For many small and medium sized businesses, the premises from which they operate are paramount. The size and nature of the property needs to be suitable for the business activities being undertaken, and its location may prove critical to successful marketing of the goods and services being offered.
To help you find appropriate commercial property for your business, therefore, you might want to consider the following points:
- the principal consideration is finding property that is suitable for the particular business you are in;
- some buildings may be naturally more suitable as office space than as retail outlets, whether as a shop, a restaurant or bar, for example;
- any change of use of the building may require planning consent and the cost and time involved in securing any such permission may be prohibitive for a startup business;
- to a certain extent, of course, the nature of your business activity influences the size and floor space you need to occupy;
- if your business is just starting up, however, it may be necessary to resist the temptation to take on too large an area;
- the reason for avoiding too large a property, of course, is that it is likely to cost more than you really need to be paying;
- unless you are in the fortunate position of being able to purchase the premises, the rental price may also be determined by the number of services or degree of support included;
- the independent Business Innovation Centre in Hastings, in East Sussex, for instance, recommends that you consider whether business rates, cleaning services and utilities are included in the rental price and whether any degree of business support is offered;
- even so, there are still likely to be a host of additional operating expenses directly related to the premises you choose, such as equipping and fitting out the business accommodation and also arranging your commercial property insurance – through a specialist provider such as us here at UKinsuranceNET;
- your choice of location again depends on the nature of your business and is likely to involve a combination of image and convenience;
- as far as the image is concerned, what might the neighbourhood say about your business in terms of other businesses nearby or the character of any residential area;
- questions of convenience may require that any retail outlet is close to the town centre or at least on a well-used route into it, whilst ease of access and facilities for loading and unloading may be prime concerns if you are dealing in high volumes of traded goods;
Where to look
- as with everything else, searching online is likely to provide one of the widest selection of potential properties;
- you might want to conduct any such search yourself or choose an a commercial property specialist if you are looking specifically for office accommodation;
- local estate agents specialising in commercial property also maintain lists of premises to buy or to rent and you might find helpful their particular knowledge of the prevailing rent levels in the area;
- trade associations, local councils and enterprise offices may also keep lists of commercial property for sale or rent and may even be in a position to offer discounted rates for startup businesses.
Finding a suitable commercial property for your business is likely to prove one of the most important first steps, which may directly influence the success of your enterprise in its early years.
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