Setting up your business premises: A checklist for new entrepreneurs

Starting your entrepreneurial journey is an exciting experience and one of the most exciting steps is choosing your first business premises. This checklist is designed to guide you through the essentials, ensuring you cover all the bases for a smooth start.

Understanding your needs

Before you dive into the details, it’s important to understand what your business requires from a physical space. Consider the nature of your business, the number of employees, the need for customer interaction, and storage requirements. Ask yourself, “What does my ideal business space look like?” This vision will be your guiding star as you make decisions.

Security of your premises

Making sure your new premises are secure is important to reduce the risk of financial losses from theft and criminal damage. Take measures such as installing locks or security fencing around the premises. Investing in CCTV can be an initial cost that could end up saving you significant sums of money in the long run. Electronic key storage solutions from Traka can help reduce the risk of security breaches in your business.

Budgeting and costs

Setting up a business premises isn’t just about paying rent. You need to budget for utilities, renovations, furniture, technology, and unforeseen expenses. It’s wise to have a financial cushion beyond your estimated costs. Be realistic and plan for monthly expenses, keeping in mind that profitability might take time to build.

Legal and regulatory compliance

Ensure you are aware of and comply with building codes and business regulations. This includes obtaining necessary permits and licenses. Neglecting legal compliance can lead to fines or even closure, so it’s critical to get this right from the start.

Designing your space

The design of your premises should reflect your brand and create a productive environment. Whether you’re aiming for a sleek, modern look or a cozy, inviting atmosphere, the layout and design should be functional and align with your business’s identity. Think about customer comfort, employee workflow, and the practical aspects like storage and meeting areas.

Technology setup

In this day and age, your technology setup is as important as your physical one. Ensure you have reliable internet service, the necessary software, and hardware. Consider the need for a robust POS system if you’re in retail, or specialised software for service-based businesses. Don’t forget about cybersecurity measures to protect your and your customers’ data.

Furnishing and equipment

Furnishing your space is more than just an aesthetic choice; it’s about functionality and comfort. Invest in quality furniture that will last and consider ergonomic chairs for your team. Also, list out the equipment your business needs – from printers and computers to machinery or kitchen appliances, depending on your business type.

Safety and accessibility

Prioritise the safety of your employees and customers. This includes installing necessary safety equipment, ensuring accessibility for people with disabilities, and creating a safe and healthy work environment. Regular safety audits can help maintain standards.

Marketing your new location

Once your business premises are ready, it’s time to let the world know. Utilise social media, local advertising, and community engagement to announce your new location. Consider hosting an opening event to create buzz and attract initial customers.

Regular maintenance

Finally, regular maintenance of your premises is key to keeping it in top shape. This includes both the physical maintenance of the space and updating technology and equipment as needed.