Is it time for a move? Maybe you’ve been running your small business out of your home along with a team of remote employees or you’re in a co-working space or you’ve just run out of room in your currently leased office, retail or manufacturing space. Whatever the reason and whatever your small business is, when it’s time to find a new location, you want to be sure to make the right move.
A lot of factors go into choosing the right location for your small business. While amount of space needed — for now and down the road three to five years — cost and convenience for your employees and customers should be at the top of your list, there are other criteria to take into consideration. The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides a list of some of the other factors that should go into your decision making. Among them the SBA recommends you also consider:
Brand image: If your address is part of your brand image, make sure your location is in sync with the image you want to convey.
Competition: Competition can be a double edged sword. Some retailers thrive in commercial hubs where there are competing businesses because of the exposure and amount of foot traffic. On the other hand, you’ll want to consider if being near to your biggest competitors will hurt your small business.
Proximity to suppliers: Access to your business should be easy for the suppliers you depend on.
Zoning: You’ll need to contact your local zoning agency to find out if you can conduct your type of small business in certain areas or properties.
Avoid leasing mistakes
Once you’ve done your homework and determined what you need, secure the help of a tenant broker, advises Dana Hamsun in “How to Avoid Common Commercial Leasing Mistakes.” She explains that tenant brokers have the expertise and experience to help you find the right property and negotiate a fair lease. They can save you time and money as well as provide the information you need on trends, demographics, and more to help you find the best location and property.
Be sure that your lease has a renewal option, which could be for the same terms and conditions or terms that assure “fair market rent.” Hamson also recommends that no matter what the size of the lease; explore landlord incentives, such as tenant improvement and moving allowances. Also look at options to expand, terminate, extend and sublease space so you have flexibility if your business grows or declines.
Securing the right place to locate your small business requires planning and due diligence. Get the right help and make sure you understand exactly what you are signing up for. Then get packing.