According to the 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report, a whopping 69 percent of entrepreneurs start their businesses at home. And while many continue to operate from home three years out or more, others decide to make the move to a commercial space for more room and recognition. If you’re ready to make the leap to leasing a commercial space, the task can seem daunting at first. There are many things to consider before leasing a space and you don’t want to be locked in to something that doesn’t work out in the long run. For some important factors to consider before leasing, this article by California’s Small Business Development Center is a wealth of information. Even if you’ve had plenty of experience with residential leases, a commercial lease is much different and it’s important to understand how they differ to avoid any legal issues in the future. Nolo, a legal site, has a great article that explains the basics of a commercial lease in straightforward terms that’s easy for the layperson to understand.
If you decide to take a day off to search for the perfect commercial space, it’s important to utilize the time you have efficiently. You should have some idea of the type of space you want by knowing what kind of size, location, and lease price work for you. Loopnet.com here is a great resource to use in order to narrow down your choices. You can search the website by zip code or city and state and filter out the results by properties that are for sale and those that are for lease. If you have some idea of what you want and are curious what’s available, you can further filter your results by price range, total building size, lot size, number of rooms/units, year built and more. Loopnet can also help you find a sales or lease broker, as well as browse property records and sales comps. Cityfeet.com is a similar website where you can also search listings. This website also allows you to pick the type of space you are looking for, such as an office building, industrial, medical office, showroom, etc.
Just like it’s important to understand the differences between a commercial lease and a residential lease, it’s also equally as important to have a real estate agent that is well versed in dealing with commercial real estate. If you want to know what to look for in a great commercial real estate broker, this article also on Nolo is another valuable read.
Once you’ve decided on a few spaces to look at, it’s important that you know what to look for when you go see the properties in person. Knowing your price point is also critical, as you need to be aware of how flexible your budget is in case unexpected repairs or issues pop up. Depending on the type of business you own, it’s important to know if the space you are looking at has all the right features you need. For example, if your business relies heavily on internet use and computers (as most do nowadays) you don’t want to purchase a property only to find out there are issues with the wi-fi or electrical outlets. This article by Liberty Restores is a great read if you want a more in-depth explanation on five things to consider before leasing a commercial space.
If you’ve picked a space that needs some restoration or repairs, make sure you’ve accounted for the total cost in your budget. Picking a knowledgeable and reputable company to complete the repairs is important, as you don’t want to spend money on something done incorrectly that could potentially be damaging to the property or cause injury to staff and customers. The restoration industry has been changing as of late, and it’s imperative to stay abreast of the changes if you want to use your time and money wisely.
Although leasing a commercial space can seem like a momentous task, using the resources and tips listed above will make the task easier and you will soon be on your way to running a successful business in a place you can feel confident with.