How to Start an ice business
Here are the steps on how to start an ice business:
- Do your research. Learn about the ice business, including the different types of ice machines, the cost of starting a business, and the potential market for your product.
- Write a business plan. This will help you to define your business goals, identify your target market, and develop a marketing plan.
- Obtain the necessary permits and licenses. The requirements will vary depending on your location, so be sure to check with your local government.
- Choose a location. Your location will be important for both your production and your sales. You’ll need to find a place that is close to your target market and that has the necessary utilities.
- Purchase equipment. You’ll need an ice machine, as well as other equipment such as a water filter and a storage bin.
- Hire employees. If you plan to produce a large volume of ice, you may need to hire employees to help you.
- Market your business. Let people know about your business by advertising in local newspapers and magazines, or by handing out flyers.
- Provide excellent customer service. This is important for any business, but it’s especially important in a competitive industry like the ice business.
Here are some additional tips for starting an ice business:
- Start small. You don’t need to invest in a large-scale production facility to get started. You can start with a small ice machine and sell your ice to local businesses and residents.
- Focus on quality. The quality of your ice is essential for customer satisfaction. Make sure to use filtered water and to clean your ice machine regularly.
- Be flexible. The demand for ice can fluctuate depending on the time of year and the weather. Be prepared to adjust your production and sales accordingly.
- Stay up-to-date on industry trends. The ice business is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. This will help you to ensure that your business is successful in the long run.
Starting an ice business can be a great way to make a profit. With careful planning and execution, you can be successful in this competitive industry.
When you decide to start an ice business the ideal machine to use would be an 320 kg per 24 hours machine and a 320 kg bin (B320). These machines are single phase 220 volt machines so a normal household plug can run the machine with no problem. Using a smaller machine would be a 240 kg per 24 hours which is about R5000.00 rand cheaper, for that saving you are loosing about one third of the ice capacity, when you consider ice bags are packed in 4 kg packs and 240 kg’s will amount to 60 bags of ice, a normal size 210 liter house hold freezer hold 20 bags of 4 kg ice, this means a 240 kg machine will fill 3 freezers full of ice per 24 hours, you will be able to refill 4 or 5 places you supply ice to every 24 hrs, this is not much and in a few weeks you will be looking to buy another machine and kicking yourself for not spending the extra and getting a machine with a 100 kg’s more, looking ahead two 320 kg machines is not much more expensive than one 700 kg machine so when purchasing a second machine you will not be wasting, also the problem with one machine is when it stops you have no ice, two smaller machines will at least leave you with half capacity still being supplied. (do not put all your eggs in one basket)
What ice shape
The types of ice are square (cube or dice) and round (gourmet) that are available in south Africa, the gourmet cube is a bigger and much more preferred cube, however the machine is about twice the price of a dice cube machine, so to start I would suggest a dice cube machine, later when your client base has grown you can get a gourmet cube machine and selective clients can be supplied with gourmet cubes, if you start with a gourmet cube machine you will end up supplying people gourmet ice at a huge cost to fill their cooler boxes which is a waste
Water Filters are an option to keep in mind
Depending on the water condition you may want to consider installing a water filter, The inline filters simply connect between the tap and the machine.
How to seal bags
Heat sealers are always the way everyone wants to start with, The alternative is to get a packet of small cable ties from the hardware shop and use them, they are cheap and will never open once closed.
How to store ice
To store ice start with a 500 liter chest freezer, this freezer will hold 50 four kg’s bags of ice, if need be another freezer can later be purchased, if ever you install a freezer room then the freezers can be used in clients shops to hold ice.
Two sizes available HERE
You may want to weigh the ice bags from time to time, a small scale would be advisable
Under voltage protection
Protection against voltage surges may be considered if the electricity supply where you are situated is not very stable
How to transport ice
Transporting ice is done in a van that is insulated, it can be transported in an insulated box like an old chest freezer, the box does not need to be refrigerated unless the ice will be in the box for a period longer than 3 or 4 hours
All that is left now is to bag the ice deliver it
and get people to eat it 🙂
Once Business is booming and you have two or more large machines it will be time to consider a pre-water cooler
Water Chillers to precool water for ice machines (improves production by up to 35%
- Process Cooling Applications
- Manufactured in South Africa
- 12 month warranty
- Can be wall mounted
- 3/4 inch inlet and outlet
- 50 litres per hour (bigger units are available on request)
Water booster pump
If you have a problem with water pressure or are using borehole water from a jojo tank, a water booster pump will be needed