Deciding on a Place of Business - dummies

By John Aylen

Part of Starting & Running a Small Business For Canadians All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Finding a location for your business (if you’re able to choose a location) is an important step. When choosing your business premises, aim to spend as little as possible while making sure that your place of business satisfies the needs of your newly launched enterprise.

Working from home

Working from home is the cheapest way to go. With computers, high-quality printers, e-mail, fax, and voice mail, a home-based business doesn’t have to look like an amateur operation. And the Internet allows even the smallest company to have worldwide exposure. You can project a big business image even if your head office is the kitchen table.

In addition to cost, working from home has other advantages, too:

  • You’ll be able to claim an income tax deduction for a portion of the expenses of running your home

  • You won’t have to commute to and from work.

  • You’ll have more flexibility to deal with your children, aging parents, or pets.

Working from home does have some disadvantages as well:

  • You may have little, if any, room for expansion as your business grows.

  • You may find accommodating employees difficult or impossible.

  • You may find that you need facilities and services that you can’t have at home.

  • You may feel isolated from business associates.

  • You may find yourself not isolated enough from family and friends!

Renting business premises

Most small businesses that need permanent retail, office, or industrial space rent the space (rather than buy). You should consider a number of factors before you rent space. Before you start to look for rental premises, stop and think about your business needs:

  • What kind of space are you looking for?

  • What kind of image are you trying to project?

  • What location is most accessible to your potential clients or customers and employees?

  • What kind of parking do you need?

  • Is it best to locate near competing businesses or away from them?

  • How much space do you need now and in the future?

  • What kind of layout or floor plan do you need?

  • What are your electrical and plumbing requirements?

  • Will your suppliers need special access to make deliveries to you?

  • Are you willing to pay for improvements to the property you rent?

  • How long do you want to rent these premises for?

  • How much rent are you willing and able to pay?