What should I consider when looking for commercial space?

Looking at commercial space to suit your business can be exhausting and confusing. There are numerous elements to consider within every commercial space and you need to get the right balance. At Bellfort, we know this balancing act can create an unnecessary headache. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a series of useful tips and information that will help you find the commercial space that suits you best.

Get the basics right first

  • Have you assessed the market rent of the tenancy and is it comparable to others? If not, consider what you are actually getting for your dollar and if it fits within your allocated budget.
  • Every commercial space is zoned according to it’s permitted use. If the space you are looking at does not allow your business to trade as it should, you need to seek a change of use and planning approval from the local council. This will add extra cost to your budget and increase your approval timeline.
Location, location!

The location of your business should benefit the service you provide to your clients. If your main client base is in the CBD, a suburban commercial space will negatively impact on business growth.

Expansion vs contraction

While the size of a commercial space may suit your business today, always consider potential staff growth or contraction. If the future is not factored into your decision, you will find your business needs to relocate sooner than you think.

The commute

Happy staff equates to a successful business and the time everyone spends getting to and from work should be thought about. Likewise, if people prefer to drive or take public transport. Consider commuting options before you commit to a commercial space.

Four walls, a floor and a ceiling

  • When viewing a tenancy, think about the flexibility of the floor plan. Has it been divided up in a way that will suit your business or will you have to carry out alterations? And keep in mind that sometimes an empty tenancy can be more cost effective when it comes to a design and fit out to suit your needs.
  • Are the existing walls, floor and ceiling in a good condition? If they aren’t, is the landlord going to repair them or will you have to incur this additional cost. Why not read our article Signing a lease- what do I need to know for additional information on this topic.

Benefits and incentives of your commercial space

Building amenities

Every commercial building provides standard amenities such as toilets, central stairs or lift access. End-of-trip facilities like showers and bike storage are not always available. While you can include some of these items within your own fit out, remember that the additional cost will be your responsibility.

Local amenities

Is close proximity to shops, cafes and public spaces important to your business and the people who work with you? Easy access to these facilities can determine what type and position of space you need to look for. Keep in mind what your non-negotiables are when searching for commercial space but be open to change if options are available.

Good parking ratio

Parking for staff and visitors can impact on location, cost and efficiency of your business. While CBD businesses generally make use of allocated car bays or public parking areas, they can be costly. On site parking for suburban commercial space can be less expensive. However, capacity can effect anticipated staff and visitor numbers.

Guidelines and approvals

Is there a set of fit out guidelines for your commercial space? Understand what the tenancy parameters are before you commence the design and fit out stage. Are there restrictions on working hours for fit out work? If building work is restricted to out-of-hours, costs will increase. Also check what approval processes are required such as landlord and statutory (building permit) approvals. Additional time and money may have to be factored into your programme and budget for them.

Services

  • Does your commercial space have an energy star rating and does your fit out need to meet certain criteria?
  • Do plumbing services support your business? Do you have water and waste for a tea point? Is there a grease trap for your commercial kitchen?
  • Is the electrical supply sufficient or will you have to upgrade a distribution board? Do you have fibre connected into the building and are lighting levels sufficient?

What type of air conditioning do you have in your commercial space? When was it last replaced and will it accommodate building new walls and creating new offices or meeting rooms? If you work weekends or nights, is there an after-hours button which will turn the air conditioning on when you need it? Generally, air conditioning will cater for 1 person per 10m². Does your intended fit out comply with this or do you need to alter the existing system. Altering air conditioning is one of the largest costs for most fit outs so you need to ensure you get this important component right.

 

Deciding on a suitable commercial space for your business is the first stage of creating an inspiring workplace environment. If you are keen to read more information regarding commercial interior design and fit out, check out our Useful Information blog page for further topics. Alternatively, you might like to view our project gallery for creative design ideas.

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