. We hope that all of you will be able to spend time relaxing and having fun with your loved ones.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Customer Service

Customer service is incredibly important to us here at HawaiianShavedIce.com. Here are a couple of comments we received that accurately describe our commitment to our customers:

"Delivery time was EXCELLENT. Packing was good, and items arrived exactly as expected. Price was very reasonable, more per bottle than the off-the-shelf stuff you get at Wal-Mart, etc., but the Hawaiian Shaved Ice bottles are bigger, and ounce-per-ounce it is about the same cost. However, you are getting a much better quality product from HSI. Syrup flavors overall were excellent, same quality as what you would find at fairs and carnivals. In fact, I suspect these are the same syrups used by the professional vendors. A great buy."
David, VA

"I was very pleased with the entire transaction. The order was received, processed, and shipped immediately. Even though I live in Florida, ice flavors are seasonal. I am excited to know I can now receive ice flavors any time during the year. Keep up the good work and thanks to all who made this transaction so easy."
Mike, FL

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Remember This Ad at the Drive-In?

This advertisement ran a bit before I can remember it (1960's), but it just goes to show that snow cones have been a popular treat for a long, long time!

Summer can't come quick enough again! It's 4 degrees outside where I am today. It's too cold for a tasty snow cone...so I need warmer weather!

A Gift for the Budding Entrepreneur

Do you have a child who is a budding entrepreneur? If so, why not give them a gift that will introduce them to the excitement that surrounds owning their own business!

Combining two of our most popular items, our Roadside Business Pack comes with our Ultimate Shaved Ice package and our Shaved Ice Stand (for kids). This complete package will provide hours of fun indoors and out for the young entrepreneur. In the summer time, they can set it up in the front yard and do a booming business in your neighborhood!

Included in this package: Shaved Ice Stand, our kid-safe S-500 Snow Cone Machine (Electrical, 120 Volt), 5 quart bottles of Hawaiian Shaved Ice Premium Syrup (your choice), 25 Spoon Straws, 5 Bottle Pourers, 25 Sno Cone Cups, 1 Hawaiian Flower Lei (artificial)

This is a fun and educational gift that will provide your future business man or woman with something they will enjoy and learn from at the same time. Order today from HawaiianShavedIce.com!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Give a Flavorful Gift

If someone you know already has a shaved ice or snow cone machine, why not give them a gift of flavor? That's right...give them the best flavored syrups possible by ordering from HawaiianShavedIce.com. Our award winning flavors are a great gift!

Just think...order a few of their favorite flavors (and one or two of your own)and give them as gifts this holiday season. Then, when it's nice and warm out this summer, you can visit their house and have them make you a shaved ice or snow cone with YOUR favorite flavor, haha!

HawaiianShavedIce.com is running a holiday special right now on the purchase of 5 quart bottles of their premium flavored syrups for only $36.25 (plus shipping). Order today and still receive them before December 25th!

Snow Cone Holders

Snow Cone Holders are a must for anyone who likes to enjoy these frozen treats. They are also an incredibly useful tool for any mom or dad who doesn't know what to do when their child says, "hold this please..."

These are lifesavers for patio furniture and around the pool! Order a couple of sets today from HawaiianShavedIce.com!

Serve snow cones in style with our fun spiral snow cone cup holders. Designed for our 6 oz. snow cone cups. 4 snow cone holders included in pack.

* Pack of 4 Snow Cone Cup Holders
* Colors: Orange, Blue, Pink, and Green
* Designed for 6 oz. Snow Cone Cups
* Snow Cone Cups are not included with holders

Dual Snow Cone Machine - A Great Gift for Kids!

This great little machine can make one or two snow cones at a time. This easy-to-use and child-safe snow cone machine uses regular ice cubes. It's great for making snow cones, slushies, and other healthy frozen treats.

Included with the Dual Snow Cone Machine is a removable two-cup holder that keeps the snow cone cups in place, and two adjoining syrup pump bottles.

Plugs into any household outlet.

Available in a Complete Home Package that includes shaved ice syrups and supplies. Contact HawaiianShavedIce.com today for more information about the complete home package.

This is a great gift for any child! It will be used all summer long. Who knows...it might inspire some youngster to start their own snow cone or shaved ice business! Create a young entrepreneur today!

Holiday Shipping Deadlines from HawaiianShavedIce.com

If you are planning to order a gift from HawaiianShavedIce.com, please remember:

All orders placed on or before 1:00 PM EST, Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 and shipped to the Continental United States will arrive on or before December 24th.

If shipping to other destinations please call us directly at 1-800-742-8334 or 910-594-1691.

Happy Holidays from Hawaiian Shaved Ice.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Today is National Cotton Candy Day

So, did you go out, purchase, and enjoy some cotton candy today? You should have! But, if you didn't get a chance...well, there's always tomorrow.

Here at ConcessionCentral.com, we have over 35 articles discussing various aspects of cotton candy, machines, recipes, and equipment. If you need equipment or supplies, we encourage you to visit CottonCandyExpress.com, which offers only top quality cotton candy supplies. If you are just interested in starting your own cotton candy business, please visit CottonCandyExpress.com too. You will find quite a bit of helpful information there to guide you along your exciting concessions journey.

If you're just interested in the history of cotton candy, please read this previous post. I also found this interesting little article on cotton candy today on the National Confectioners Association website.