How to choose the perfect retail space for your business

So you’re ready to start your own business. Or maybe you have been running a business out of your home and are ready to open a brick-and-mortar store. As you enter this exciting next step, there are many things to consider when selecting a location for your store. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect retail space to lease.

Size/Budget: Consider how much square footage you’ll need to effectively operate your business. You want to make sure you have enough space for your current needs, but also be thinking about future expansion. Size will affect the price, so you’ll also need to figure out what your budget is for leasing a space. Determine a realistic budget, stick with it, and don’t lease more space than you truly need.

Location: The area you choose to open your store plays an important role in the success of your business. Review the area’s demographics to see how large the surrounding population is, what the median household income is and what the average daily traffic volume is. Make sure that the area you choose can sustain your type of business now and for years to come. Another thing to consider is how accessible and convenient your store is. If you choose to be in a shopping center, are there multiple entrances? Is your storefront clearly visible to passers-by? These are all things to think about when searching for space.

Amenities: Before leasing a space, confirm that it offers all the amenities your business needs. Is there ample parking? A security system? Are there working bathrooms and/or a kitchen? Do you sell clothing and need dressing rooms? You must consider all of these items when choosing a space. And if you need to add the amenity yourself, do you have enough budget to do so?

Once you find the perfect place to set up shop, make sure to carefully review your lease before you sign on the dotted line. Understand if there are any requirements or hidden costs like insurance or property management fees. If necessary, hire an attorney who specializes in retail leases to help you through the process. You can also work with a commercial real estate broker who is well-versed at negotiating lease agreements. Armed with the right tools and knowledge, you’ll be on your way to opening your doors in no time.

RJ Thieneman has several retail spaces for lease in Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort and Winchester. To see our available spaces, click here.