Leasing a commercial property is usually a critical business decision and can have a serious impact on the overall health of your business, especially in the medium to long term.
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Leasing comes with a lot of financial responsibility and burden, especially if you are have a start up or a small business and trying to find your feet in the big business and corporate world. Any office can add or make dent to the image of your business and those aspects must be kept in mind.
There are a few checks you can keep so as to plan better before leasing a commercial property ad committing to a regular monetary outgo. These are:
1 Take A Stock of Your Business Needs
The first step towards taking a property on rent is to assess your business requirements and the real estate requirement. It would be prudent to look at the next several years and plan accordingly. How the headcount in your company is expected to grow and you would accommodate them is something that should be kept in mind. If you are growing too fast then committing to a shorter lease duration would be advisable. An alternative to this is finding a property where you can expand at later stages. All these aspects have to matched with your financial limitations. A property in a prime location would naturally be expensive and if there are financial constraints in your company then a sub-prime location must be considered for the new property.
2 Take Advice From Experts
Taking advice from people like efficiency and productivity experts so as to reduce the square footage requirement and improving the productivity can be a good idea. Often when you start your business, these things do not matter so much but as you expand there is more pressure to improve productivity and bring down costs.
You may even have to talk to your banker regarding the financial burden that will come in the form of rentals. It is not uncommon for businesses to take loan for lease of a property and to make the necessary structural changes in the new property to suit requirements. Finding a good broker and talking about your real estate requirements would also be a good idea. Be upfront about your needs and give as many details about your requirements as you can. This will help the broker better shortlist properties for you and also save time for you by not suggested irrelevant properties to you.
Sometimes moving to a new property means moving to a new city or region or state. This may require certain regulatory provisions to be met. Taking a look at those aspects would also be fruitful and expert opinion can also be sought on the matter.
3 Maximise Your Options
When you go hunting for the rental property, try to have as many options as possible. Your real estate broker can help you in that. Online classifieds and listing can also be of great help. This will help you find the right fit and minimise your chances of getting stuck with a wrong property. Taking a property on rent and moving in is a lengthy and often cumbersome process and should be done after thorough inspection and diligence. The more properties you will visit and inspect, the better it will be for you. When visiting a property, try to take pictures of both inside as well as outside of the property. This will help you remember which property has which advantage when you have visited many properties and then sit down deciding which one to go for.
4 Negotiate With The Owner
There are several benefits that can be derived from the owner or the manager of the property chosen and here your negotiation skills will be tested. An owner may be forced to give you certain waivers like first few months of rent-free occupation of the property or make the place at least semi-furnished at no extra cost. If the property has been lying vacant for quite some time, the owner may be willing to give more inducements like taking responsibility in maintaining common areas, constructing some of the structures that you want, partially compensating the broker, etc. The owner may at least be forced to give a new coat of paint to the entire facility because of your negotiation skills.
5 Plan The Shifting Process
There are quite a number of things involved in shifting to a new address. Apart from just moving the office furniture and the computers that you may have, a complete exercise has to be undertaken in informing your customers and vendors of your new address. Proper changes to you company website, social channels and physical signage have to be made before you move in to the new location.
Often there are some legal formalities to be completed and regulatory authorities need to be informed abut he change in address. Taking help from a lawyer or a Chartered Accountant many be required for this.
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The new space may require some modification that you will have to make. These can include making cabins or new store houses in case of industrial property. It is to be noted that modifications like new construction can often take long. These modifications have to be perfectly timed so that the transition is smooth.
There can be loss of production cycle in the transition process. That too requires some planning and how to deal with that loss.
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