I have been in business for about 6 months and have had great success so far. I currently lease a commercial kitchen but I want to open my own storefront in the next 6-12 months. Can anyone out there help point me in the right direction with the 'do not do' lists and some things I 'can do' to help make this a reality? I already know I will need some financing for some minor upfitting and some equipment costs. I have a business plan in the works and should have some 'real' numbers put together shortly. I just want some commonly overlooked suggestions to help make sure I'm on track.
One suggestion that helped me.......I enlisted the help of a commercial real estate agent that was working for me. Doesn't cost you anything and he makes a commision off the lease. But it saved me in the long run. He works for you. I negotiated the build out of my unit into the lease which saved me tons!!!! This way I got a say in how everything got built out down to the colors on the wall. The only thing I had to pay for was the hook up for the 3 compartment sink and the electrical for the oven. Also, a good commercial agent will know what to look out for in the lease to protect you.
I negotiated the build out of my unit into the lease which saved me tons!!!!
Dang! Wish I'd met you a year ago!
Southernbelle, I never thought about that! How tough was that to negotiate into the lease? How much did it affect your price per sq ft and did it require you to sign a longer lease?
I had been looking at space for about 6 months....met this real estate agent as he showed me something that was actually for sale.....he lined up several spaces that were for lease and ran comps and showed me several properties for lease...new space and existing. The longer lease you sign the more negotiating power you have as they are willing to make you happy if they know you are going to stay. I signed a 3 year lease with an increase of 3% each year. 630 square feet and I pay $630 per month. They pay water and sewer...plus they did the build out.....granted 630 square feet but it used to be a beauty shop so they had to move some plumbing and walls.....we negotiated in the lease who pays for what and there was a contingency that I would be able to use it for the purpose of a bakery....that way if the health dept or fire dept had a problem I wouldn't be stuck........I love my space, it's small but as I am building my business it is really working out. I think in the long run having the real estate agent really helped. I would highly recommend getting one and start looking at what is out there in your area and what kind of negotiating power you have Good Luck!