Small Businesses Can Set the Stage for a Successful 2024 with an End-of-Year Financial ReviewDecember 2023
Financing Your Small BusinessDecember 2023
by Taylor Trahan Henry
Choosing the right location for your business is a pivotal decision that can significantly impact its success. Depending on the type of business you’re looking to locate, there are several things to think about before signing on the dotted line. Whether you’re looking to lease or buy, making sure you’ve covered all the bases is key to the perfect piece of ground for your business.
Seasoned real estate expert Debbie Holt with Century 21 Bono Realty advises on key considerations for entrepreneurs delving into the world of commercial real estate. “Selecting the right space depends on various factors, especially the nature of your business,” she says. “Zoning regulations play a crucial role, especially for light industrial businesses with specific location restrictions. For retail, prioritizing easily accessible locations with ample parking and high foot traffic is essential.”
Undoubtedly navigating the commercial real estate market can be complex. That’s why it’s important to rely on a professional. “Having an experienced, licensed realtor to guide you through the process is invaluable,” says Holt. “Market trends, such as the re‑purposing of office spaces and the shift towards open-concept work environments, should be on the radar of aspiring business owners.”
Like all successful endeavors, making your brick and mortar dreams a reality takes a village. A reputable commercial lender and a knowledgeable realtor can be essential team members. The cost considerations go beyond rent, with different lease types imposing additional responsibilities, such as maintenance. “Negotiating a lease involves a give-and-take dynamic,” says Holt. “Be assertive in asking for favorable terms while maintaining a realistic approach. Patience is key in the negotiation process.”
When it comes to square footage, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Determining the right amount of space varies widely among businesses. Factors such as water sources, electrical needs, and warehouse space requirements are unique to each business. It’s also important to consider future goals for your business. “Flexibility is crucial in an ever-changing business landscape,” says Holt. “Business owners should consider lease terms that allow for expansion or modification. Choosing a space with the option to add on or selecting a location with room for growth is strategic.”
Depending on the parish you’re looking to locate in, zoning laws and regulations can be intricate and vary. Engaging with a real estate agent to navigate zoning offices and, if necessary, zoning commissions, ensures alignment with the intended business activities. Holt also recommends taking full inventory of certain utilities. “In today’s digital age, technological infrastructure is paramount,” she says. “Don’t wait until after moving in to assess technology needs. Ensuring proper utilities, internet, and necessary services during inspections is an important aspect of the decision-making process.”
In the dynamic realm of commercial real estate, a well-informed approach ensures that business owners not only find the right space for their current needs but also position themselves for future growth and success.