How to Find the Perfect Shop Space
Niche professionals, especially those that provide a service, often hit a few stumbling blocks in the process of finding the perfect shop space. It’s never as simple as normal retail, where a few shelving units will be enough to get the job done. If you’re looking to go into business for yourself, congratulations! Here’s a few things you’ll want to think about while trying to find that perfect space to get your dream off the ground.
Find Someone Similar
If you can find a shop that was previously used for a similar business, this will satisfy a lot of your concerns right out the gate. You won’t have to worry about making too many modifications. The necessary workspaces will already be defined, and the fixtures and features you need might remain in the building. This can reduce your overall startup costs. Think about what it would cost to buy all of these things yourself. If that cost is substantial, it might be worth spending a little more on rent to avoid paying out of pocket for startup expenses.
Carefully Contemplate Floorspace
Shops with larger floor spaces typically command higher rent. If you have a lot of equipment you need to hold onto, you’re going to need more space to store it. If you’re looking to save some money without sacrificing on the amount of space you have available, you can always utilize community sharing sites like Spacer to safely store backup inventory and equipment. It’s easy to fetch when you need it.
Consider Price Versus Visibility
Shops in highly visible areas are often expensive. Inexpensive shops are usually hidden away from the world. Unless you have a ton of startup capital, you probably can’t afford to nestle yourself in between upscale shops. However you won’t survive long if people don’t know where to find you. When selecting a space for your new shop, always look for a sweet spot between visibility and price.
Look for a Buddy
If you’re having trouble finding a great location or you’re worried about being able to afford one on your own, do a little networking. You might be able to find a professional you get along with who would be willing to partner up with you and share the costs. This person doesn’t necessarily need to be in the same business as you, as long as you have similar ambitions. A hair salon might do well partnering with a makeup artist. A barber shop might be able to share a location with a company that makes beard grooming products.
Give Yourself Some Room to Grow
You want your business to be successful, and growth is a huge marker of that success. You don’t want to outgrow your location before the lease is up. Ending a lease early may still leave you on the hook for rent payments. If you believe you have growth potential and you’ve created a plan to scale your business, pick a location that will be able to accommodate your scaling plan for the duration of the lease.
Factor Changes Into Your Budget
You might find a place that’s priced perfectly, but that price doesn’t account for the things you’ll need to modify. If you want to repaint, replace the flooring, install new electrical outlets or plumbing, and lavishly furnish it, you’re going to be spending a lot. Before you sign a lease, make sure you know how much money it’s going to take to make the location match your vision.
Negotiate Your Lease
Most people don’t realize that leases can be negotiated. You don’t need to take everything at face value. If you have changes or compromises you want to make, negotiate these up front. Anything from monthly rent to what party is responsible for which aspects of maintenance, make sure you express those concerns. Don’t walk away from a lease before you take a shot at modifying it to better suit your needs.
Though it may seem stressful on the surface, opening up your own shop is one of the most exciting experiences of your life. As long as you’re patient and thorough during the process, everything will work out in the end.
Are you opening up shop?
Let us know in the comments! Tell us about your new shop and share your tips with the community.