5 Points to Consider When Choosing Retail Space
The right retail space in Woodbridge, VA, can make or break the success of your shop. So expect to spend time and energy on finding the one that truly fits your requirements. Your storefront is your brand in physical form. If customers can find it, get to it easily, and enjoy the experience of shopping there, success is yours.
Leasing retail premises is much more complicated than renting an apartment. Commercial real estate involves many more factors. So the more planning you do upfront, the better positioned your business will be in the long term.
Here’s a look at 5 points to keep in mind when you choose your retail space in Woodbridge, VA.
#1. Determine Your Budget and Stick to It
Experts suggest 3 to 8 percent of your gross revenue is the sweet spot for lease payments. The range varies according to industry. Toy, game and tech stores tend to pay at the lower end, clothing establishments at the higher end.
Be sure to include the other payments that are part of your overall lease. These can include upfront payment, deposits, property taxes, utilities, common area maintenance, and insurance. It’s important to investigate the common area maintenance fees, which can vary from month to month depending on the specific terms in your lease.
#2. Find the Right Neighborhood
It’s more than just figuring out where your customers are, and then picking a building close by or with easy access. Here are 7 factors to take into consideration:
- How many people live in the area
- Its demographics
- What types of businesses are close by and the kinds of foot traffic they attract
- Competing businesses close by
- Businesses and groups that are compatible with your business in your area (like offices and quick print shops, firms with lots of workers and sandwich shops)
- How much parking is close by
- Access to alternative transportation
The ideal location has an anchor store, like a grocery store, that attracts foot traffic to the neighborhood. Any businesses that are complementary to yours will help you get more people into your shop.
And don’t forget the cost of the leases in the neighborhood, which is top of your list. If you can’t afford one particular retail space in Woodbridge, VA, keep looking.
#3. Get the Size and Amenities You Need
It can be difficult to get a precise idea how much space you need. But it’s critical that you have accurate figures. Spend time on this one. It helps to work with someone experienced with retail space needs.
First decide what types of work areas your shop will use. Typical space is needed for sales, inventory and storage, offices, kitchen and lunchroom, bathroom, and perhaps dressing rooms.
Then figure out the square footage for each area. Sales space, the most critical area, usually follows a formula: planned sales volume divided by average sales per square foot in your specialty equals square footage of sales floor space.
Crunch the numbers before you go looking. It makes no sense to pay big bucks for space you don’t need. But you also don’t want to be so squeezed that your employees can’t do their job effectively and your customers feel crowded.
Decide what the ideal layout is for your business. Think about traffic flow, getting inventory to the sales area, and office needs. Keep this in mind when you check out retail space in Woodbridge, VA. Look for spaces that you can easily adapt to fit your specific needs.
Decide what services and amenities you need, like security, parking, as well as access to buses and other transportation.
#4. Find Available Spaces
Now you’re ready to actually go out and find your shop space. Look for people walking around or driving around, and shopping. Do people look like they enjoy spending time in the area? Does it look like people spend money in this location?
Keep an eye out for rental signs in the neighborhoods you like best. Look online for shops for rent. Ask friends and people in your business network to let you know about suitable spaces for rent.
#5. Do Your Research to Negotiate with Savvy
Negotiating an advantageous lease is an art form. The more research you do beforehand, the happier you’ll be in the years to come. The first step is boning up on lease terms like percentage lease, gross lease, net lease, double net lease and triple net lease.
Find out what types of clauses to look for, like co-tenancy, renovation, go-dark, signage, and sublease. Protect your interests by learning what to look for. You can be sure the landlord is doing all he can to protect his interests! It does take time to learn the lingo for retail space in Woodbridge, VA, but you will benefit in the long term.
Work with Experts
There’s a lot to research when you’re looking for a new space. The planning can be frustrating and time consuming, but it’s absolutely necessary. The more time you spend before you choose a spot, the happier you’ll be in the coming months and years. The success of your business depends on it.
The downside is that you’re not spending all this time and energy on your business. Like most business owners, your expertise is in your industry, what your customers want, how to deal with suppliers, and what works when it comes to marketing. You probably know very little about finding the right retail space and negotiating the lease.
That’s why so many local companies partner with Boosalis Properties when it’s time to find retail space in Woodbridge, VA. We have been helping businesses in the community since 1978. Berger Sewing, Chipolte, NovaTech Airsoft, Petsmart, Valley Dental Care, Potomac Vapor, Polaris Dance, T-Mobile and many more trust us to handle the leasing process for them.
We are proud of our reputation as a concierge commercial brokerage. We handle all the moving parts—and there are many—involved in finding your perfect spot, negotiating the best lease, and helping with financing.
Call Boosalis Properties today to discuss how we can help you find the best possible retail space in Woodbridge, VA.