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 https://wearegrowth.co.uk/search/?keyword=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 http://www.rics.org/uk/
Property Link - the UK's commercial property listings site http://propertylink.estatesgazette.com/