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How to Lease an Ice Cream Shop

Starting an ice cream shop is not that easy, and if you really want to attain success in this line of business, you have to ensure that you pick a viable location and get only as much space as you need.

Industry reports reiterate that a good number of ice cream shops tend to fail because they leased a space in a not-so-viable location or a space that is too massive for their needs. The outcome can be poor sales and high rent.

When starting this business, note that there are certain expenses you can control – supplies and staffing being the primary ones.

It is also possible to put strategies in place to boost sales and increase prices. Howbeit, one thing you really can’t achieve is controlling your rent.

If you make a mistake as regards your rent, you will witness a few straight months of low sales, while you cough out a lot of money to cover your rent.

If you find the right place, it is important you do not overpay. You should pay the competitive local rate per square foot. To find out the appropriate fee to pay, take your time to look at your estimated sales.

It is recommended you do this while putting together your business plan. Also, ensure that your rent does not exceed 15 percent of your revenue.

Steps to Lease an Ice Cream Shop

  1. Understand the sort of ice cream business you want

By having a good idea of your ice cream shop concept and writing it down in a business plan, you will be better positioned to understand the exact location that would be ideal for you.

You have to understand that the concept you intend to implement will have a deep influence on the startup budget, menu, and target market.

Understanding your concept will also help you understand the essential variables of your business. These variables include your target market, your marketing plan, and your budget.

  1. Search for your location 

There are a wide variety of factors that determine if a site is viable or not, as such you should anticipate that your search will take some time.

You have to ensure that the geographic location is right, as is the actual space. Aside from that, you also want to obtain it at the price that works for you.

  1. Stalk the location

Although this might seem excessive, but it is recommended you visit the spot every day. Your primary intention will be to evaluate the location’s footfall.

How many people are going past your intended location? What are its busiest times and days of the week? What are its quietest times of the day and week?

  1. Speak to other business owners in the area

Take your time to devise a specific set of questions to ask other businesses. Some of the questions to consider asking include:

  • How long they have been at that location?
  • How is business at the spot?
  • Who was the last tenant before them?
  • How did they find the location?
  • What is their rent like?
  • How busy is the location?
  • What is the busiest and slowest day of the week?
  • How many customers do they get in a day?
  • What are their average daily sales like?

Although you might feel you are overstepping certain boundaries with these questions; however, you will be surprised at how willing some people are to share information if you are friendly and begin a conversation.

Ensure you are truthful and explain that you are considering starting an ice cream store in the location and are looking to get their insight on the area.

  1. Speak to the landlord and sign your lease

Signing your lease is what comes after you’ve carried out the steps above. Ensure to take your time to understand the lease before you sign.

Ideally, a good number of property owners or managers would want your business to succeed. A good landlord won’t want companies rotating in and out of their property. As such, you can expect that your property owner will ask for your business plan.

Note that your lease can have numerous obligations, such as maintaining the property, paying property taxes, determining your signage, etc. You have to ensure that you are cool with all the details.


Selecting the ideal location for your ice cream shop can be quite tasking. However, you can ease the stress by working with a local commercial real estate broker. Ensure that your ice cream shop location is easy to access, park your car, and generally appeals to your customers.

Most often, entrepreneurs tend to get it wrong when selecting the right location for business because of a lack of adequate research, so ensure that you are prepared before you sign any lease agreement.