It seems like everyone wants to do business online these days. We live in a world where commerce is accessible globally with the click of a button, and the possibilities for business owners are endless — but let’s not forget the value of doing business face to face. The Sarasota community is extremely business-friendly and offers plenty of resources for small business owners to connect and do business locally.
If you’re planning to open a storefront or office for your business, congratulations! You’re making a valuable investment into both your business and the community you operate in. There are a few details you may not have already considered during your real estate search:
Pay attention to the foot traffic across the street. Believe it or not, the side of the street your business is on can make a difference to its success. Most main streets in any town or city see heavier traffic on one side of the street — as much as double. By situating yourself on the right side of the street, you double the potential for walk-in customers.
Double the amount of space you think you need. One reason businesses stall is because of a lack of space to expand. By planning ahead for the growth of your business, you can avoid this problem and allow for additional staff or equipment without uprooting your office or storefront. Plus, the extra empty space will motivate you (read: pressure you) to hustle and grow your business more quickly.
Get a place with a view. Or, at least, make sure your space has plenty of windows. If you’re working in a dungeon all day, you’ll feel less energetic about your work and burn out quickly — and the same goes for your employees. It’s worth the extra investment to get a space that creates a happy environment for you and your staff, and the return you’ll see from increased productivity is beyond measure.
Make a long-term commitment. If you’re running a young business, locking yourself in for a five or six year lease on your building sounds scary. But if you can manage it, a longer lease creates stability for your business because you can stabilize your largest overhead cost. Plus, your landlord may be more willing to negotiate terms on a long-term lease. For example, you could ask for the right to sublet so you have the flexibility to move if you grow out of your space.
Buy out your landlord. One of the biggest reasons stores and restaurants go out of business is because they can’t afford the rent. If your landlord is paying attention, he’ll likely increase your rent as your business grows and earns more income. If you can afford to buy the building — even a few years into your lease — you’ll level out the investment into your space and avoid feeling like your landlord is making money off of your success. Plus, if the building has other units, you can benefit from additional income (but make sure you understand how this affects your business taxes.)