Choosing the right premises for your business is an important decision to get right. Whether you are launching a start-up, you’re relocating to a new site or area, or you’re looking to expand your company, it’s essential to spend time researching and searching for premises that check all of the boxes. In this informative guide, we’ll highlight key factors to consider to help you make the right choice. 

Location

Location is critical for most businesses when it comes to moving or setting up a new base, branch, office or store. If you rely on footfall, your business is linked to transport, shipping or logistics, or you employ a lot of people, it’s crucial to ensure that you choose a site that is close to towns and cities and transport links. Location can also play an integral role in dictating price and it can make a dramatic difference to sales and revenues, as well as accessibility. 

If your business provides products or services directly to consumers, or you’re looking for premises that are suitable for serving customers or welcoming them to an office, for example, location is vital. You will need to make sure that people can find your store or venue, attract passing trade and take advantage of areas that boast high footfall. It’s also beneficial to focus your search on areas where you know your target client is likely to live, work or shop.

If you’re opening a hair salon, a clothing store or a coffee shop aimed at young people, for example, zone in on parts of the city where there are large populations of students and young professionals. If you’re selling luxury items targeted at high earners or offering financial or legal services, it’s a good idea to aim for financial and shopping districts that are popular among professionals. 

Location is also a critical factor when looking for employees. If you run a large business, and you’re looking to employ a lot of people, look for premises close to towns and cities that boast excellent transport links. You want to ensure that people who have the skills to work for you can get to the location easily. You’ll also need to prioritize transport links and infrastructure if you offer a delivery service or your company deals in transport and logistics. 

Another factor to think about is the demand for products and services. Before you decide on a location for your business, carry out extensive market research and find out more about what local people want and how they spend their money. If you sell outdoor clothing or surf gear, for example, you’ll find that the demand for your products is far higher near national parks and close to the coast than it is in the middle of the city. Tailor your search to cater to the target market and capitalize on buying trends and consumer habits. 

Site suitability

Once you have decided on a location for your business premises, it’s wise to devote time and energy to assessing different sites and properties. This is particularly important if you plan to build new premises, rather than purchasing or renting an existing unit, warehouse, site, store or venue. 

Environmental conditions play an influential role in determining site suitability, especially when taking on a construction project. When you’re looking at potential plots for development, find out more about the average conditions throughout the year and look for information about hazards, such as forest fires, storms and flooding.

It is possible to reduce risks by investing in robust insurance and using materials and building design concepts and products like enforced guttering and a catch basin grate to weatherproof premises, but if there are red flags, it’s best to avoid sites that carry a high level of risk. Learn as much as possible before making a decision. If you’re renting, check the terms and conditions of the agreement to ensure that you are protected if the building is damaged. If you are buying a building or a unit, assess environmental risks before making an offer. 

Cost

The cost of buying, building or renting commercial premises can vary hugely. From a few hundred dollars per month to millions of dollars, there is a vast range of properties and locations available to suit companies and organizations of all scales and types. When you start looking for premises, it’s always advisable to set a budget.

If you plan to rent office space or a retail store, for example, figure out how much you can afford to pay, contact local agents and start comparing prices. Weigh up the options and work out which premises are best for your business. You will need to factor in location when comparing premises. Premium locations are likely to cost more, but you may need to be in the heart of a city or close to a tourist attraction to maximize profits. If location isn’t a dealbreaker, and you don’t need to be near the center of town, you could save a substantial amount of money by looking at locations in the suburbs. 

If you are buying commercial premises, you’ll need to consider the potential to make money on your investment, the location and the cost. Prices vary hugely according to where you’re searching and the type of property you’re looking to buy. If you’re not in a hurry to purchase premises, and the market is hot, with properties selling for over the market value, it may be best to wait until prices start to fall. If you buy when prices are high and the demand is peaking, it’s harder to make money when you sell.

Ideally, you should buy when prices are low and sell when prices are high. If location is a driving factor, but you can’t afford to buy in your first choice area, consider expanding your search area slightly. If you’re opening a store, a bar or a salon, for example, but prices are too high in established hotspots, look for up-and-coming areas and focus on neighborhoods or streets that will cater to your target market. 

If you plan to build commercial premises, keeping a firm grip on your finances is essential. It is more difficult to budget for this kind of project because you’ll need to include the cost of purchasing the plot, labor, materials and construction work, adding services and fitting out your new premises. 

Size

Business premises range from bijou units to giant sites, venues and stores and developments with multiple floors lined with hundreds of offices. If you’re hunting for suitable premises, think about how much space you need. How many employees do you have and how much space do they require? Do you need room for stock or storing products?

Is your entire workforce office-based, or do some people work remotely? Do you need outdoor space or parking? Once you know roughly how much space you need, you can narrow down your options. It’s important to get the size right. You don’t want your offices to be cramped or stores to be packed with products with no room to move around. Equally, you don’t want to rent an office or unit that is far too big. 

Facilities and amenities

When relocating to or launching a new site for your business, it’s beneficial to research facilities and amenities to make sure that the premises are suited to your company. If you’re looking for a modern office, which provides a practical, welcoming base for your employees, for example, you may prefer to opt for a block that offers access to a canteen, a gym, on-site parking and areas where teams can get together or socialize between work commitments.

It’s also wise to learn more about the local area. Do you need to be close to local shops, trains and buses or schools, for example? In some cases, there may be scope to add amenities, such as a crèche, a food store, a café or a hot-desking area, but this may not always be possible. 

Design and aesthetics

The final factor to consider is the look of the premises. If you’re trying to attract attention from passersby, or you need to make a good impression, it’s critical to ensure that the premises match your brand and create a positive image. If you don’t interact with customers on-site, aesthetics may not be as important.

Visit different locations and sites and compare your options. It’s worth noting that if design is a priority, choosing a building that looks smart and inviting could help you to raise brand awareness and attract more customers. This means that it may offer better value for money than a cheaper property that doesn’t have the wow factor. 

Are you growing your business, opening a new location, relocating or launching a start-up? If you’re looking for new commercial premises, it’s essential to make the right decision. Considering key factors, such as location, cost, size, design and site suitability, and taking time to research and compare properties and areas will help to increase the chances of making the right choice for your business.