Any successful business owner will tell you that compromise is everything. We all know this from any relationship or friendship we have had over the years, but it is so important when first starting out as a business owner, especially when it comes to choosing the right premises for your new company.
But how flexible are you willing to be? And how likely are you going to have to compromise for your first business premises?
Buy or Rent – Think of Your Budget
The first consideration that should be made is how far your budget will go. Buying a property is the ideal long-term goal, but especially for a first time company this might not be practical. Commercial mortgages are difficult to obtain without a sizeable deposit and/or a proven track record of business over a number of years. Start-up businesses may have to rely on leasing commercial spaces unless they have significant financial backing.
Monthly premises costs that you may not have considered will also come into play if you lease a space to conduct your business. This includes not only the monthly rental figure, but also utility bills and potential service charges linked to commercial properties. These can vary drastically depending on the size of the premises and their location.
Changing the Face of the Business
Another thing to consider when weighing up the pros and cons of buying and leasing is what you want to do with the space. Most lease agreements forbid any alterations within the premises, so if you see a blank canvas that you want to change to fit your company purposes this might not be possible until you can afford to purchase your own commercial property.
Some landlords are flexible however, so draw up a list of not only what you definitely need from a commercial property, but also the middle list, the points you would like to have but are flexible on at this time. This will help immeasurably when it comes to finding your location, if you know the preferred size, location and your budget.
Where to Begin Your Search
Looking for your first business premises is going to be difficult so look for all the help you can get. Through your networking ask around and speak to other businesses in your preferred location or within your industry.
From there keep an eye on the local trade press and commercial property websites. Just like when looking for a residential property, if you speak to commercial property agents and provide them with your requirements you can quickly become part of their mailing lists and notified when a suitable property becomes available to lease or buy. Keep involved.
Flexibility should always be at the forefront of your mind, from the list of requirements before the search begins, to whether you want to rent or buy, and even down to the terms of a contract when you have found that place to call home. Always take professional, legal advice when discussing contract terms on a commercial property as for a new business owner looking for their first premises you might not be in the best place to figure out when a contract is weighted unfairly in the direction of a landlord, or know too much about get out clauses and the like.
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