Choosing business property

Choose the right location for your business premises

Guide

A good location for your business is vital, but choosing the right one can be something of a balancing act. Ideally, the location should be convenient for your customers, employees and suppliers - without being too expensive for your business. You should weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of various locations when deciding on a suitable place for your business property.

Location factors for business property

In order to judge the best location for your business you should consider key location factors and how important each of these are for you and your business priorities. You should consider:

  • Foot fall - depending on the nature of your business, the amount of passing trade can have a huge impact on the success of your venture especially if your business operates in the retail sector.
  • Competitors in the area - although some businesses, like estate agents, can benefit from being located in a cluster of similar businesses, for many others having too many close competitors can have a severe impact on sales and profitability. It is always worthwhile surveying the local area to see if there are potential competitors in the vicinity and considering how this could impact on your trade.
  • Transport links and parking - good public transport links and local parking facilities make it easier for employees and customers who don't live within walking distance to access your business.
  • Delivery restrictions - these can cause problems for your suppliers, so you'll need to make sure that your premises are easily accessible if you expect to have regular deliveries.
  • Planning restrictions - make sure you check whether you're allowed to use the premises for the commercial purpose you have in mind.
  • Business rates - these can add greatly to the ongoing costs of locating in a particular area, which may make the premises less desirable from your point of view - see estimate your rate bill to get an idea of what you may have to pay.
  • Local amenities - employees generally prefer working in areas with good local facilities, and you may need to make regular trips to the bank or a postal depot.
  • What sort of area it is - the image of your business may well be affected by the nature of your location.

Whatever option you go for, there are likely to be advantages and disadvantages to the business location that you choose. An office in a rural setting might be relaxing, but could be awkward for staff or suppliers making deliveries to access. Being right in the middle of the city could be very convenient, but might also be expensive in terms of property cost and business rates payable. It may also be costly and inconvenient for car parking within city or town centres.

Location has a major impact on business costs. If you need property in a prime location the extra costs may be justified.