Professional legal advice will tell you that there are many different criteria to finding the best lease, but before you can even start to look at what is in the lease you have to find a property that suits. Here are some tips to help find the property best suited to your kind of business.
- Know your target market. Only by knowing the market and where they are likely to be can you be sure of putting your business in the same place. While location is not that important for some, it can spell success or disaster for others. So if you have a coffee shop or a butcher’s shop you need to be right where the foot traffic is, but also where there is plenty of parking. If you sell bulk supplies of timber or hardware your business will be in the industrial area. But you’ll need room for larger vehicles to drive in and access their goods rather than multiple parking spaces for cars.
- The place you intend to lease must be a building that is suited to your product so you don’t have to make too many additions. You need to have plenty of room to store stock as well as room to display and sell it. An administration or reception area may also be needed.
- The property needs to be in good repair before you sign the lease, otherwise it will cost more money to fix, especially if the lease makes you responsibly for the cost.
- There needs to be the right kind of amenities for staff and customers. This can vary depending on your business type. It might be just a comfortable chair for people to sit on while they wait for your attention.
- It’s important for the property to be safe to avoid injury and possible litigation. For instance, many shops now have ramps for wheelchair access without optional steps, so customers who are not wheelchair bound also use the ramps. A mat at the top of the ramp can be very slippery unless it is fixed in place. Use the property as a potential customer would, to find out these disaster areas.
Once you’ve found the perfect place to set up your business it is essential to look at the lease. In fact, have commercial lawyers examine it and if they suggest adding a clause agree, because they have your best interests at heart. Most leases are drawn up in the landlord’s favour. While this is fine, you also need to protect your own liability and cut costs wherever possible.
It is also essential to have an exit strategy that won’t cost extra, just in case you need to move, sell or close down before the lease renewal date.