Singing a lease for your new business is an exciting time. Many entrepreneurs and even seasoned professionals rush into leasing agreements due to necessity and a lack of pre-planning. The excitement of finding a location that matches your needs complemented with the lack of time entrepreneurs and business owners have, force decisions that are often not in their best interest. Rushing through leasing terms without advisement will lead to costly expenditures and property problems down the line.
To ensure you make the smartest business decisions possible, choose a team of advisors that will guide you through the leasing process. Consult with a tenant representative to help select the property and manage the lease terms, a real estate lawyer to review the legal aspect of the leasing clauses and an architect to determine the best use of the space and examine potential code or systems problems.
You pay greatly for every square foot that you will use and even some that you will not use in a commercial lease. Here are some things to consider before you sign that massive 100 page leasing agreement.
Is it zoned for your planned use?
What are the traffic and pedestrian patterns?
What does the infrastructure look like?
What are the future development plans for the property and neighboring properties?
Are their environmental/abatement requirements?
Does the floor plan meet your needs?
What type of adjacencies do you require?
What condition is the roof, parking lot, mechanical systems, and exterior façade in?
How extensive will your build out be? Who pays for what?
How will construction costs impact your budget?
What type of signage is permitted?
What type of codes will affect your building plans?
How is the square footage allocated? Usable/unusable/community
Given the fact that you will be locked into a property for at minimum three years and possibly up to 10, choosing a property that will accommodate your long term needs, provide the exposure you need to grow your business and align with your budgetary constraints is one of the best ways to ensure success. Forgoing professional services in the planning stage saves money initially, but could lead to devastating losses as you move into your new facility/space.
Considering a new property? Be sure to plan ahead and get experts (hint… Open Atelier Architects) on board as soon as possible to save money and time down the line.