Choosing the right location for your business is important, being too hasty means risking opening somewhere with no customers or in a space that doesn’t fit.
Here are some tips for finding the best commercial real estate for your business.
Know your business
Deeply thinking about your business and what you want to accomplish can make a big difference when choosing a new location. What does it need to succeed? Does it need separate rooms, a storage area, or just a big display space? Finding somewhere fully constructed to your specifications will save you the time and money of doing it yourself. Don’t forget utilities; do you need a kitchen, what is your daily power need, and the number of bathrooms.
The atmosphere of your business can impact the type of property you want. If you want something bright and airy, look for a location with big windows and an open floor plan. But if you are looking for something more professional, you might want something with a waiting area and private offices.
It’s important to also think long term, and ask yourself if space will work down the road. If you plan on expanding quickly, a small space will not work for long. If you don’t plan on expanding, a warehouse-sized property is too much.
Know your customer base
No business would succeed without its customers, and finding your customer base is crucial to choosing a location. Who are you trying to target with your services; older people, teens, families? Figure that out then find where those groups are concentrated and find a property near those locations.
Also think about what the area around your location provides for customers. Is there parking nearby or will people have to park and walk in? Are you in an area with other businesses so people can walk and shop?
Related: 4 Things to Know About Franchising
Know your competition
Healthy competition can be good, it keeps prices down and business owners learn to innovate. However, attempting to open in an area with many similar types of businesses will be an uphill battle. For example, if you are starting your own coffee stand you don’t want to set up in a town that already has 20 other stands. Customers will already be regulars to one stand or another and not feel the need to try a new place. Find a location where you can be unique or one where competition is minimal.
Know your contract
Before signing on the dotted line, make sure you do your research. If you are renting out a space take time to read the contract. The average lease for commercial property is 3-5 years, which can be a big commitment for new business owners. Instead of renting from a company, try a private owner who might be more flexible. Doublecheck to find any hidden costs that might not be apparent at first, such as monthly maintenance and insurance. Of course, having your own legal help is never a bad option. You should also make sure to have a realistic budget for your rent; an amount sounds fine at first but if you can’t drum up business right away your rent will become a big challenge.
Starting your own business is a big and exciting step, but if you aren’t careful the dream can turn sour.
4 Tips to Finding the Perfect Location for a Business
Here is more information on the different types of commercial real estate to get a better idea of what you want.