18 October 2019/ rent_commercial_property_guide

How do I find the right location for my business?

Commercial properties are split into five categories: retail, industrial, office, leisure and healthcare. Due to them having very different purposes, the right location for one is unlikely to be the same for the other.

Let’s take a retail shop and a factory for example. Whilst the former would be best placed in an area with high footfall where plenty of potential customers are tempted to take a look inside, this isn’t a concern for the latter. It’s more important that factories are in close proximity to raw materials and are easily accessible by major transport routes.

What is the ideal location for a retail unit?

To answer this question, we’re going to take three key factors into consideration.

The goods you are selling

Firstly, you need to consider what products you sell. Consumers are more likely to frequent convenience stores that are placed on their way to work or in their local area rather than travel to a big shopping centre for everyday items. Therefore, convenience store businesses would be best placed on heavily trafficked routes or near a transport hub.

In contrast, customers won’t mind travelling further for shops that sell speciality items that fulfil more unique requirements. These retail businesses may be best placed near other shops where the product offering complements each other. You can find out more about how much retail spaces cost in our recent blog post.

How accessible and visible are you to customers

Even if there are lots of shoppers in the area, unless they fulfil your target market, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will become your customers. However, if you’re a smaller business looking to buy a retail space, you may benefit from traffic generated from larger, more established stores nearby.

Think about how many individuals walk or drive past the location, how easily accessible it is by public transport and if there is plenty of parking. As a general rule, you might want to look for eight spaces per 1,000 sf of space.

How visible you are will dictate the amount of marketing you need. A clothes store in a shopping centre won’t need as much advertising as a retail store ten miles outside of town.

Who your competitors and neighbours are

Having similar competition in the area isn’t necessarily a negative thing because it means there is more potential for your target customer to try out your retail store. Take a beauty products shop that’s located in a service centre of hardware stores, its profitability is going to struggle as it lacks enough exposure to its target customer. Therefore, carefully consider the businesses around the location and what sort of customer they attract. At Realla, we make finding the perfect retail property easy as possible, simply click here to get started.

How do I find the perfect location for an industrial unit?

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right warehouse premises. As well as the cost of the space, whether there is the potential to expand in the future, and the job market in the area, you need to think about the convenience of the unit’s location.

Great transport links

Your industrial business needs to be conveniently placed for shipping to customers and supplying regional demand. The best locations will have excellent transport routes nearby, including railways and motorways and proximity to airports and shipping ports if you are an international operation.

Close proximity to customer base

It’s also important to take your customers’ location into consideration. If your warehouse space is close to your customer base, you can deliver your goods to them much quicker and save on shipping costs. Getting fast deliveries and cheaper shipping means customers are more likely to have a positive experience and stay loyal to your business. At Realla, we have a range of industrial units to buy.

Where is the best location for offices?

An important factor to keep in mind when deciding on the location for your office is ease of access for both your clients and employees. Having a straightforward commute to work should contribute to happier and more productive employees. Think about the proximity of gyms, cafes, restaurants and after work activities to keep clients and employees satisfied.

The size of the office unit

Generally, you’ll want to make sure there is at least 70 square feet per person. But you’ll also want to assess the individual needs of your business. For instance, whether your employees will need larger desks to fulfil their role or if you need large storage space.

The price of the office unit

When choosing an office space, price if likely to be one of the top determining factors. Take the following questions into consideration to make sure you can afford it and are getting the best possible value:

  • Are there any hidden costs I haven’t considered?
  • How does this compare to other offices in the area?
  • Am I able to pay a three-month rent deposit right now?

Whether you’re looking to buy or rent an office space, we have plenty of properties to choose from across the UK.

What do I need to consider when finding a location for my leisure business?

Leisure units refer to restaurants, pubs, cafes, sports facilities, hotels etc. Due to the diversity of this category we’ll focus on finding the right location for a café as an example. There are similar themes to those mentioned in the retail unit section, but we’re going to explore how they relate specifically to cafes.

Understand what your target market wants

Ask yourself where your potential customers are going when they walk past your café. If you’re targeting your business at office workers on their way to work, you’re best off opening in a bustling business district or close to transport hubs. Whereas if you’re opening a trendy café with lots of discounts aimed more towards university students, you could open in a popular student area or on the route to university.

Who are your neighbours?

Remember that your competition isn’t just other cafes, it’s any business that offers something on your menu. Even if your speciality is breakfast, if there’s a juice bar next door that offers cheaper coffee, people may be tempted to go elsewhere.

Made sure it’s accessible to everyone

Try and make sure your café business is accessible for customers with limited mobility. Step-free access is important for both wheelchair users and parents with prams. If your business isn’t accessible to everyone you risk losing customers to businesses that are. To find out more, see our top 7 tips for buying a leisure property.

What are the primary concerns when finding a location for a healthcare business?

Healthcare businesses include everything from medical centres to nursing homes. It’s important that patients can easily get to and find your healthcare business. In urban areas, look for locations that are close to public transport stops, and in suburban areas, having good vehicular access is vital. Also check how much parking there is, as walking may be difficult for some patients.

We have a wide range of commercial properties to buy and rent to suit every budget. Using our property portal will help you make a better-informed decision as you can search the entire UK market and stay on top of the latest trends.