Some businesses rely heavily on their location for success. It can be the difference between thriving and succeeding and struggling to make ends meet. Recognise the red flags before committing to the wrong property. For the sake of this article I will use the example of a coffee shop, restaurant or food service venue, but the principles apply to other businesses as well.
• Will people be able to walk past and see your business when they are looking for a meal? A business in a beautiful location that is hard to get to (access by car only, not close to public transport or populated areas) may still thrive, but your customers will need to find you via the internet and then plan to go there.
• Is the rent cheap but the location a bit off the main thoroughfare? If you are on the other side of the block from where most of the other restaurants are, will people still know to walk out of the way to eat at your establishment?
• Shopping centers – guaranteed walk-past traffic right? Shopping center managers and agents typically oversell themselves to prospective tenants to induce them to sign leases. What happens when foot traffic or demand for your service does not live up to expectations? You are trapped in a lease and the shopping centre will do everything in its power to keep you there.
• Shopping center landlords are typically the most hard to deal with and strict landlords that there are. No exceptions. Avoid them like the plague.
These insights come from my real-world observations. I have set up countless new commercial leases for lots of different businesses. In some cases the client comes back to me after a year or two saying they need to get out of the lease. In other cases I see the business doing well and thriving, the client asking me to act on leases for additional new locations. Much depends on picking the right property, then negotiating the terms of the lease so that the tenant gets maximum benefit from it.

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