If you want to start an ice cream shop, the number of flavors, more than the physical dimensions of the place, is what matters the most. Aside from the flavors and size though, other factors have to be considered.
Location is Vital
The best places are near baseball fields, schools, playgrounds and other entertainment centers. These locations always have plenty of people near them all of whom are potential customers. Even if the dimensions of an ice cream parlor are small, the number of customers you can attract can offset this handicap.
If you are still unsure of the dimensions, you can franchise. Alternatively you can start with a vending cart. This allows you to be mobile. This also lets you determine which areas attract the most customers. This info can help you set up the store in the right place.
Licenses and Permits
Regardless of the parlor size, you will still have to get business permits. This will vary from state to state and country to country. If you are going to lease a post, check how much it costs.
The larger the dimensions of an ice cream parlor, the more it will likely cost. You will also have to go to the local government authorities to check for any other permits needed.
Talking to the Experts
It will also help if you talk to people who have been there and done well. Talk with ice cream parlor owners (not those in your area of course).
Ask questions like how much money did they start with? What are their most popular flavors? How do they deal with picky customers and the competition? Check also the size of their parlor. Is it sufficient? Check also what kind of customers they attract.
Next, think of the set up of your parlor. Do you prefer the one with an order-up window with seats outside? Or do you want the seats and tables inside the parlor? These have to be considered at the very beginning.
Whatever the dimensions of an ice cream parlor you have in mind, always keep an eye on the expenses. This is what will determine if you have the means of expanding the parlor or perhaps adding another branch.