Many types of businesses need to house themselves in an industrial unit rather than an office space, but whatever your industry or line of business is, choosing the right place can be a difficult task. One of the things that makes deciding on a unit so difficult is thinking about your future plans – do you want to expand rapidly? Start assembling your products on-site? Do your own deliveries? Start shipping your goods overseas? All these things have an impact on your eventual choice of premises so it can seem overwhelming to try to narrow down your search.
To make it easier, here are a few pointers and factors to include in your search parameters, or just to take into consideration when you weigh up two or more competing options.
Think about what you need and what your company needs, as well as what it needs to avoid and what you can do without. You’re best off looking online to start with, to shortlist a few likely prospects, then you can get busy visiting all those industrial units in Chessington in person!
Think about size :
You need to choose just the right size (or as near as possible) of unit for the size of your company. If you choose one that’s too big you may be paying too much rent and you’ll certainly be paying too much to heat (or cool) it.
However, if you’re planning an expansion any time soon, you may need somewhere a shade too big so you don’t have the hassle and expense of moving – you need to do the maths here.
You also need to think about outdoor storage, and space for receiving and sending deliveries, as well as parking for visitors and clients.
Your location :
You’ll already be aware that most industrial units are on the edges of towns and cities, usually in business parks. These places have great transport links for moving goods and products, but if you also provide services, these out-of-town locations won’t help you at all.
You also need to think about image, as well as how easy it is for clients, employees and suppliers to get to you. Location is as important as the property itself.
Further Reading : Considerations for entrepreneurs when choosing a location
The rental rates :
Perhaps the most vital factor is the actual rent – if it’s too much, you can’t go for it – it’s as simple as that!
Obviously you need to make sure the units you’re looking at are fairly priced; if you think they’re a bit overpriced there may be some wiggle room, but you need to show your prospective landlord similar units available at lower prices.
By the time you’re looking at premises, you should have your budget pinned down, so you shouldn’t be looking outside your range, but there’s no harm in trying to negotiate a lower rent.
Your lease terms :
Once you’ve found the right price, you need to make sure that the terms of the lease are sympathetic to you and your company. You don’t need a lengthy lease, but then again you don’t want the stress of renewing it once a year or more. Always insist on a break clause so that you can free yourself from the contract if you need to move – whether because of expansion, downsizing or (hopefully this never happens) you need to fold.
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