In the last post we discussed buying a property for your business and why this is important for investing purposes as well. This post was aimed at the more seasoned business owner and for more information on this post click here. Today we will speak to the newbie entrepreneur looking for a space to rent.
Renting a space can be a time consuming proposition but is necessary for the business owner that has meetings and has a hard time being productive at home. Also if you have employees you might want them to have a central place to meet and get their work done. In a future post we will look at business incubator spaces for very new startups, but below we will discuss 5 elements you should look for in a space you are looking to rent.
1. Understand your market – You want to make sure you understand the real estate market so you know the typical pricing you can expect to pay. You want to also know the good areas from the bad so you know where is a good place to have a business, because bad areas can deter clients from meeting with you.
With the market you want to also know as much as you can about the location you are looking at since your neighbors or adjoining suite mates can help or hurt your business depending on the type of business you are next to.
2. Discuss leasing options - Leasing or renting a space always involves terms of service and you want to understand what they are. Ask about the length of the contract and what happens if you need to get out early. Do you have any advantages for paying for a year in advance or do you get discounts for certain things you bring to the table. You never know unless you ask so have this discussion with your landlord.
3. Negotiate price - Most things are usually negotiable and price can be one of them. Even though there is a price the landlord might quote you see if there is any wiggle room to bring the price down if you stay longer then the written lease. How about if you have your own items or furniture will that lower the rent fee. Try to see what can be done to lower the price so you can have more money to spend on your business.
4. Evaluate your space needs - Only you know much space you need and you should evaluate your needs to determine if the space you are planning to rent is big enough for your needs. Also you need to think about expansion if you are growing, will this space allow for that or does the landlord have bigger spaces if you need to upgrade. These are all things you need to consider in terms of your space needs.
5. Think about amenities - What is the space near by? Do you have restaurants near you, health care facilities, a gym, a bank. What about within the building, do you have conference room space, storage space, etc? You need to think about the amenities that are around you and if they are worth the price.
After reviewing these elements determine if the space you are looking at is worth the price and ask as many questions as you can think of to get a clear picture of what you are about to get into. Most lease/rent options require 6 months to a year long lease, so you have to be comfortable with your decision before it is made.