Choosing the Right Location for Your Small Business: Budget & Space
The single most important piece of advice made available to prospective business owners is a single word, repeated three times. The word is "location". Where you choose to set up shop is emphasized for good reason.
The subject warrants more than one blog post. This is the first in a two-part series. We will start with determining your budget and the space that you need.
You can purchase reports from sites like Cushman & Wakefield or Reis, which offer deeper insight into rental rates, vacancy information and lease terms. They also list comparable properties in the surrounding area. Once you have an idea of a few locations that fit your budget estimate and preferences, these resources will come in handy.
The cheapest choice is not always the best choice. You do not want to end up on the “wrong side of the tracks”. Foot traffic is essential to turning a profit. On the other hand, too many competitors in the same area are not a good idea either.
Think about the costs of employing a growing staff. This is why you should consult the Department of Labor site. You will find the federal and state minimum wages there.
Businesses bring economic development to certain areas. In return, these areas offer incentives, tax breaks and exemptions. Big cities like Chicago reward businesses that add jobs to the community with grants, loans, fee waivers, tax reduction and land-write downs. The list goes on. You could qualify for a reduction in real estate assessments, real estate tax incentives for new construction or substantial rehabilitation and even more.
Each employee in an office setting will require a specific amount of space. If clients will be frequent visitors, think about even more space.
Where will everyone park? How about couriers and delivery trucks? What sort of space will they occupy, along with their equipment as they unload or make their deliveries? There are rules regarding loading zones, number of spaces needed and the number of handicap spaces available. You can contact your local business center and the American Disabilities Association for regulations.
Once you realize your storage needs, you might already be considering multiple locations. It depends on what is better for your business financially.
Do you even need a physical location? In the 21st century, entire businesses can operate remotely. They may sell services rather than products. They may sell products, just not from a storefront. You may forego renting an office space altogether. Rent conference room space if you need to work face-to-face.
Structural or aesthetic changes may need to be made. These are renovation expenses. Coverage for them can be negotiated in the lease. No matter what, you will need power, water and gas. Do not plant roots without researching power companies, checking out window insulation and other utilities. Once everything is up and running, there is maintenance to consider, and your lease sets forth your responsibility in this area.
The final consideration is liability insurance. Work with an insurance broker to determine the proper coverage. Now, and only now, are you ready to choose a specific location.
The Law Office of H. Benjamin Sharlin LLC
is owned and operated by H. Benjamin Sharlin and serves all of Mercer County, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Mr. Sharlin is a bilingual Spanish-speaking attorney who vigorously represents the interests of all his clients.
Call (609) 585-0606 or click the button below to schedule an appointment