This is an exciting time for you. You’ve spent the last four summers hustling at farmer’s markets or behind your home office desk next to the crib, and now you can finally afford to look for a small retail space for rent. We’re sure that you’ve discovered after the most cursory of google searches that just about every realtor in the county wants to sell you retail space, but committing to small retail space for rent is a delicate operation that should involve the following considerations:
We don’t just mean the obvious things, like “is the foundation cracked” or “how’s the asbestos situation.” When looking for small retail space for rent, it’s important to vet the parking lot and surrounding area. Will your employees feel safe if they have to work late with no one around? How’s the walk to their cars from the front door? Are there any wooded areas or dodgy alleys nearby? Depending on the kind of business you’re running and what hours you’re keeping, these considerations could be very important.
The Americans With Disabilities Act actually requires by law that any space open to the general public or employing over 15 people has an obligation to provide some sort of accessible space to those with disabilities. This also applies to commercial property for rent, but despite this law, enforcement is spotty and some places are woefully under-serviced in this regard. Before you sign a lease, look for ramps, elevators, and hallways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair. Also make sure the property manager is amenable to service dogs even if traditional pets aren’t allowed on premises.
The way a shape is designed can be easily overlooked especially if you’re searching for property that’s typically bland or standard, like office space. But cursory research will tell you that even so much as a supply closet can convey hidden messages about your company. Cramped, dull, beige office space with cubicles and paint peeling from the ceilings is not going to attract competitive employees. You should also bring in someone who knows a little bit about engineering to inspect the space before you rent, as you don’t want to be making up what you save in rent with renovation costs.
4.Curb Appeal And Location
The exterior of your commercial space for lease is just as important if not more as the interior decorating and structural soundness. You obviously want to rent a space in a location that makes sense for what you’re trying to sell. For example, it’s probably not the best idea to try to sell your custom made Hawaiian grass skirts in a high rise office building. Finally, make sure you augment any signage and outdoor treatments to reflect your operation. The idea is to communicate what your business is about from the get-go. People shouldn’t have to guess what you do, or walk inside to find out. People are rarely patient, and not as curious as we’d like them to be!
We hope these tips help you start your exciting journey into the land of small business real estate. Please comment below with pictures of your spaces or other things we may have missed.