Choosing a home for your business requires careful consideration and in many cases location can be the make or break factor of a new start-up. The type of business you are running will obviously determine the type of site you need so start off by asking yourself a couple of key questions:
If passing trade is not a priority for your business, accessibility and visibility are less important and you should focus on finding a site with low rentals to keep your fixed monthly costs to a minimum. If you want to work from home bear in mind that you are not allowed to employ staff or receive clients to your place of business if it is not in an area zoned for business (see previous article on permits).
However, if your business is one that relies on passing trade, choose a site that is easily accessible, preferably on a main transport route, with ample parking. It’s a good idea for retail businesses to place themselves in a centre that naturally attracts people by virtue of key tenants such as cinemas, restaurants and supermarkets.
Before signing a lease, ask other tenants about their experiences with the landlord. Is the building well managed and, if it’s a retail centre, well marketed? Compare the rentals to other sites in the area. And before you sign anything, take the lease agreement to an attorney who will be able to explain any potential pitfalls.
Key Questions to Ask:
- Does your business rely on passing trade?
- Does it rely on high foot traffic?
- What kind of space does your business require?
- Will it make a difference to your business if you are located in a retail centre?