How to: find a biz property in the 21st century
It’s easy to feel like an ageing granddad when you start discussing the miracle of the internet, but let’s not forget just how much the world wide web (itself a dated phrase) has changed the business landscape since 2000.
Becoming a leading entrepreneur has taken on a more egalitarian form – you only really need to set up your own website to gain a foothold in the business world. Actually enjoying success is a different matter, but a vast number of people are operating businesses while tucked snugly in their bedrooms or home offices.
Where does this leave the traditional workplace? For small companies, the idea of buying an office is anathema to meagre budgets. Employees can work on an ad-hoc basis, taking their laptop to a coffee shop instead of sitting in a fusty old office.
It means that commercial properties have moved from a necessity to a mark of prestige. You rent a classy office to impress clients and foster a creative dialogue between your staff members.
However, the same perils and pitfalls remain in the property market. When you’re searching for a workplace that will meet your practical and aesthetic needs, you’ll have to make sure you’ve got all the right knowledge at your disposal.
With that in mind, we’ve come up with a few bite-sized tips to help your business negotiate its first property purchase.
The right help
You can trust some letting agents as far as you can throw them. They’ll obfuscate the truth, evade a property’s shortcomings until they make a sale and avoid the thorny issue of the market’s health.
To illustrate this point, here is a typical conversation between a prospective letter and a shifty letting agent.
Prospective Letter: Has the property got double glazing?
Shifty Letting Agent: Well, the sun rises at regular intervals, creating an ideal amount of heat throughout your working day.
Prospective Letter: So, it doesn’t have double glazing?
Shifty Letting Agent: Erm, no.
But there are agencies you can trust. One such company is Costar, which has a commercial property database designed to inform customers of everything they need to know before they invest in a new property. We’d recommend them for both property market greenhorns and seasoned pros.
Know your audience
It’s all very well having a workplace that looks daring and debonair, but your efforts will mean nothing if you don’t court the right audience. This doesn’t just mean finding the right space – it’s about establishing yourself in the right area.
Ensure that your core demographic is near to where you plan to establish your business. That old maxim “Build it and they will come” might be true in a minority of cases, but it’s not a risk you should be willing to take in a competitive market.