You have decided what your business will be and now it is time to figure out if you need office space, web space, or if it will just be done out of your home. I have ran a small craft type business from home and this was my problem; getting things done. I would do everything that needed to be done such as laundry, cleaning, what to make for dinner and on and on. So I discovered I do not have that type of personality that makes it great for me to work out of my home. Office space for me it has to be. If you happen to be the type that can easily work from home then I say go for it and I am glad for you, again I am not the type that can do that. Next I want you to sit down and SERIOUSLY think out this scenario and yes this is necessary before you sign a lease. Think this is your slow slow month, how much money would it take for you to barely get by for a couple of months? You need to include in this figure ALL overhead costs such as electricity, phone, any payments that you may have incurred to get started such as credit cards or loan payments, I think you get the idea here. Now the reason this is necessary is because YES you will have these months, all new business’ do and you don’t want to have a high rent expense hanging over your head but you also don’t want to start your business in a dump either.
Next is as always location location location, this does matter. Say you decided to open a yarn shop, well you do not want to be next to a craft type store than can easily sell yarn and a much cheaper rate than you can because they buy in bulk and well you are a little business and can’t buy in bulk yet, so maybe in a nice downtown area, next to a book store, or if you live in a small town like I do then just about anywhere can be doable. Next is security, you don’t want to have your customers worrying about their safety coming to your business so dark back alleys are out UNLESS this fits into your type of business. Parking, is there enough parking, if it snows in your area is that street plowed or can it be cleared by you as customers won’t come if they can not easily get to you. Size and storage space as you will need a small area for yourself, you know for snacking and having a cup of coffee when you are not working hard. Heat and air conditioning are also important and yes I did have to figure a few things out as my business is in a house that was built in 1867 and yes you guessed it no modern heat or air but I solved that with portable heaters and a portable swamp cooler. Does the place have the flavor or character to suit your type of business ? How much will you have to invest in it in order to get it business worthy to open your doors ? Again depending on the type of business you decided on, in that area of town will they allow your type of business and who are your business neighbors ? These may seem like small things but trust me they are not and just a bit of checking before signing any type of lease can save you alot of headaches down the road. Yes it may seem that you are looking forever for the right place but don’t settle as you really want the place you finally choose to be a location for a good long time. When you do finally find your perfect or pretty darn near perfect place, SIGN A LEASE. I signed my first lease for 2 years and never regretted it as it kept my rent low which is the purpose of signing one, read the lease very carefully before you sign.