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Leasing Commercial Property: 3 New Considerations for 2020

24th September 2020

Leasing a new customer-facing commercial space like a shop or restaurant is never an easy task, but with the economic impact of the ongoing pandemic still being felt across all industries, never has this been more true. 

Luckily, we’re here to help. That’s why today, we’re running through 3 new considerations you should be looking to make when contemplating the commercial viability of a space in an age of social distancing, changing consumer habits and unprecedented uncertainty. 

Has passing trade been impacted?

High levels of foot traffic is the cherry on the cake of any commercial property. If your premises are situated near popular shops, tourist spots and social hubs, it’s likely you’ll benefit from the passing trade of window shoppers – but is this still the case?

With the landscapes of many towns and cities looking radically different from the start of the year, it’s possible that areas that traditionally benefited from heavy passing trade are no longer reaping the rewards. As such, study how the trade of surrounding businesses has been affected to ensure you have the most up-to-date picture of the area’s commercial viability.  

Is it convenient for employees? 

While studying the area, don’t forget your employees. 

Employee convenience should always be a factor when making any decision on location, but with ever changing guidelines surrounding travel and commuting, this should be further up your priority list than ever before.

For example, while city centre spots are often considered prime real estate for commercial ventures, it’s far less common for these areas to boast perks such as car parking space. While this was far from the end of the world at the start of the year, with COVID-19 guidelines commonly advising against the use of public transport where possible, this now has the potential to affect the health and safety of your employees. As such, be sure you fully comprehend how employees’ commuting methods will be impacted before making a decision on leasing or buying commercial premises.

Is the space big enough?

Of course, size has always been an important factor when leasing a commercial space.

In the age of COVID-19, however, this has never been so important. Government guidelines on COVID-19 retail and hospitality precautions are here to stay for the foreseeable, so ensuring you have the capabilities to adhere to all the latest rules and regulations is crucial in assuring both your employees and customers stay safe. 

These considerations extend further than simply having the room to observe social distancing. As any business owner will tell you, many SMEs have had to completely overhaul their operations in order to adhere to stringent safety precautions. 

This means that it’s key to consider the amount of space you have behind the scenes, not just front of house. For example, stockrooms in retail environments should now be optimised to ensure as little touching as possible. This approach requires adequate room to host efficient inventory management tools like hygienic retail shelving and labelled stockroom storage systems.

Likewise, hospitality businesses will need to reimagine their staff rooms to accommodate more stringent social distancing at all points. This is about more than having the floor space to keep employees metres apart. Instead, think about whether you’ll have the sufficient room to store features like staff retail lockers, allowing employees to separate belongings and maintain a certain level of hygiene and distancing in the process.

Leasing a commercial property in 2020 comes with its challenges, but when equipped with the right know-how detailed above, it’s still possible to  find a building that works for you, your employees and your customers. 

To learn more about how Action Storage can help get your new commercial space ready for the public this year, why not get in touch with our team of industry experts?