Finding the perfect business premises doesn’t need to cost you your business, thanks to some great tips by Kristy Smith, founder and director of Agility Property.
If you love planning, providing answers to questions you never contemplated existed, forecasting, estimating, serious numerical guestimating (not an actual word), love long hours, searching, searching, reading long – actually very long – documents and amazing yourself with your sheer tenacity to achieve your goal, then you must be a new business owner and be searching for the perfect premise for your new business.
So let’s save you some time, money, brand image, and uncertainty by sharing with you what we believe are the essentials in finding the perfect business premises, with terms to suit.
Before we do it’s important we mention that our advice is based from a general business perspective and before you commence searching for a property or negotiating a commercial lease please see your financial advisor and solicitor. You should ensure you are aware of your obligations under federal and state laws pertaining to business and real estate.
What function do you need the premises to perform for your business?
Try to be as specific as possible around how you would use the space for a period of up to five years. Do you need space to interact with customers at the premises? Do you need storage space? How much space and what will be stored e.g. any hazardous chemicals or food products? Do you need operational/production space i.e. a kitchen? Do you need space for office staff? Do you need car parking, a loading dock or be close to public transport?
Where should the premises be located based on operational needs?
If the production of your product or service requires a special permit or the movement of goods or people with regularity, we suggest you complete an Operational Geographic WorkFlow which will map the movement in terms of distance, frequency, time duration, and people involvement. This information will enable you to visually pinpoint where your location is best suited to minimise disruption or excessive movement of goods or people, which is a significant business cost. In addition to this we suggest you also assess where your brand and product should be or should not be located based on target market, competitors or risks. These two pieces of information will help you pinpoint where you should consider being located.
What is your budget?
Within your business budget you should have included some cost information on ‘How Much It Costs’ to produce the product or service. Drill down into this information and determine how much budget you have or could allocate to a premise without it impacting on your budget and price point. The last thing you want to do is source a fantastic premise in a highly desirable location, that is over budget and would require you to increase the price of your product/service by 50 percent. This increase could price your product or service beyond your target market and competitors.
Know the current property market?
Taking the time to understand that position of the economy will enable you to better understand your negotiation opportunities. If the market has weakened and the commercial market has premises sitting for a long time the strength of your negotiation power will be up. Use this to your advantage during negotiation, which starts as soon as you let the market know you are looking for a premise.
Who will be named and can sign the lease?
Liaise with your taxation and commercial solicitor, or tax accountant as to what name the premise documents should be in and who can sign the documents, and seek this information in writing so it can be easily sent to the premises owner and with correct spelling. Placing a purchase or lease in an incorrect name or signed by an unauthorized person can be an extremely costly mistake.