It’s not easy to launch a startup. From finding investors and marketing your product to ensuring you have a responsive exit strategy, a lot of hard work is required. One of the most common issues is where you’re going to conduct your business.
Not every startup needs a dedicated business space. More startups are being launched from home than ever. For those that do need a workspace, there are a lot of questions to ask, and a lot of different considerations that all need to be 100% right. So if you’re thinking about establishing a central base of operations for your startup, here’s how to find the perfect property.
1. Buy or Rent
This is the first big question that you need to ask yourself. Startup success is not guaranteed, so you must have a safety net in place at all times. Buying a commercial space is rarely cheap, so that’s going to cut dramatically into your seed fund. Investors may get nervous if you start using their cash to buy an office space!
If you rent, you have to accept that regular monthly outgoing and that you’re limited in what you can do to transform and brand the space. Talk to your team and your investors to ensure you make the best choice for your startup. To rent or buy is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make as an entrepreneur.
2. Know Your Needs
Once you have a clearer idea of what kind of property you need, it’s time to narrow down your options. No two startups need the same workspace, so you need to determine exactly what you need. Are you looking for manufacturing space, an office, or a combination of different work environments? Think about size (is it big enough, is it too big?), the layout of the interior, and parking space. Create a list of everything you need, and shortlist those properties that match your requirements.
3. Understanding Location
Where you base your startup can have a dramatic effect on its long term viability. You want to look at where your customers and investors are based and where your team lives. It’s all well and good to say that opening your premises in Bristol or London is best for your startup, but if you and your team all live in Hull, that could end up causing problems. Research the best places to start a business in the UK and make decisions accordingly.
4. Consider the Legalities
There are a lot of legal factors to think about when searching for commercial property. From the property ownership transfer process to understanding your rights regarding planning permission, having an experienced property solicitor involved as early as possible is always a smart move. Look at conveyancing solicitors who can manage all of your legal documents and ensure that you’re not investing in a property lemon. Never agree to renting or buying a property without experienced legal advice.
Do You Need a Commercial Property for Your Startup?
One of the most important decisions you’ll make as you plan the launch of your startup is whether you need a dedicated workspace. Hybrid working is undoubtedly on the rise, and there are now multiple locations around the country where you can rent office space for just a few hours (ideal for those investor meetings).
So, if you’re bootstrapping and even the thought of spending vast amounts on a property sends shivers down your spine, don’t panic. Alternatives are available, even if they include working from home. As your startup begins to scale, that’s when you can start looking closer at buying or renting somewhere professional.
Of course, if you have the seed money and a product you believe in that’s backed up by data, then the right commercial property could make it easier to attract even more investors. In those cases, do your research, and you will vastly improve your chances of being a startup unicorn.
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