Although commercial real estate may be far from your particular sector of business, it’s still important that you know a few things about it.
After all, one day you may need to find an office for rent or land for sale. You don’t need to cultivate an expertise in real estate as an entrepreneur, but there are some things to keep in mind that will help you as your business grows.
Rent with a Vision in Mind
Sure, your business has just a couple of employees right now, but if you have any inklings of expanding your business, you’ll likely outgrow a small space fast.
Even though the rent may be less expensive on a small office in an office building, if you intend to expand into your own warehousing and distribution or are running the kind of business where establishing a permanent location is vital for walk-in traffic, you have to think about the future. After all, moving an established business is a time-consuming and expensive process.
Rent or buy the space today that you’re going to need in five years — and then work hard to beat your own growth forecast. Signing a longer lease can secure your rent pricing for many years, and buying the building you will need one day will give you the space to let your business mature without your payment growing with you. Some businesses can’t secure all the space they’ll need in one step, but you can always look to the future with any real estate decisions you make for the best long-term value.
Some Locations are More Productive
When you walk into a poorly lit, cramped office or a building that’s been chopped up into lots of tiny, windowless offices, do you really feel like you’re in a space where you could get a lot of work done?
It’s important to consider how a building functions in relationship to your workers. Study after study have shown that workers who have windows are more productive, can concentrate better and are generally happier. Those are the kinds of workers you want, aren’t they? You’ll also feel the dulling effects of an old, dark building on your own efforts — so keep an eye out for spaces with lots of windows, skylights and other sources of natural light.
There’s also almost always a busier side of the street, no matter where you’re located. If your business is the type that needs walk-in traffic, it’s important for you to end up on that side of the street. It’ll make access easier for your customer base and attracting new walk-ins a cinch. For businesses that are largely virtual or phone-based, walk-in traffic is a lot less vital — and you may be able to save a lot of money by choosing an office for rent on the slow side of the street.
Entrepreneurs don’t need to become real estate experts overnight – that’s why there are commercial real estate agents to help you with your lease or commercial real estate purchase. But it’s always good to know a little something about real estate before taking the plunge.