Commercial Businesses

Demographics
Demographics will list your customer base and who your neighbors are - age, gender, income, education, and family size. This is a good way to target your customers and understand the market.

Safety
Safety first. Be sure that the building and it’s surroundings are safe for your customers, employees, yourself. Look to see the crime rate in the area for security purposes and if your area is well lit at night.

Traffic
Locations in relationship to pedestrian and car traffic will impact your business. Review traffic information to find out how many people pass by a location, the peak hours, and in what direction.

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Leasing Tips

Research Zoning
Learn the zoning about the location you prefer to locate your business. This will make your business start up smoothly by knowing that you can operate there. If you don’t know the zoning regulations and locate there, you could be paying for the place that you cannot use.

Find Out About Hidden Costs
Visit the space you would like to operate your business. See if it is business ready, if not factor in costs to improve space to your standards.

Ask about ADA Compliance
Owner of property leased are responsible to have public restrooms and ground-floor entrances/ exits ADA accessible, or let you know that the space is not ADA compliant. 

Negotiate the Lease
Don’t buy the first place you visit. Research other sites similar in the area to compare the market cost to better negotiate prices. This may help you get the price you want.

Include Contingencies
When negotiating a lease, plan for delays in case it takes longer than expected to obtain your permits.

Understand the Lease Clauses
Read through all the important clauses in your lease,  including how rent is calculated and quoted, the term of the lease, the start date of the lease, and what happens if the owner of property leased decides to sell the property.

Plan an Exit Strategy
Design a way out. If possible when negotiating the lease find if it allows you to transfer your business to a new owner, in the event of your business would ever fail. This is called an assignment clause, allowing you to sell your business.

Be Active in the Community
Take time to talk with neighboring merchants and consider joining a local merchant association. Don't underestimate the power of community support.

Featured Resources
View for more links and resources on commercial businesses.