Moving house is never a fun experience, but it becomes even more of a stressful event when you’re looking for a new space for your business. This may happen because you’re current space is changing owners, you need to move to cut costs, or (hopefully) you’re looking to expand. It’s also true that wherever you move your new headquarters, it will be a place you will have to see every day, and your clients will have to be able to find easily.
So let’s break down some key points that will save you a lot of trouble when looking to rent a commercial space.
Do your homework early
Make a list of must-haves for your small business to keep in mind when you’re looking at new spaces. Maybe you need more storage space. Maybe you’re looking for a big garage with adjacent offices. Maybe you need a storefront. Maybe you’re looking for decent office space. Whatever it is that would make running your business easier is worth keeping in mind.
Next, look at the area where you’re visiting commercial spaces and ask around about the pricing and history. Get familiar with the price ranges and most importantly, see what you can discover from former tenants and neighbors.
Look at several places at the same time
Don’t limit yourself to the first few entries from an internet search. Ask around for recommendations, reach out to real estate agents and put all your options on the table. This will give you bargaining power and help you in keep an analytical mind.
Let the landlord make the first offer
If you are interested in a certain space, ask the landlord for a proposal. Otherwise, you risk offering more than the landlord was open to accepting.
Make an independent measurement of the space
Most commercial spaces are rented based on square footage. That’s why it’s worth doing a measurement yourself, whether the configuration is more unusual or straightforward. This will give you bargaining power while you’re discussing a potential contract. And even if you’ve already moved into the real estate space, you can negotiate the rent for future months.
Keep a straight face during negotiations
Even if you really like a space or are looking to renew your lease, it helps you in staying on equal footing with your landlord if you don’t wear your heart on your sleeve. Make sure to convey that a good deal may translate for you into a good rent, but it also translates for the landlord into a well-paying and well-behaved tenant.
Be willing to say “no” to a bad deal
Depending on your situation, a bad deal may take several forms. One you should avoid as much as possible is including personal guarantees. Finally, make sure to check with any requirements that may affect your hours of business or the activities you have to get done.
At the end of the day, finding the right space for your business is a complex process. So make sure you keep your analytical mindset at the forefront and don’t give up until you find the best fit for your business’ needs.