Perhaps you started off at the kitchen table. Or maybe you were in a spare room. Crammed into a garden shed or a loft conversion, occasionally working out of a cafe with free WiFi when you could. Launching your own business often starts with unglamorous surroundings – and when the time comes to finally move into a proper business premises, it feels like a significant milestone. Where your business is based has the power to be transformative. Whether you’re seeking warehousing space to become the logistical hub of operations, or an office environment where you can expand your team and make new hires to grow your business, it’s an exciting time but also a potentially stressful one. Securing premises generally involves a cash outlay and being bound to various contracts, so it’s a decision which needs to be right. If you’ve never chosen a business premises before, what do you need to know to make sure that you get the choice right?
Think Through Your Requirements
Despite your business straining at the seams for growth, choosing a location is not something that you should rush into. Before you go signing up to every commercial lettings agency in town, take the time to draw up a comprehensive list of the unique requirements that your business has, so that you can make viewings with a logical mind. Think about the size of space you need – and how quickly you’re likely to grow. You don’t want to sign a contract only to find that you’ve already run out of space six months down the line, but equally you don’t want to be paying for space you don’t need. If growth is unpredictable, then place a short term leasing agreement higher up your list. Think about things like access and proximity to public transport hubs for your employees. Look into parking restrictions, nearness to your suppliers, building facilities, business rates and the security of the property – even things like the Access Entry System. Now is the time to both think of the big picture and zero in on the details to make sure you make the right choice.
To Buy Or To Rent?
One of the main considerations to bear in mind with your first business premises is whether it’s better to rent or take the plunge and seek capital funding to purchase. This decisions depends on a variety of factors. If you work in a smaller scale, high growth industry such as software development than it makes more sense to rent – this gives you more flexibility and requires less outlay of precious capital. In other situation, where business growth is more steady or you require a very specific space for specialist manufacturing equipment, you may well be better off making a purchase, as you can manage and modify the building to fit your needs. This also gives you the option of renting the premises out in the future if it no longer suits your requirements and creating an additional income stream.The decision has to be up to you – but make sure you enter the process with a clear mind, and you’ll make the right decision for your business.