Choosing a base for your business can be vital for your success.
Consider what you plan to do there, legal requirements, your finances, and where your customers or suppliers are.
When choosing a site for your business, think about:
- suitability of the premises (it's size, location and fitout)
- conditions of the lease (if you’re leasing) eg. term, rent, expenses and required maintenance
- requirements for items like stock, high level servers or machinery or specific physical security measures.
As your business changes or diversifies, your initial location may not fit the bill anymore.
If you run an online business, you may also need a place to operate and store stock - this could be at home, or you may choose to rent a commercial space.
Making a check list can help you compare how different premises and locations can support your business.
Choosing a premises
Check out the different types of premises below to see which suits you.
Running a home business lowers your overheads and eliminates travel to and from work.
Before you begin, you should assess the suitability of your home for your business. You may need to consider alterations to your workspace, new technology and equipment, and whether your local council has restrictions or zoning controls imposed on home-based businesses. Think about whether or not working from home would make you feel isolated, or if family and friends would be a distraction.
As with every business, you will need a business plan, licences or permits, registration and financial controls.
You also need to arrange business insurance to cover your premises and your business activities.
A serviced office can be a great choice for a new business. Your initial outlays are low as the office, floor or building is fully furnished and equipped, and you have the convenience of flexible leasing terms. Keep in mind, , the rent is usually higher than leasing a standard office.
If you choose to rent an unserviced office space, consider the following:
- What furnishings and equipment do you require?
- Does the space need refurbishing and do you have permission?
- Will you hire a cleaner, and how frequently and what other checks are required?
- Does your set up meet Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) standards?
- What other initial outlays are required?
If your business needs a large amount of storage with minimal office space, you could consider leasing or buying a warehouse. Investigate nearby transportation facilities and choose a warehouse in an accessible location so you can distribute your products quickly and cost-effectively.
Make sure to check that the warehouse meets your requirements. For example:
- Does your required machinery fit in the doorways. If not, is this an issue for your business efficiency?
- Is there sufficient space for your stock?
- Do you need to supply racking?
- Does the space meet any specific requirements you need eg. specific flooring or materials, ventilation, heating or cooling?
- Will the space remain at safe temperatures for people, animals or stock during extreme weather conditions?
If you’re stuck deciding between a stand-alone shop or a shop within a shopping centre, take a look at the advantages and disadvantages.
Within a shopping centre
Lower passing traffic
Draws more customer, higher passing traffic
Less potential competitors
Potentially more competitors
No matter where you decide to rent, be sure to read any contracts and guidelines carefully, and have your lawyer explain them to you as well.
Renting guidelines for standalone stores are determined by the individual owner of the premises.
Guidelines outlined by shopping centres may include additional provisions such as potentially moving shopfronts after shop positioning reviews, or assurance that you are the only business of your kind allowed in that shopping centre. If these provisions exist, they should be outlined in your contract or guidelines.
Technology incubators and co-working spaces can provide accommodation, office facilities, business support and mentoring for start-up businesses. Technology incubators may also include laboratory spaces.
Shared spaces offer start-ups or small firms a range of benefits, including:
- low operating costs
- supportive community
- networking opportunities
- access to advice and information.
They are often found in industrial parks, universities or business enterprise centres. Visit the Office Space website to find a suitable location for your business, or check out the list below:
Small Business co-working spaces
WOTSO WorkSpace - Flinders Street, Adelaide
Little City Studio - Prospect
SpaceSA - Claxton Street, Adelaide
Intersect - (2 locations) Wakefield Street and Flinders Street, Adelaide
Hub Adelaide - Peel Street, Adelaide
Co-Hab Tonsley - Tonsley
Stretton Centre - Davoren Park
Adelaide Business Hub - Todd Street, Adelaide
Technology co-working spaces
Stone and Chalk – Lot Fourteen, Adelaide
313 Halifax Street - Halifax Street, Adelaide
mâché - Wright Street, Adelaide
Fab Lab Adelaide - corner of Pulteney Street and Flinders Street, Adelaide (within St Pauls Creative Centre)
Arts and creative co-working spaces
Blankspace - Rundle Street, Adelaide
St Pauls Creative Centre - corner of Pulteney Street and Flinders Street, Adelaide
The Mill - Angas Street, Adelaide
5th Quarter - Carclew House, North Adelaide
Summertown Studio – Somerton Park
Securing a suitable premises is one of the biggest and most complex decisions you will make for your business.
The Small Business Commissioner is responsible for administering the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995. The Office of the Small Business Commissioner also provides information and assistance to parties on their legislative rights and obligations.
For more information, visit the Small Business Commissioner South Australia.