Your business premises can make or break your business. Finding the right premises can seem like an uphill struggle, especially if you are unsure what you are looking for.
We make many judgements and decisions every day. Some decisions are rationalised choices. Others are made from the heart, a result of our emotions deciding what feels right.
When it comes to business premises, leased or bought, allowing yourself to make an emotional decision and not a rationalised one can be disastrous.
There is the question of deciding whether to lease or invest in a business property but irrespective of this decision, you need to make sure you get the right building, at the right price.
#1 Money, Money, Money
It’s top of the list because it is the drive force and the barrier to renting or buying a business property. It is the one thing that will weigh heavy as it is the biggest financial outlay you will have every month.
Your start-up will need to turn over the orders to rake in the cash to pay the rent or the mortgage. You want suitable premises, at a great price because if the costs are too big, it will suck your business under.
There are other costs associated with moving to new premises too. Frankly, if the figures don’t stack up, you need to re-assess.
#2 Location, Location, Location
Now you have your budget nailed, you need to research property in your price bracket, taking note of where it is located.
Rental prices and business property prices reflect, as do prices for domestic properties, where they are.
A retail unit in a shopping mall with a footfall of several hundred people a day will cost considerably more than a unit down an alleyway off side street.
If your business needs footfall – people walking past and dropping in ‘on spec’ – clearly you need a property as close to the main shopping route as possible.
If, your business doesn’t need this footfall, there are many options and locations open to you. Serviced offices on business premises can tick all your maintenance and service needs, but are the not the cheapest.
Business premises that are super-cheap may be in places that are out of town, far off the beaten track, perfect for when your business is online only or not open to the public.
Remember, when renting a business premises, there is always a deal to be done
just like buying a domestic property, when it comes to investing in a business property, negotiate and haggle on the asking price.
#3 The Right Impression
Your business premises must suit your business. It needs to frame the context within which you operate.
For example, if you are a store that sells vintage clothing and accessories, there is a certain look and ambience you want to create to meet customer expectations. So why would you base your vintage clothing business on the first floor of a super-modern business block?
Is it because the rent is cheap? Or were there lots of enticing extras on offer to snag your signature? Is this really creating the right impression of your business? Is this outlet, the style, the look and appeal framing the context of your business?
There is a saying ‘a fish out of water’, and it is a means of highlighting when something is in the wrong place, giving off the wrong signals. We all know a fish need water to breathe and live, and your business needs to create the right impression and meet expectations for it to do the same.
With respect to looks, impressions and expectations, once you have the right property, you must spend time, energy and effort to create an interior that also frames your business.
Using the example of a vintage clothing store, customers will expect shabby chic. For those seeking modern, non-invasive beauty treatments, they will be expecting a clean, clinic-like appeal to the business.
#4 The Legal Stuff
Once you grab your ideal business property, there are various legal obligations and rules that you will need to follow.
If you are changing the use of the building, you may need to seek planning permission or some kind of permit. There are also a myriad of health and safety issues to consider, as well as fire safety, disabled access, facilities that you must provide and so on.
As you choose your property, you need to make decision with your head – can this building be adapted? Is it suitable? What needs to change and what are the costs? – because what you don’t want is to fall in love with a building, sign the dotted line only to find that to make it into what your business needs will cost a small fortune – a fortune your start-up doesn’t have.
Written by MTX Contracts, a UK-based firm who provide cutting-edge, innovative modular buildings solutions. Take a look at the beautiful, bespoke solutions created all kinds of businesses @mtxcontracts.