Industry sector:

Ice cream parlour: Cash sales

'Cash sales' means all income from your main business activity which is received at the time of sale. You are likely to find that most of your customers will pay you in cash. However, remember that Cash sales can also include other methods of payment if you accept them, such as:

  • card payments, including contactless
  • payments made using a smartphone
  • cheques (if you accept them)
  • vouchers - for example Luncheon Vouchers

To prepare your cash flow, you need to estimate how much income you will receive over the next 12 months, including VAT. To do this you will need to work out how much ice cream and other products you are likely to sell, at what price and when you will receive the money.

There are a number of things to consider when you make your estimates.

Type of business

The nature of your business is likely to affect the level of sales that you make. Things to consider are:

  • the size of your ice cream parlour. The more room you have, the greater the number of potential customers you will be able to accommodate. Will you have an outdoor seating area. Will you make take-away sales from a separate 'window' or kiosk
  • the location of your parlour. A parlour in a popular tourist location is likely to attract a large amount of customers in the holiday season but may be very quiet for the rest of the year. Locating in a town centre may attract customers throughout the year
  • the appearance of your parlour. An upmarket image may mean that you will be able to charge higher prices for your ice cream products

Your products

The type of ice cream products that you sell may also have an effect on overall sales. Perhaps you will be making the ice cream yourself to a closely-guarded family recipe - or you might be buying it in.

When it comes to ice creams, you may decide to offer:

  • only plated ice creams and sundaes
  • only take-away cones, lollies, choc ices and take-home packs

- or a combination of the two.

Think about whether your customers will be mainly adults, to whom you can offer sophisticated (and expensive) products, or whether you will target the family market and offer a range of children's ice creams. Consider whether you will offer Fairtrade products such as chocolate and nuts as ice cream toppings - and perhaps Fairtrade teas and coffees. If you're going to be making your own ice cream, maybe you'll be using Fairtrade ingredients.

Perhaps you intend to offer a full cafe or restaurant menu alongside your ice cream ranges.


Give some thought to your prices:

  • what will your pricing policy be - you must be able to cover your costs, overheads and drawings
  • will you price in line with local competitors
  • how often will you review your prices

To help with your decisions, click on the checkpoints for guidance. Once you have worked out a Cash sales figure add it to the relevant field in your cash flow forecast.