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Determine exactly how much space you will need to operate comfortably. For example, a mechanic will need to consider the number of bays available at a garage, while a lawyer will need a conference room and private office space. You can choose the most beautiful building, but if it is not functional, it is ultimately a waste of money.
Determine your need for visibility. Does your business depend on walk-in clients or brand recognition? If so, you may want to view locations with a prominent store front or sign. Alternatively, if gaining new clients does not depend on such awareness, consider a cheaper building in a more remote location.
Determine what type of access you need. For example, a large parking lot will be important for reception halls or funeral homes. On the other hand, a parking lot with handicapped access will be essential for insurance agents or medical facilities. Keep in mind the needs of your clients as you choose this potential location.
Consider using shared amenities. If you are a small business, you may want to consider a cheaper property that shares kitchen space or bathroom space with another firm. You
can then split overhead costs for things, such as janitorial staff, rather than foot the bill alone.
If you don't have time to drive around looking for rental properties, then consider using a real estate broker. He can show you every local listing at the touch of a button using programs such as the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS. Once you have chosen a few locations off the screen, your broker will arrange a "showing" or tour through each property until you find one that best suits your needs.
Ask your agent to negotiate deals, such as a security deposit waiver or delayed rent payments for up to three months. In a down market or less popular location, landlords may agree to such terms in an effort to "seal the deal."
When you have settled on a property, thoroughly review the terms of the contract, such as the monthly payment and expiration date. Be sure to ask which utilities or amenities will be covered by the landlord and what exactly you are responsible for as a tenant. If you consent to the terms of the lease, sign on the dotted line and get the keys to your new building.