Every business needs a home, but how do you find suitable premises for you? Well, there are a few questions you might want to ask yourself when you consider your options.
If you know what to look for in a potential property, then you’ll be en route to creating the perfect hub for your company. To learn how to decide the right home for your business – lean in, read on and find out.
All you’ll need to find business premises is to ask yourself:
- Where to search?
- Should you rent or buy?
- Is the location suitable for business?
- What’s the cost of the area?
Where to search?
You need to know where to look before finding business premises for your company. A good place to start is with property search apps. There are plenty of services you can use with a few taps of your smartphone.
One of the largest property search platforms is Rightmove, which lists both commercial and residential properties. You can filter your searches by cost, as well as location and other categories.
For commercial properties, you can select:
- Offices — (e.g. serviced, business park).
- Retail buildings — (e.g. convenience store, garage, barbers).
- Leisure and hospitality — (e.g. bar, cafe, hotel).
- Warehouses — (e.g. factory, showroom, storage).
- Land — (e.g. farm, development).
Rightmove offers the opportunity to buy or rent business properties.
The Realla platform is primarily a residential search tool like Rightmove, but it’s dedicated to commercial properties.
Aside from buy or rent options, it also includes the ability to check property auctions. So, although there may be less choice on Realla, you might get a better deal when you bid for a property.
Should you rent or buy?
Now you know where to search, you’ll have to think about whether you choose to rent or buy. Both have benefits and drawbacks.
- Easy startup — after a deposit, you’ll have to keep up a monthly payment.
- Flexible — you’ll be able to move onto a new location if you need it when the contract ends.
- Maintenance — a landlord will be responsible for repairs and maintaining the property.
- Restrictions — you may not have permission to change the building or space, so you’ll likely have to stick to the original layout.
- Increases — in a busy area, rent can go up unexpectedly.
- Fixed payments — mortgage payments are more likely to stay fixed for longer than rent increases.
- Less restrictions — you’ll own the property so that you can do more with the space (but not anything).
- Rent — if you don’t need the building, you can earn money from renting it out.
- Expensive — you’ll likely need to pay a deposit and take out a mortgage.
- Planning permission — if you want to do anything with your space (e.g. add an extra section to a building), you’ll need to seek permission from the council first.
- Maintenance — you’ll be responsible for any costs associated with repairing the property.
Is the location suitable for your business?
Another essential question to ask when you’re finding business premises is whether it’ll be in the right areas to meet your needs.
If your business relies on customers to come in, you’ll have to be somewhere they are likely to go. For example, if you are a clothing store, you might want a location on the high street so that you benefit from lots of foot traffic.
Aside from somewhere that your customers can discover you, think about accessibility.
If you are a business that sells homeware, for example, you’ll need to have a car park so customers can park outside and easily transport their goods home.
Another factor to consider is your competition. Do you want to open up next to someone else who offers something similar?
In some industries like food and fashion, it may be helpful to open right next to a competitor. You can benefit from impulse purchases of people going elsewhere.
But, for convenience stores, it might be better to be further away from the competition. If you open a near a supermarket, customers may use them for their entire weekly shop, as both stores are likely to stock similar products.
Regardless of whether customers have to visit the premises to transact with your business, you’ll still have to think about supply. The further away you are from suppliers, the greater your transportation costs.
You’ll also want to be accessible to any transport that brings in your supply. So you may have to find a property that has room for lorries to offload, for example.
How much does the area cost?
The area you choose will play a significant role in finding business premises for your company. Some places are more expensive than others, and there are a few reasons for this:
- Demand — low availability and lots of popularity mean prices increase.
- Safe — if areas have low crime levels, they become more desirable.
- Transport links — if you have easy access to motorways, train and bus stations, the prices of properties will be higher.
Busy high streets in cities will be more expensive to open your shop than in town centres with abandoned buildings, for example.
BONUS: manage the costs of finding a premises
Searching for new premises isn’t easy, but by following the point mentioned, you can check which property is right for you. Once you move in, you’ll want to keep on top of any running costs you have.
Countingup is the current business account with built-in accounting tools to help you manage your expenses.
With the app, you’ll be able to manage costs whether you rent or buy a property. You can keep on top of rent or mortgage payments with its expense categorisation feature.