If you are preparing to open a food or retail business, your location may be the single most important decision that you make. Of course, you need a solid business and marketing plan, but if people can’t see your business, or can’t get to it, how will you get them through the door?
- Is the building located in an area zoned for your type of business?
- Is the building large enough for your business? Does it offer room for all the retail, office, storage or workroom space you need?
- Does it meet your layout requirements? Can you fit your key pieces of equipment, shelving or furniture into the space?
- Does the building need any repairs? Is it old? Will anything need upgrading now or in the near future?
- Do the existing utilities, lighting, heating and cooling-meet your needs or will you have to do any rewiring or plumbing work? Is ventilation adequate?
- Are the lease terms and rent favorable? Is it realistically affordable or are you stretching to afford it? Does the term fit with your business plan?
- Can you find a number of qualified employees in the area in which the building is located?
- Do people you want for customers live nearby? Is the population density of the area sufficient for your sales needs?
- Is the area heavily dependent on seasonal business?
- Is the building consistent with the image you'd like to maintain for your business?
- Is the building located in a safe neighborhood with a low crime rate?
- If it is in an ‘up and coming’ area – will crime insurance be excessively expensive?
- Is exterior lighting in the area adequate to attract evening shoppers and make them feel safe?
- Are neighboring businesses likely to attract customers who will also support your business?
- Are there any competitors located close to the building? If so, can you compete with them successfully?
- Is the building easily accessible to your potential customers? Is it wheelchair friendly?
- Is parking space available and adequate?
- Is the area served by public transportation?
- Can suppliers make deliveries conveniently at this location? Does it have a back entrance? Or will they have to come all the way through the premises from the front door?
- If your business expands in the future, will the building be able to accommodate this growth?
New Useful Tool
If you are looking for a new premises for your business and don't know where to start, we have just discovered this great website: Spacelist.
The tool allows you to browse through the commercial real estate spaces available across British Columbia. It lists properties, from multiple real estate agents, allowing you to more easily compare the opportunities available in your area.
You can browse by location, size (1 – 50,000 sq ft) and by property type (office, industrial, retail), and set up email alerts for when new properties fitting your criteria are added.