Whether you’re a startup or an established business, you can’t afford mistakes. Finding the right home for your venture can get complicated if you don’t know what to look for in a location. As you evaluate business properties for lease, consider some pointers that can save you both time and money.
How Important Is Location?
The Small Business Administration ranks location as “the most important decision” a business owner can make. Answer a few questions, and you’ll see why advice stresses “location, location, location.” When choosing a location, does your business’ potential site have:
- An image and history consistent with your brand?
- Effective layouts and space for goods, equipment and processes?
- Visibility and accessibility for your targeted customer demographic?
- Your needed local employee demographic?
- Nearby amenities and services for customers, employees and vendors?
- Safe, no-fee parking?
- Direct access to suppliers and vendors?
- Established competitors to provide a potential customer base?
- Complementary businesses to help your enterprise?
- Room to expand as you grow?
- Beneficial ordinances, zoning, tax breaks or incentives?
- Suitable operating schedules and amenities for work hours?
What To Look For
While a site’s physical location is important, it should be more than just a GPS marker. When searching for a place to plant your business, there are a number of structural and functional factors to consider. Evaluate your potential site by asking yourself the following questions:
- Does the building’s exterior need repairs? This includes everything from roof to parking lot, landscaping and leased buildings.
- Are systems fully functioning and sufficient to your business’ needs? This includes the electrical, mechanical, heating, plumbing, air conditioning, ventilation, safety, security and sprinkler systems as well as inside and outside lighting.
- Will those systems be able to handle modifications, updates or expansions?
- Will the building’s systems and service providers be able to support current and future technology and telecommunications at desired levels and costs?
- Do building interiors serve your purposes in layout, style, appearance and safety?
- Does the property have appropriate documentation for your intended purposes – inspection reports, utility bills, building plans, maintenance records and environmental studies, for example?
Answering these simple questions can help you uncover issues with a property that may hinder the success of your business. After analyzing these elements, if the potential site meets your business’ needs and specifications, it’s time to negotiate a lease.
The Lease Factor
Once you find a property that meets your needs, you’ll have to sign a lease agreement. Every commercial contract is different, with specific details, terms and responsibilities varying by landlord. It’s a legally binding document that details:
- Term lengths, including terminations, penalties, and options to renew or expand
- Security deposits
- Subleasing limitations or requirements
- Lease costs and allowable escalations
- Negotiability of terms
- Leased areas, including associated common areas and amenities
- Maintenance and repair responsibilities
- Modification or update expenses and ownership, including Americans with Disabilities Act compliance
- Inclusions or exclusions for insurance and property taxes – gross versus net lease
- Dispute procedures
Matching landlords and business owners can be as important as finding the right location. The lease defines business conduct parameters, so keep expectations and total cost per square foot in mind as you compare business properties for lease. At Billeaud Companies, we analyze these factors to ensure business owners find a location capable of meeting all of their businesses’ needs.
Finding the Right Business Properties for Lease
Billeaud Companies has been working with Louisiana businesses in Acadiana and other vital communities throughout southern Louisiana for over a century. We understand that every business – and business owner – is unique, with particular requirements. Contact us online, or call (337)-837-5046 to speak with one of our commercial real estate professionals. We know Louisiana, and we can help you find the perfect property for your business.