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Location, location, location: finding the right premises for your business

One key aspect which could make or break your business is where it is located. Here are some key questions to consider when deciding on where to locate your business.

How much can you afford to pay on rent?

It is important to consider the amount you are willing to spend on rent. After you have considered all your other expenses and how much income you will receive you can work out how much money you have to spend on rent.

What type of business are you running?

Does your business rely on passing traffic? If you depend on people passing to purchase your services or goods then you will need to look at a shop in a retail centre. Are you a consultancy or design agency or do you sell a product? If you sell and produce a product you may have to look into a space which can accommodate these aspects.

Where is it located and who lives in the area?

The next consideration is where is the premises located. Are your neighbours competition or will they attract customers who will be interested in the services you deliver? Does your target market live or work in the area where you wish to establish your business?

What are the regulations surrounding where it is located?

Will you be able to run your business in the area legally?  Is it zoned for business or manufacturing? What special licenses will you need to run your business in the area?

What is the timeframe of the lease?

It is important to consider how you see your business growing. If you expect it to grow fast, then you may consider a short lease so that you can move premises as your business grows. You may consider buying your business’ premises and then you can consider renting out the additional space to other complementary small businesses until your business grows to fill the areas.

Should you get professional advice?

It is always important to get a lawyer or other commercial property specialist to advise you about the lease or sale agreement you intend signing. By consulting with these professionals they will be able to highlight the pros and cons of the agreement.

When you have completed these questions it is important to consider the type of premise you would like to have. Here are three options:

Home-based office

The benefits of a home-based office are that you will not have to commute to work, your overheads will be limited and you can be flexible about the hours you work. The disadvantages of working from home is that you will need to be disciplined and ensure that your work and family life do not overlap too much. Furthermore, you may not be able to put up signage and have clients coming to see you regularly unless the area in which your house is based is zoned for business.

Coffee shop/ virtual office

A virtual office is beneficial in that you have the convenience and freedom to work from any location depending on your diary commitments. In addition, you cut back on overhead costs because you do not have to pay to furnish an office. The drawback is that you may not always have access to power or a stable internet connection. Though working in a coffee shop sounds exciting it does not do much for your brand. People may not take your business seriously if you meet them in coffee shops. Finally, the rental of boardrooms may start to add up if you need to have group meetings often.

A serviced office/ co-working space

In a co-working space, you have the benefit of being able to network with a variety of companies and this could help to build your customer base. You will be able to share infrastructure like meeting rooms and desk space. The overheads will also be lower. If you are a product-based company this option may not suit you as you will not have access to storage facilities. You also need to make sure you can afford the monthly fees for using the office or space.

By considering the points above you will be well on your way to finding the ideal location to set up shop.

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