Spending each day at a desk can get frustrating and this was the reason for setting up the mobile Ice Cream vending business that has over a short period of time managed to make significant inroads in the industry and earned the budding entrepreneur some cash. Charlie Francis got tired of desk job with an advertising firm and opted to set upon Ice Cream parlor – his family had been in the business in Wales for close to 30 years.
Though he had plenty of experience making Ice Cream from his childhood the process of getting the business up and running was anything but easy. First you need money – to get the finance he entered a competition dubbed Take One Small Step sponsored by Barclays Bank. To win the prize money of 50,000 pounds Charles Francis had to get the most votes for the category – he spent a lot of time and resources making and giving out free Ice Cream to make it. With his winnings and 20,000 pounds from his savings he started in earnest to set up his dream business.
Next was the process of building a contraption – as he calls it that could make all flavors of Ice Cream. This was based on an idea from a chef friend who showed him how to use liquid nitrogen to freeze Ice Cream giving ita smooth silky texture of dessert. This took a whole year during which he spoke to many experts in cryogenics including several eccentric professors – anyone who was willing to talk about the project. He then built the first prototype – a small portable machine that can be assembled quickly at any location.
With the contraption ready he was almost set to go into business but where? There were two options – either establish a shop or buy a truck and go mobile. Based on research he had established that the shop could easily go out of business and was not convenient for his mobile Ice Cream production machines. He choose to go mobile ad started spreading the word about the business using PR services. After a while the publicity campaign started to pay off and he started getting invited to work with event companies and invites to attend major social and sporting events. Getting on BBC news was quite useful for his PR campaign and gave him even more exposure from interesting stories that have worked to make the company interesting to others in the UK.
His future plans include introducing a new product and employing few more full time staff. The business established in 2011 managed to produce revenue of 60,000 pounds in 2012 and is targeting revenue of 140,000 pounds in 2012. The business success can be attributed the unique concept that has allowed him to produce unique flavors easily without having to set up a shop – significant reduction in set up costs and innovative products. This is not an isolated story as data over the past few years suggests more people are going into business – in the UK the number of new companies set up in 2011-2012 rose by just over 9% a good pointer to recovered economies following the credit crunch several years ago.