Despite the rise of the internet, e-business, and e-commerce, most companies still need premises from which to work or base themselves. Manufacturing, retail, and even service companies all normally find having a common workplace advantageous to their operations.
Finding the right commercial property for your company could have a dramatic effect on the efficiency or profitability of your venture, so there are some important questions you should ask yourself before committing to buying or renting commercial premises.
Work out what you need from your property
Probably the most important decision to make in choosing a commercial property is deciding what you need from the building. For example, if you’re opening a retail shop, being in the center of town with a large footfall will likely be a prime consideration. Conversely, for office space, location is likely to be less important than nearby parking space or the facilities in the building itself (for example, fast internet connections or shared meeting rooms).
Very often, the business type dictates the building that is right for the company. For example, farm buildings are the best investment for an agricultural company, whereas a manufacturing company will likely want capacious space suitable for production and storage facilities.
Decide whether to buy or rent
Another key decision you’ll need to make is whether to invest in buying a property or just renting. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages:
Buying: Buying a property will give you the flexibility to make changes to its interior and exterior to fit better with any growth or further requirements you may have at a later date. Furthermore, if the property increases in value, you could potentially benefit from the accrued increase if you choose to sell. Owning a property also means you could possibly rent it out further down the line. However, buying also means tying up capital – money that you may later need for other aspects of the business.
Renting: Renting a property incurs a much smaller outlay in the short term – though the costs can mount considerably if you stay in the same place for a long time. Also, should you find the building becomes unsuitable for any reason (perhaps business growth or additional requirements) it will be more complicated to make changes. On the flip side, however, it is usually much quicker and easier to relocate from a rented property to on that is more suitable.
Choose a suitable location
The old saying, “location, location, location,” is as important for a business property as it is for domestic housing. Choosing the right location is essential for any number of reasons—mostly determined by your staff, competitors, suppliers, and potential clients. Think about the advantages being based in a particular place might bring to your company. For example, in most cities these days, there is a tendency for car dealers to all locate together to benefit from the passing trade generated by competitor companies. If you choose to open a showroom on the other side of town, you’re unlikely to see any of this free-to-access business.
Be aware of the legal considerations
As an employer, you have a duty of care to your employees—to make their work environment as safe as possible—so choosing the right building with the right facilities is essential. You will need to take the accessibility and the insurance of the building into consideration, as well as other associated health, safety, and fire regulations. Always consult with a lawyer before entering into a contract to buy or rent a commercial property to make sure it fits with the legal requirements of your business.