Interested in small ice sculpture business ideas? If YES, here is how to open an ice sculptors business with no money and no experience. How much does it cost to start up?
How to Start an Ice Sculpture Business
Ice sculptures are a form of sculpture where ice is used as the raw material for the production process. These sculptures could either be abstract or realistic, functional or entirely ornamental and decorative.
Due to their short lifetime, ice sculptures are usually meant for special events or display. The major customers of this line of business are event planners, and people who need beautiful sculptural pieces for their events.
If you are someone who is very gifted with artistic skills and talent, and love being crafty with your hands, you should consider starting an ice sculpture business. However, you do not need to have some special skills before you can start this business.
With the right steps, you can easily start this business and be profitable in it. I have highlighted below, the things you will have to consider before starting an ice sculpture business.
Learn the Art and Craft
Ice sculpture making is fun to an artist because he has the skills needed for this kind of craft. Usually, you will find out that most people in this business have a flair for art and creativity. They are mostly skilled sculptors.
However, how crafts are made in the business is changing because of technological advancement, and ice sculptures are now being created using machines. Hence, anybody with the right business knowledge can easily go into the business and succeed.
Get the Necessary Paper works and your Determine Source of Start-up Fund
Depending on your country, state and city, you should make enquiries on how to get the necessary paper works done. Usually, you will have to get a business license and obtain the relevant permits for your line of business. Also, you will need to get some insurance for your equipments as well as get other insurance coverage.
Sourcing for fund for your business is quite important too. You will have to decide if you will carve out the whole start-up budget from your pocket, or you will need to obtain some sort of loan to cover some start-up expenses.
It is very important that when venturing into this business you do a thorough research on the competition level in your area of location. Find out all the likely competitors in the business, and take note of what they are doing well.
It would be helpful too if you could source for advice from some of the already established ice sculpture businesses on how you can mark yourself out in the industry. It is good you source for this advice from ice sculpture businesses outside your area of location; you do not want to get advice from ice sculpture businesses within your area of location since they would not be ready to reveal business information to a potential competitor.
Things you will Need
Here are some of the things you will need to start-up your ice sculpture business:
Tools and Equipment:
- Carving and gripping tools such as ice tongs, chisels, hoists, chippers, and chainsaws.
- Computer Numerical Controlled machine (CNC) for carving: This machine is used for the mass production of ice sculpture. You could get a CNC machine for about US$50,000.
- Hercules Machine (preferably you will need 2): The Hercules machine can produce as large as 1 metre high ice sculpture every three (3) days i.e. about 10-12 ice sculptures every single month.
- Electric Winch Crane
- Deep Freezer Room
- Reusable Machine Moulds (for making the various design of quality ice)
- Illuminated Displays
- Special Design Working Tables (you will require a minimum of four (4) working tables for the production process).
- Insulated Van or Ice Trailer (for delivery process): You will require between US$12,000-US$14,000 acquiring this machine. If you cannot afford one, you could probably get a rented one for about US$150.
You will also need a good building facility for your ice sculpture business. The size of the building will be determined by the scale of your ice sculpture business, and the types and number of machines to be contained. For example, you will require a minimum of 1500 sq. ft. if you are to house 4 Hercules machines.
Nowadays, the whole process of the ice sculpture making is almost wholly automated, but you will still require labour for the operation. One or two unskilled attendants would be needed for the machine operation. You will also need some van drivers for the delivery of the produced ice sculptures.
Most ice sculptures are sold for about US$300. These ones are usually small and produced easily without any sort of customization. The larger ice sculptures could be sold for more, probably for several thousands of dollars. These ones are usually more sophisticated and very ornamental.
Most sculptors in the business make on average of US$300 to US$500 per ice sculpture for a few pounds of ice block used. In fact the business is very profitable as most sculptors make annual revenue from a couple of hundreds of thousands of dollars to a few million dollars.
One way you could maximize your profitability in this business is by sourcing for a good location where there are very few competitors. Also, you could hire the services of skilled and experienced ice sculptors who know their way in the business. In addition, you must be a good salesperson, and also know how to form good customer relationship.