Choosing where to base your business: what to consider
- Will customers be visiting you? If so, how far will they be prepared to travel?
- Do you need to be near public transport links, good road or rail links, or even air links.
- Is there enough parking space for your staff and customers? Is it free?
- If you're after ‘passing trade’ put yourself where you're most visible to your target audience.
- Take a look at what else is in the area eg don't open a desginer clothes store if you'll be surrounded by builders merchants and fast food outlets, or a discount food store in an area populated with expensive bistros, coffee bars and health spas.
- If you take deliveries is there enough space for heavy vehicles to turn, load and unload
- What's the security situation? Will you be in a safe area? Are the on-site security facilities adequate? If you produce or store high value goods you may need more security
- If you’re a 24 hour business, or operate outside of 'normal' working hours, check this is OK and that you'll have access when you need it
- Your staff, don't need to be in the same place as your business operations. For example, you might have warehouse or production facilities in an industrial unit, and office staff in more conventional business office space nearby.
Options you might consider
Running a business from home
Renting an office (Here's a checklist for renting business premises)
Will you have enough space
Try and plan ahead, especially if you're considering a long lease. If you get a bigger space than you need right now, save costs in the early years by sub-letting any unused space until your busines grows into it, but check the lease allows it!
There are minimum health and safety regulations for space and temperature that need to be followed:
- At least 11 cubic metres of space per member of staff
- A temperature of at least 16°C for sedentary workers (19°C is better)
- A temperature of at least 13°C for active wokers
Business rates explained
You'll need to pay rates on your business premises. Business rates are calculated using a 'rateable value', set by the Government’s Valuations Office Agency (VOA), and a 'multiplier' that is applied by the local council. Local councils are responsible for sending out the bills and collecting the rates.
Find the rateable value of properties in your area