A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Business Premises

A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Business Premises

Finding the perfect business premises can be a complicated task. We talk you through the key aspects to consider and pitfalls to avoid.

By Mike Patterson

Choosing the right commercial premises is a balancing act - it needs to meet your standards, satisfy the needs of the board, and allow room for expansion in the future. And then there are the set up and maintenance costs to consider, of course. 

In this article, we delve into how to find the commercial property that’s the best fit for you, along with exploring the most common pitfalls you could face and how to avoid them.

Location

The location you choose to set up shop in is going to have a huge impact on staff and finances. If you're considering a prime location, higher costs are a given. Think about what makes sense for your business. If a lot of staff members can commute quite easily to a less costly area, then does it make business-sense to pay hefty amounts for a city centre office?

It’s also important to consider the future of the location. Is it likely to become an office hotspot in the years to come? Can you expect the rent to skyrocket? Are there any building works underway which may impact traffic, such as a school or shopping centre? The more you know about the area and its future, the more informed a decision you can make.

If it’s a brand new area to you, consider the local skill base. Are there good employment rates? Will you be able to find the staff you require? If you’re a start-up it’s likely that you’re going to rely on graduates looking to get into their specified field. Does the area have strong university links? If so then you’re much more likely to find the graduate-level staff that you need.

Security

The security of your premises is often closely linked to the location. If there’s a higher chance of you being affected by crime, you can expect insurance premiums to increase. Not to mention the cost of putting security measures in place to help make your business premises safer.

The crime rate in the area you’re considering should play a vital role when it comes to the final decision. There are several online tools you can use to explore the amount of crimes reported in any given neighbourhood.

Rates & costs

Cash flow is king in business, so it’s vital you work out any costs before signing on the dotted line. Research utility bill costs, rent prices and local taxes. Make sure you'll be able to afford the premises and associated costs on a regular basis.

Another cost to consider is the office build-out. Are you moving into an empty space? If so you’re going to need desks, chairs, tables, phones and all the other office equipment your day-to-day work requires - which is often costly. Here are a few tips on how you can save money on your office equipment and supplies:

Competition

Consider how your competitors' proximity may affect you and whether working in the same location as main competitors will impact your day-to-day business.

If you’re a service-based business, then it’s likely that having your offices near competitors isn’t going to impact you too much. If you’re a business that relies on footfall, then it could severely impact custom.

Questions to ask

To help ensure that the property you’re looking at renting or buying is right for you, make sure that you ask the right questions. Not just of the landlord, but of yourself and your staff, too.

Should you lease or buy?

The answer to this question is most likely going to come down to the stage your business is in. If you’re a start-up, then the obvious route is going to be renting the premises. But if you’re an established business the decision can be a little tougher. Buying, just as with a house, ties you down. Here are the pros and cons of each to help you make a more informed decision.

Buying pros:

Buying cons:

Renting pros: 

Renting cons: 

So there you have it, our top tips to help ensure that you get the best commercial property for your business and make the most of it.

Not sure what to do once you’ve decided on a premises? Take a look at our detailed guide on how to breeze through an office move.

About the Author 

Mike Patterson is the managing director of We Buy Any House, one of the UK’s leading property purchasing and fast sale companies. We Buy Any House speeds up the process of selling your home and handling paperwork, enabling you to get on with running your business, and worrying less about your house sale.