What The Ice-Cream Man Taught Me About Business

It wasn’t just the dinky chimes or even the ice-cream that caught my attention. It was the hustle.

On a freezing February afternoon, the local ice-cream man slithered his van up and down the narrow neighbourhood streets, selling flavours as cold as the weather itself. I don’t know how many cones he sold that day, or if he sold any at all. What I can tell you is that the next weekend he was out again, and weekend after. And the next year, come winter, he was doing the same thing, starting from January instead.

Now summer, I understand. Everyone gets that. It’s hot outside and ice-cream is cold. But this? I thought it was counterintuitive. Of course, I really admired his persistence and consistency because they are qualities needed to succeed in business, or any field for that matter. Apply that #IceCreamManVanHustle and see where it will take you. However, I was still perplexed. Maybe he knew something I didn’t about his customers. Maybe people really were into ice-cream during winter, so today I decided to look into it, and I was pleasantly surprised.

According to an article published today (of all days!) Scots eat almost as much ice-cream in the winter as they do during summer months. Now the article only mentions Scotland, and it does not specify whether this ice-cream is consumed at home, or dining at restaurants. However, it’s news that goes beyond general assumptions about ice-cream consumption, and being that ice-cream is his forte, it’s not a stretch to say he knows his locale and his customers.

So there are a few takeaways I have:

  • Be persistent.
  • Know your customers’ habits
  • Your expertise may look strange to some, but that’s why its your expertise.

And come summer, I will be buying my scoops.