Commercial Premises: Things to Consider

Whether you’re launching a business for the first time, or relocating your existing company’s premises, choosing the right building is the key to your future success. Your decision will impact employees, customers and the future progress of your business, so weigh up the options carefully before committing.

The key considerations include whether to buy or rent, the location, transport links for staff and customers, local amenities, potential for growth and running costs.

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Buy vs rent

Many newer businesses opt for renting on a short-term basis, often one year. This makes it easier to restructure your business and lease in the future, depending on your progress. There is less initial expenditure involved with renting, compared with buying. This gives you the flexibility to relocate, should you need to do so.

Buying a property has its advantages, however, as you can manage and renovate it according to your needs. You can also make a profit by selling the building in the future, or by letting it out to tenants if you move out to provide an additional source of revenue.


Importance of location

Location should be a major deciding factor when choosing your property. If your business is a retail store, restaurant or cafe, for example, it should be in an area that’s easily accessible for customers.

The same criteria must be applied when it comes to employees. If your premises don’t have good public transport links, it could be more difficult to recruit staff, especially in small towns or rural areas, if potential employees don’t have their own car.

Similarly, if your new business requires regular visits by heavy goods vehicles, it would be useful to be near a motorway or A-road. Clear access routes will also ensure clients don’t get lost on the way to meetings.


Local amenities

Being close to local amenities can help you attract new talent to your business. Buying or renting premises near restaurants, cafés and bars is useful for organising lunch meetings or gatherings after work.

Nearby supermarkets enable staff to pop out at lunchtime or after work for food and household shopping. A workplace with comparatively little infrastructure in the vicinity may not be as attractive to potential employees.


Potential for growth

Determine how much room there is for growth at your new premises and how many new employees you can fit in before having to move somewhere bigger. Do this by estimating where you think you’ll be in five years based on your business plan and sales figures.

This is an important step before making a decision on new premises, as it could be counter-productive to spend money refurbishing your workspace, only to have to move again sooner than anticipated.


Checking regulatory requirements

You may think you’ve found the ideal commercial property, but deeper investigation may reveal issues that will take time to resolve. For example, make sure you understand building regulations and that the premises fulfil all the legal requirements.

These can include planning permission, health and safety requirements, fire regulations, insurance, accessibility and licences. Seek a solicitor’s advice, whether you’re renting or buying.


Disabled access

Disabled access is important when it comes to running a business, for both your employees and customers. Giving customers easy access to your products and services is the key to achieving business objectives.

There are 14.1 million disabled people in the UK and the combined spending power of disabled customers, and their families, is £274 billion per annum. Known as the “purple pound”, this is a market every business must tap into.

Economists say high street businesses without disabled access are missing out on £267 million per month, with restaurants, pubs and clubs losing £163 million.

It’s not only disabled customers who need easy access to commercial premises. Elderly people often struggle to open heavy manual doors, while parents with young children, pushchairs and arms full of shopping may not have a free hand to open a door.


Automatic doors

Many commercial premises choose automatic doors. As well as making sure every customer can access your premises, they will also help with energy savings.

Research has shown automatic sliding doors release less heat than a traditional door as people pass through. The energy saved by having automatic doors is greater than the energy needed to operate them.

Thinking back to the recent storms, and the draught felt through ill-fitting fixtures, not to mention the opening and shutting of manual doors in the hefty winds; automatic doors reliably keep the heat in and the cold wind out. As experts are predicting that gale force winds are likely to become a more regular occurrence, this is surely food for thought!

If your building doesn’t already have automatic doors, then Automatic Access can help. Please contact us for further information on our door technology systems.