Finding the right business premises in the right location is a key step in starting or expanding a business.
Identify your needs
The following questions will help formulate your thoughts.
- Are premises necessary or could you work from home?
- Where are your customers based and is location critical?
- Will you need car parking for your customers and/or employees?
- Will you need easy access to public transport for employees and customers without their own vehicles?
- Will you need access for large delivery vehicles?
- How big do you need your premises to be?
- Will you need room for machinery?
- Will you need room for stock?
- Will you need room to expand?
Consider your priorities, what is essential and what is desirable.
Finding a property
The video below from GOV.UK contains a lot of essential information regarding finding the right property.
- Commercial Estate Agents - are a good place to start whether you're looking for a small business office or a multi-story commercial warehouse
- Research – search online for commercial properties in the area you wish to trade.
- Visit the properties – what looks good on paper may be unsuitable in practice.
- Make sure the property meets your essential criteria.
- Can you imagine your business running from the property?
- Does or could the property reflect the image of your business you wish to portray?
- Negotiate – commercial landlords do not like their properties vacant.
- Terms – if you are renting premises, be sure to get in writing who is responsible for what. This includes: business rates, insurance, utilities, maintenance etc.
Rent or Buy?
The video below from GOV.UK explains the pros and cons of renting and buying.
Growth Hub providers – help with finding premises.
The RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) – provide property guides aimed at small businesses with information about buying, leasing, maintaining or extending business premises.
Property Link - the UK's commercial property listings site.
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