Although the last eighteen months have shown us just how much of business can be done from the comfort of one’s own home, it is fair to say that not everyone is comfortable with the idea of their home base also being their business base. Especially when a business grows large enough, the attraction of moving into dedicated business premises is not hard to understand.
Of course, making the move from a home business to a more permanent, fixed, premises-based business is anything but simple. It’s a weighty commitment – in effect, you are saying that you are invested enough in this business to make a financial outlay large enough to secure a building and patch of land that is bigger than most houses. Either you’ll be paying a substantial chunk of your own fortune, or you’ll be committing a considerable monthly sum, for what you feel you will gain by being in business premises. So you’ll need to be sure it’s the right decision – and you can’t know that without answering the following questions:
Is This the Right Size – Not Just for Now, But the Future Too?
Whether it’s commercial space or office real estate, a location for your business needs to take account of the size of your business. If you’re a sole trader without employees, then arguably any suitably-equipped space can be more than sufficient. However, any move into a business space needs to take into account the future of the business. Where will your business be in three years’ time? In five? If you outgrow it and need to move, you might need to pay up the rest of a lease to vacate the space, so plan ahead and make a decision with the future in mind.
Does the Interior Live Up to the Exterior?
Commercial spaces can look inviting from the outside – especially when an owner or landlord is trying to attract interest from potential buyers and renters. It is essential to be sure that the glow-up on the outside is matched by both looks and function behind the door. Will the walls need a lick of paint – or more? Will the area underneath the building need a visit from Crawlspace Depot to ensure that mold and infestation aren’t a worry in the future? Are any appliances that may be a part of the space functional – will they require repair, or replacement? These are questions you need to answer.
Is It Fit for Purpose?
The word “converted” appears often enough in commercial real estate for us all to be aware that a building starting out in one role doesn’t mean it will always be used for that. Sometimes a converted mill can become a home, or a converted castle becomes a hotel. If you’re not buying (or leasing) a made-for-purpose space, you’ll need to ask yourself whether the space you are interested in will work for your business, or whether it will need to be converted. Among other questions, you’ll need to consider whether it can receive commercial customers if necessary, and whether it can accommodate the equipment your business demands.