“So much of difference between a triumph and a flop is determined by choice of venue.” – Anatoly Belilovsky

Opening a new restaurant or retail store can be an exciting prospect, but it is also needs to be treated with caution. Leasing the wrong space can make it much harder to build a successful business. As you will see below, it can also have serious legal repercussions. Here you will find tips for leasing the right commercial space for your business.

Location, Location, Location

Location is critical if you are opening up a restaurant or retail store. To determine the right location you need to consider how customers are likely to arrive at your business. For example, consider whether they will be arriving by foot or will they be driving. If the majority of your customers will be driving, then you will need adequate parking to accommodate them.

It is also good to select a location where other businesses which will compliment your own are located. This is why businesses of a certain type often group themselves next to one another. For example, when people are shopping for high end fashion they want to have similar options located nearby to choose from. This is why luxury retailers will often be situated in close proximity to one another.

Wiring and Communications

Another thing to consider when leasing is a space is the communication wiring. This has becoming particularly important because of need for fast speed internet. Before leasing a space you should check whether it is connected to a fiber optic network. Electrical wiring is particularly important for a restaurant. You need to know how much electricity the location can handle. You should also know if there is a generator available, to be used in the case of a power outage.

The Right Type of People

Selecting the right venue for your business involves researching not only the volume of foot traffic, but also the type of people who pass by. This type of research can make a big difference when opening a restaurant or retail store. You need people who either live or visit the neighborhood who meet your buyer demographic. For example, if you sell expensive, urban fashion then you will want to select a neighborhood which has younger, more affluent customers.

Looking Online For A Space

There are a number of different commercial real estate search portals which you can use in order to make it easier to find an appropriate property. Some of the most popular include:

If you are looking to rent a popular retail space, you may want to try new start-up Storefront.com. The company connects aspiring retail entrepreneurs with owners of commercial space appropriate for a pop-up store.

Safety and Regulations

Safety is also a prime consideration when leasing a space for a restaurant or a shop. You need to make sure that the building is compliant with all relevant codes. This includes having fire alarms, correct wiring, and a sprinkler system. You will need to consider factors such as having handicap accessible features, and you will need to check your compliance with local zoning ordinances and regulations. The U.S. Small Business Association has produced a general guide to zoning law which you can find here.

It’s very important that you never sign a lease until you are certain of what type of business activities are permitted there. If you have any questions make sure to consult with a local land use attorney for advice. A little more time spent researching can help avoid expensive–and unpleasant–surprises later on.

Paul Nugent

Paul Nugent

Paul Nugent is a small business advocate who uses his background in the startup space, along with his POS system expertise, to allow small business owners to make informed decisions within their specific budgets.