Day 40: Toolkit

With final designs and materials to hand it’s time to tool up for the build. Toolkit will vary from project to project but here’s 10 things that accomplish most tasks:

1. Drill, Screws & Accessories

2. Masking Tape

3. Cable Ties

4. Hack Saw

5. Paint Scraper

6. Measuring Tape

7. Hammer

8. Utility Knife

9. Paint Brushes, Tray & Rollers

10. Cleaning Stuff

As useful as it is to have all the right gear it’s no match for real skill and experience. With a dynamite crack team you’ll take a fraction of the time and get infinitely better results. Call it in! 🔊🦸🏻‍♂️🦸🏼‍♀️

Day 39: Staff

A top priority for any type of business – how to find good people and keep them on board. Recruitment is hugely expensive for firms and the best ones don’t cut corners. Here’s three ideas that can help solve the problem:

1. List the most important personal qualities you want your staff to have and make them your red lines for hiring. Who you work with usually has a greater bearing on happiness at work than what you do. And if you’re planning a public-facing venture, who exactly do you want your customers to meet?

2. Give your staff a sense of purpose by helping them understand their value to the company and how it’s making the world a better place. Think about the difference if someone asks what you do, and you think: “I make people happy” vs. “I pull custard” – no small difference.

3. Notice when your staff do something well and let them know – the most effective form of feedback. Constructive criticism has it’s place (if it’s handled in the right way) but its impact on culture is not the same.

Day 38: Partnerships

One of the most fun and creative ways to develop your business is to seek out opportunities to work with other brands. Every maker in the industry has a unique contribution so joining forces can turn out all sorts of wild results.

An easy win for us would be collaborating on a special – Secret Nicky’s vs. [Insert Your Business Here]. Let’s say you’re a doughnut crew with the freshest rings in town – blend them up with custard and kaPOW💥 Something new.⁣

To start with we’ve reached out to a number of killer restaurants for whom frozen custard would be a fun addition in the summer. Something new for them / their customers and something fun for us. Watch out for Secret Nicky’s round London Town.🌝

Day 37: Music

Music, like interiors, affects people’s mood, which in turn affects consumer behaviour. The right tunes can help attract and entertain, play the wrong ones.. it’s a u-turn out the door.⁣

⁣We’re developing a playlist – “Secret Dittys” – that aims to maintain the right vibe in the shop. We started with some keywords (future classic, boutique, sunset strip etc.) that relate to what we do, and discussed how we want our customers to feel.⁣

⁣If anyone has any bright ideas feel free to slide into our DMs. Supply us with a stone cold Secret Ditty and you’re first tub will be on us.💃🏼

Day 36: Interior Design


One of our favourite things about the shop is that you’ll be able to come and hang out inside. That means we’re getting our interior hats on – 50’s Diner vs. Tokyo Café. 🚀✨⁣

⁣We want the shop to have a throwback feel but at the same time be bang up to date, like our product. 50’s hallmarks with pink neon accents and a chrome finish to transcend the two.⁣

⁣There should also be living things (plants) and fun stuff to see if you’re waiting, or just in for a ganders. For the entrance we’ve got something special up our sleeves, all to be revealed on the day.😎

Day 35: Packaging

Apple are well known for their attention to detail at every stage of interaction with their products. Their view is that packaging is an opportunity to add value, rather than something cheap that’s destined for the bin.⁣

⁣Our goal is that your order, once it’s landed on the counter, looks even better than it sounded – that’s always good. This sets a precedent for the all-important taste test, but that’s where you step it up AGAIN and shoot for gold.

⁣Further, it’s an advert and a chance to build your brand – in every photo of the product you’ll see the tub. Although you could confuse our toppings with other brands online, there’ll be no mistaking our yellow circle out of black.🌖👀

Day 34: Product Development

Any food business serving a specialist product will tell you they’ve spent years perfecting their recipes. The priority for us, before we think about toppings, is to make sure the custard is bang up to speed.

One balance that we’re looking to strike is newness vs. nostalgia. A champion product overdelivers to give people everything they expect and MORE. To achieve that we’ve added one secret ingredient that, like Coke, we will never reveal.

After flavour, texture, temperature, mouth feel, melt speed.. (the list goes on), one unassuming but important variable is colour. An unmistakable yellow will tie the whole experience together and distinguish us from ice cream online.🙋‍♂️

Day 33: Suspension

Opening a business, like most things worth doing, is by no means a straight road to success. It’s easy to deal with problems when time’s on your side but when it’s not they can throw you off course.

The mechanic’s solution to bumps in the road is suspension, not fixing the roads. It’s the investment in your most valuable asset – without you, the whole thing falls apart.

This in part comes down to the small decisions – how we eat, drink, sleep, move and relax. You’ll thank yourself later when the curveballs come flying and you’re knocking them out of the park.🏌🏻‍♂️✨

Day 32: Secret Playbook

One useful document to bring together as you go is a company handbook for operations, or “Secret Playbook”. It doesn’t have to be an encyclopaedic effort, just establish the basic rules and procedures.⁣⁣

⁣⁣In theory this should mean that a brand new member of staff could run the show without close support. A first-draft contents could look like this:⁣⁣

1. How we open the shop⁣⁣

2. How we look after customers⁣⁣

3. How we build the product⁣⁣

4. How we handle problems⁣⁣

5. How we close the shop⁣⁣

⁣⁣One immediate benefit of writing this stuff down is to get early clarity on how things need to work. Moving forward it’s a framework for staff inductions and a safety net for when they fly solo.👩🏻‍🚀🚀✨

Day 31: The Marketer’s Gambit

One mother of a role you take on with a new business is de facto Head of Marketing. Few are blessed with the gift to meet the never-ending demand for ideas but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay ahead.

A gambit in chess means sacrificing a pawn in the hope of gaining an advantage down the line. By investing the time to build up a bank of ideas you’ll have room to manoeuvre when you run out of steam.

For us this has been an ongoing project, noting all relevant and/or stupid ideas as we go. For example, did you know that “desserts” is just “stressed” spelled backwards? Not life changing, perhaps, but in a small way changing ours as a fallback when we can’t be arsed.🍑😇