Could you maximise your business potential through the power of location? Let's explore what factors to consider when finding the right property for your business.
Finding your ideal commercial property is a really important step in establishing or expanding your business; a decision that can significantly impact your company's success and growth prospects. Whether you're a small start-up, a growing SME, or an established corporation, the process of finding the right commercial lease space demands careful consideration. Choosing the right location is arguably one of the most important factors when looking for a commercial property. We live in an increasingly digital age but for businesses that require a physical location, the old adage "location, location, location" could still hold weight. We dip into some key factors to consider when deciding on the right location for your business.
Think about your customers, employees, and suppliers. Is the location easily accessible by road, public transport, and does it have adequate parking facilities? Accessibility is a crucial factor when searching for the right commercial property for you and your business. It encompasses various aspects that can significantly impact your business's success:
1. Customer Accessibility - consider the convenience for your customers. Is the location easily reachable for your target demographic? High foot traffic areas or proximity to potential clients can be a key advantage for retail businesses, for example. Think about whether the property is situated in a well-trafficked commercial district or near popular amenities that attract your customer base. Companies that require a trade counter as part of their industrial unit, are still having to consider their target demographic and how the accessibility might affect access to the customer-facing provision. What we aren’t covering in this guide are your responsibilities to ensure physical accessibility for people with disabilities. We look at this more closely in an upcoming blog that looks at the different types of commercial property.
2. Employee Accessibility - your employees play a vital role in your business's success. Ensuring the property is accessible to them means considering their commute, access to public transportation, and proximity to potential talent pools. A location that's difficult for employees to reach can result in higher turnover and recruitment challenges. Whilst not covered in this blog, removing barriers to make sure disabled people can access work is important, and an upcoming blog - what type of commercial property might be suited to your business – looks more closely at that. Advice from ACAS is available in the meantime. When considering the right location for your business, for employee accessibility, it is advisable to do so in line with your recruitment strategy. Undoubtedly, the UK’s perspective on recruitment and retention is moulding into something quite different from just a few years ago. An article from The Guardian looks at some of the challenges and how they might be overcome.
3. Supplier Accessibility - don't forget about your supply chain. A property should be easily accessible to your suppliers and distributors. This can impact the timely delivery of goods and services, affecting your operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.
4. Road Access - evaluate the road infrastructure leading to the property. Are there major highways or roads nearby that facilitate the movement of goods and customers? A location with good road access can reduce transportation costs and increase your market reach. Contact with your local authority or National Highways can be a place to start for information on current and planned projects in the location being considered.
5. Public Transport - access to public transportation is crucial for businesses, whether your locations options are urban or more rural. It makes it easier for employees and customers to reach your location without the hassle of traffic or parking.
6. Parking Facilities - sufficient parking facilities can essential, particularly for retail and service businesses. Inadequate parking can deter potential customers and create frustration for both employees and visitors. Assess whether the property offers on-site parking or if nearby parking options are readily available. As the UK sees an uptick in the purchase of electric vehicles, the demand for vehicle charging points is also factoring into the decision-making process; access to electric charging points could give you a competitive edge with employees and customers alike. Rachel Jones, Senior Commercial Property Solicitors for Harper James, covers the question of whether commercial landlords are ready for EV charging.
In summary, accessibility is a multifaceted consideration when selecting a commercial property. It directly impacts customer traffic, employee satisfaction, and the efficiency of your supply chain. A location that prioritises accessibility can give your business a competitive edge and contribute to its long-term success.
Proximity to Competitors:
It can be well worth your time conducting some research into the area to see if there's a concentration of similar businesses. Sometimes, being near to competitors can be advantageous, while other times, it might lead to fierce competition. We take a look at some of the pros and cons.
Potential advantages of proximity to competitors:
1. Market validation – it could indicate a thriving market for your products or services, and be a positive demonstration of demand.
2. Customer traffic - being close to competitors can draw more potential customers to the area. People looking for specific products or services may choose your location simply because it's convenient.
3. Networking opportunities - proximity to competitors can lead to collaborations, partnerships, or knowledge-sharing. You may benefit from the experience and insights of established businesses.
4. Suppliers and talent pool - suppliers may be more willing to serve areas with multiple similar businesses. Additionally, you may find a pool of skilled workers familiar with your industry in the vicinity.
Potential disadvantages of proximity to competitors:
1. Intense Competition - competition can be fierce in areas with many similar businesses. Price wars and constant efforts to outdo each other might lead to reduced profitability.
2. Market Saturation - if the market is already saturated with competitors, it can be challenging to differentiate your brand and capture a significant market share.
3. Overlapping Target Audience - you may end up fighting for the same pool of customers, which can make it hard to stand out and build a loyal customer base.
4. Market Trends - if a specific area experiences economic downturns or changes in consumer preferences, all businesses in that niche might suffer.
Ultimately, the decision to locate your business near competitors depends on your business strategy, the specific market conditions, and your ability to differentiate yourself in a competitive environment. Your research will no doubt be informed and influenced by the unique factors pertaining to your business
Is the location in an area with potential for growth? Assessing the growth potential of a location involves analysing various factors, including infrastructure development and urban planning. An article by McKinsey and Company, concludes that companies with forward-looking strategies and agile operating models that are poised to capture the most growth, in a post-pandemic era. In terms of a location’s potential for growth, what kind of factors might be worth considering?
1. Infrastructure development - the presence of modern infrastructure is crucial for growth. Check if the area has well-maintained roads, bridges, and transportation networks. Investments in infrastructure, such as new highways, airports, and public transit systems, can indicate growth potential.
2. Economic opportunities - evaluate the area's economic diversity and potential for job growth. Look for the presence of industries, businesses, and technology hubs. An influx of companies and employment opportunities often signifies a growing economy. If the region is unfamiliar to you, an article from LinkedIn’s Market Development Team, here, runs through some suggestions on how to assess the market potential of a new area.
3. Town and County Planning - the quality of planning plays a significant role. Well-planned regions are designed for efficient land use, accessibility, and sustainability. Consider if the area follows smart city principles, which can lead to long-term growth and a high quality of life. Don’t be shy to reach out the relevant local authority’s Town and County Planning department for advice.
4. Population growth - a growing population often goes hand in hand with a growing region. Analyse demographic trends and migration patterns to see if people are moving into the area. This can stimulate demand for housing, services, and businesses. It may help to look at the most recent data from The Office of National Statistics, including a handy tool for population growth by local authority.
5. Regulations – seek advice about any local regulations that might affect your business. Favourable regulations can encourage business development. Conversely, overly restrictive regulations may impede growth. According to the gov.uk advice, Primary Authority was launched in 2009 to make the local regulation of businesses operating at multiple premises across the UK more consistent. It states, “Primary Authority is a means for businesses to receive assured and tailored advice on meeting environmental health, trading standards or fire safety regulations through a single point of contact”.
6. Education and research Institutions - the presence of universities, research centres, and educational institutions can foster innovation and attract a skilled workforce, contributing to long-term growth.
7. Quality of life - consider factors like healthcare facilities, cultural amenities, recreational opportunities, and overall quality of life. A high quality of life can attract talent and investments.
8. Environmental sustainability - sustainability initiatives can indicate a forward-thinking approach to growth. Evaluate the area's commitment to green and clean technologies, which can attract environmentally conscious businesses and residents.
9. Public services - adequate public services, such as healthcare, emergency services, and public safety, are essential for a growing community.
10. Future projects - investigate any planned or ongoing development projects in the area, including commercial, residential, and public infrastructure. These can be strong indicators of growth potential.
11. Community engagement - a vibrant and engaged community can be a driving force for growth. Active participation in local governance, community organisations, and volunteering opportunities, can foster a sense of ownership and pride in the area.
12. Market trends - keep an eye on commercial property and business market trends in the region. Are property values appreciating? Are new businesses opening? These indicators can help assess growth potential.
By thoroughly evaluating contributing growth factors, such as the ones listed, you can form a comprehensive understanding of whether a location has the potential for sustained growth and development. It's important to conduct thorough research and consult with experts when making decisions.
Is that all?
We can start to see how logistical considerations could significantly impact the success and stability of a business. Your understanding of your industry, niche and unique brand will inform you as to what factors pertain to your company.
Understanding the process as a whole is crucial for both landlords and tenants to ensure a smooth and legally compliant transaction. The commercial leasing process in the UK involves various legal, financial, and logistical considerations that upcoming blogs will cover.
Navigating the legal aspects of leasing a commercial property is essential. Brooklands Property Holdings Ltd encourage you get advice from a professional to help you navigate the legalities around responsibilities such as lease agreements, permissions and property assessments.
Who are Brooklands Property Holdings?
Established in 1957, Brooklands Property Holdings Ltd is a privately owned commercial development and investment company focused on high quality office, retail, industrial and trade counter properties, across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Surrey. With our diverse base of occupiers - including FTSE 100 companies and national and local businesses - location is a driving factor in our acquisitions and commercial property developments, across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Surrey.
Our commercial portfolio includes the highly sought after Hesslewood Office Park which comprises a mixture of fully modernised Grade 2 listed buildings and new office buildings, situated within a 10-acre landscaped site. Hesslewood Office Park is a uniquely inspiring place to locate your business, a topic that some of our current occupiers talk about in a previous blog about the innovative Tree Tops Development.
Ready to find the right property for your business? Check out the current opportunities for light industrial, trade counter and office space leasing.
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