Location is everything when it comes to buying business property. Does the area get the right footfalls, is it handy for getting your products to market, are the rates reasonable, does the area attract any special grants?
The right business property for you might be a very impractical property for another business, so finding premises that suits your individual needs is crucial.
There are a number of different considerations to take into account to ensure you find the right business location and the right space. One of the first decisions you need to make is what type of premises makes the most sense for your circumstances. Do you need something that is tailored to your needs? If so, a new property might make sense.
Alternatively, your business may benefit from trading out of premises from which a similar business has already operated, whereby minimising the work you need to do prepare it.
Finding the right business property
Before you choose a property, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I looking for a shop, an office, a factory or a warehouse?
- how much space do I need?
- what do I need the space for?
- will the building be comfortable to work in?
- what impressions will the building give customers and suppliers?
- is the property within my budget?
- is it in the right location for my customers?
It is also advisable to talk to a chartered surveyor about whether the property really suits your needs, and meets legal requirements for fire, health and safety.
Finding the right business location
A good location for your business is vital. It might suit you to be right in the middle of the city, or you could be better off in an out-of-town retail park or industrial estate – there are pros and cons for each. An office in a rural setting might be relaxing, but could make access difficult for staff, or suppliers making deliveries. Being right in the middle of the city could be very convenient, but might also be expensive, particularly if you don’t rely on passing trade. It all depends on your line of work.
To decide what location is best, think about who will be using the building. For example, decide if you need to:
- attract passing trade
- make regular trips to the bank or a postal depot
- have public transport links nearby
- have space to expand
Look at the markets you want to move into and research the competition. Can the area support a business like yours or is there too much competition? If there aren’t any businesses like yours, is this the perfect opportunity to move in? Or is there a good reason for the lack of competitors? To test whether potential customers are really interested, talk to local businesses and tap into networks through existing customers and trade associations.
Where to look
Commercial property is often advertised in the property supplements of local papers. You can also try local estate agents and specialist magazines. Local authorities also keep a register of industrial property, and the internet is another useful source. It is also worth talking to other businesses in the area you are considering – some owners will know of properties that are not yet on the market