15 Useful Tips For Setting Up The Business Premises Of Your Startup
You might have started a business from home or worked hard to create an online success. So what’s next for your business?
You may want to open your retail premises and think about the steps that you can take to make it a true success. It is exciting to have a lucrative business idea and execute but have you considered all it takes to launch out?
Through it all, a business must never fail to consider its business premises. The outer and inner look of your business, the setting of arrangement and many more factors are essential for the success of the business.
It gives an interpretation in the mind of your potential customers which may be positive or negative. The way you organize and set up your business premises can decrease or improve your productivity, employees’ enthusiasm and the future of the business.
First of all, you can consider business premises as land, buildings or a place (property) where a business is stationed. So, what should you be thinking about?
Here are 14 ways you can set up your business premises. I will like you to sit tight and read through this article before you set up your business premises.
If you have an existing business, you can make some adjustment too. Here are a few pointers to help you move that idea forward.
This is one of the efficient ways to identify the type of premises you need for your business. You need to decide if you’re going to have office-like premises, retail or light industrial premises.
As an entrepreneur, it is advisable to start by drawing up a specification. Distinguish between what is essential and what is desirable.
You can then circulate this specification (setting out your requirements) to estate agents and surveyors that handle commercial properties in your area.
Search for suitable premises yourself in local newspapers, publications and websites. You should figure out what activities are best for your business.
2. Plan Space for hosting events
Having spacious premises gives you the option and opportunity to hold your own events. This could be for new customers or your existing database where you could see what potential there is to maximise and build upon.
It could be some business events showcasing new lines, products or services that you offer. It could also be a special sale event for invited guests only to encourage more sales.
You can also use social media to advertise these events easily.
3. Ensure Accessibility
Consider your location and how accessible the premises need to be for your potential customers, visitors and employees. Plan your parking space for both private and public transport.
Workspace and physical outlook should be carefully structured in an accessible format for the success of your business.
4. Spread the message with social media
Opening up new retail premises often means that you have that risk of customers not knowing that your new shop or showroom exists. This is when social media can give you huge help and the upper hand.
You might need a content strategy in place, but asides that, you need to add your new location, events you may have, other offers and general information to your posts.
This will encourage people to come and visit for themselves. It is a quick and easy way to let existing and many new customers aware of an alternative way to do business with you.
5. Plan your workspace
Every entrepreneur wants to set up a business for some reasons. Most times, you already have in mind the kind of business you want to embark on. This determines the workspace for business activities.
For example, if you want to start a plastic business, you will certainly need warehouse space for manufacturing of the plastics. You will need a retail space to sell the plastics to customers, office space to offer business services and other spaces such as the changing room for workers who are under the manufacturing department so they can change from their dresses to the company-provided outfits for the work as the case may be.
Of course, you should have a workspace outside your home for better focus and concentration.
Also, if your intention is to expand your business, you will need a workspace to achieve that and still have your business online activities going.
6. Pick a good location
As much as the business premises is important, the location where your business is located or will be located will have a huge influence on your business.
Choosing the appropriate location for your business premises or relocating your office is a critical decision that can impact your sales, staff and future development.
The image of your business may be affected by the nature of your location. For your business to market itself, the location has to be in check. You would not have to go through much stress creating awareness for your business if the location is considered from the very beginning.
With the cost of operation, taxes to pay, competitions around and all of the unforeseen contingencies in business, you can not afford or be in a hurry to choose a location.
Do you want to be in the city centre of town, within a light industrial environment or stay out of town? Do you need to be close to the supplier of your raw materials, similar businesses or employees? All of these should be considered.
Where you have regular deliveries, you need to consider proximity to foot traffic to enable walkable distances. Finding out the history of the site and identifying where your customer might likely come from will help you make sure your premises match with the purpose you have in mind.
Local authority charges for essential services such as waste collection can also be put into consideration.
7. Consider legal obligations & restrictions
You need to know the legal obligations and restrictions of the premises you want to use for your business so you are aware of the dos and don’t of the premises and location.
Some of the legal issues to consider when you want to set up your business premises are as follows:
- You need to abide by all terms and conditions of any lease or license agreement.
- The premises must have planning permission that allows them to be used for your type of business.
- You must comply with building, fire, health and safety regulations.
- You are responsible for the health of your customers and visitors.
Also, you may likely pay business rates. These may be paid by the landlord in rented premises. If you provide goods and services to the public, you must take reasonable steps to ensure you acquire a license to operate or sell your kind of products.
Some places have restriction on times when deliveries are allowed, noise and pollution levels and how you or your customers dispose of waste.
8. Plan your physical look
Most time what attract us at first to a person is the physical appearance of him or her. The same goes for your business. The physical look of your business premises gives an impression about you, your staff and summarizes how things work in your business.
Nobody will love to do a business deal with a shabby-looking company where the premises already passed a message in the mind of the customers or another entrepreneur. Setting up the physical look of your business premises is very important. Learn to make your small business look professional.
The structure of the building, interior designs, office setting, organization of the company’s product and many more represents the image of the business. The physical look of your business premises is one step to achieving your business ambitions. It also allows you to create a public face for your business.
Involving staff is good for morale and suggesting these will improve their productivity. Ask friends and customers what they think too and consider the areas they identify.
Tidy surroundings and an uncluttered working environment can also have a calming effect on visitors and customers.
You can call for help from agencies and fit-out contractors that specialize in designing the interior and exterior of the building. You could add planters with brightly coloured flowers or interesting shrubs to brighten the exterior part of the premises.
If your walls look shabby, paint them. If you are into creatives or community-based business, you could involve local artists to paint your walls, providing a canvas for them to display their talent in return for brighter, more interesting premises.
Your business may require a shop window. Make sure you change the display of your goods regularly, otherwise, customers may think you have nothing new to offer them. Ensure they are well lit and contents are displayed timely.
Also read: Filing and record management tips you need
9. Strike a balance between leasing & purchasing
Do you need to rent or construct a building for your business? How much do you need to purchase the business properties and how many employees do you predict to work in the workspace provided?
Premises-based overheads like utility bills, local authority rates and any other contingencies should be considered. You might also need to do some renovations on the workspace so that you can get the best look that suits your kind of business.
In setting up business premises, you will probably have less responsibility for the upkeep of the premises if you rent. For example, external maintenance is more likely to be done to the landlord but you may have to pay service charges.
Also, if you own the property, you can make changes to suit your precise needs. Finding the right location can be very expensive so you need to consider the financial constraints involved in both. Always seek business advice before signing any lease documents.
10. Consider the required insurance
There are exceptional cases where you do not need business premises if your business warrants that. You might be able to work comfortably from home as a freelancer. For example, if all your business needs are working on your own computer and stable internet, what you probably need is a spare room or a garden building.
When you need to meet customers or clients, you could hire some space in one of the many business hubs springing up around the city centre.
However, if your business involves engineering, vehicle repair or some sort of buying and selling, you surely need business premises and insurance. You might have a garage converted to an office, a small workshop, or a storage facility.
Proper insurance and permissions are needed from a mortgage provider or landlord to make use of your home if it’s not yours. You might need permission from the local planning office if you are planning on making major alterations to your home.
The local council should also be involved if you are going to get lots of customers or deliveries, and you intend to advertise outside your home.
11. You might need a license
Licensing is a form of renting that is provided by private landlords, local authorities and agencies. One good thing about licenses is that it is for a short period so you do not have to worry about making a long term commitment to a property that you might outgrow or need to change as your business develops.
Licensing comes with some packages such as key insurances, business rates and maintenance rates. Some licensed premises are also subsidized by the local council or an enterprise agency.
Licensing business premises is as important as the business itself. It will make customers identify your business easily and make sure you are accountable for your actions. It will also protect the public’s health and safety.
12. Consider the demographics
Demographics should be considered before setting up business premises because it helps you to know the statistical view of a population. This includes age, gender, income, education and occupation of your target customers and how to capture them depending on your kind of business.
It is important to classify them into manageable groups or market segments because it is very difficult to appeal to every customer.
For instance, if you need to increase sales of clothes, books, cream and other products students love to buy, you will be looking at targeting the age group between 18-22. You also have to locate your business near campuses, schools and hostels.
If you do not know what the customer wants or you keep ignoring specific requests, customers may lose interest and choose to shop elsewhere.
Also, demographics is critical for the success of any business. It allows businesses to determine the size of a potential market and how customers search for information to purchase products and services.
For example, income and cultural factors may impact how your target customer uses technology. Learning about customers’ interests provides the basis for developing a product and staying in a location that would be attractive to customers.
Each customer has a unique set of criteria they use to make judgments about products. Hence, as an entrepreneur, your focus should be on those customers who are most likely going to find your products appealing and purchase them. Those customers are called core or target customers.
13. Find out about financial supports
Investigate any available grants, loans and incentives schemes meant for business designated areas. You can navigate to this site to learn more on how you can do that. Some councils or local authorities have set these up to boost local economies. Get this beneficial information.
There’s a learning process in every business that helps to reduce expenses as much as possible. An example is cutting your electrical bills by half.
You need these kinds of information to help you manage the cash flow and keep track of spendings. Establish a budget and stick to it. When you run out of the money, it does not matter how good your idea might be, you might begin to experience instability in business.
In other not to fall victim of some critical and unpleasant cases, I suggest you start small. For example, you can start a pop-up shop first, more like a store that can be set up quickly for a short period of time. A pop-up store is very good and gives you the opportunity to research your market and analyze your location properly before venturing into it in the long term.
Also, if you are going into the food and coffee business, you can start with a mobile van instead of renting a place for a start. All you need to do is consult your local council to get approvals and licenses.
14. Think about the internal layout
Once you start making people aware, you now need to think about how to set the layout of your new retail premises. This can often be a fun element to set up. You need to think about how a customer would perceive the layout and space.
Ensure you advertise and showcase your products and services in the best possible way. This means you could think about displays and mannequins which can be a great option for products such as clothes.
Hence, websites like moremannequins could prove useful. You may also want to think about hanging space and shelves to maximise the space you have.
15. Your staff can make the difference
Who you have working with you is very important. You will want to ensure that you hire the right people as your front-of-house staff. They need to have excellent customer service skills and be able to provide a decent customer experience.
You only get one chance at making a decent first impression, and the staff you have in your retail space can form a big part of that. There are plenty of tips online that can help you to make the right choice when it comes to hiring staff members for this new part of your business.
In conclusion, as an entrepreneur, before you set up your business premises you must follow the laydown measures and limit your fixed expenses from the beginning. This way, you can allocate the majority of your capital to grow.
This will enable you to eventually implement the kind of way you dream to set up your business premises. Keeping your expense low is the key to longevity in business.
Your premises should help you to operate effectively without excessive costs. You need to also avoid being tied to premises that might not suit you in the future.
I hope these tips help you to open a perfect retail premise. 😉