One of the reasons why new bakery owners need to confirm their business plans thoroughly is because of the property lease they need to sign to secure the premises where the business will be operated.
Depending on the bakery’s focus and particular niche, the size, location and various other factors regarding the lease may be affected.
Find the Ideal Spot
Get a place that’s too small without planning for any future expansion and you may end up limiting your potential growth. Sign a lease for a property that’s too large and costly, and the business may have excessive rental overheads.
If the bakery is located in an area that doesn’t get much foot traffic, it may be hard to attract walk-in customers. If it’s on a busy road with lots of pedestrians, you need to make sure the rental is affordable.
The perfect location will make a huge difference to the success of a bakery. A top spot can almost guarantee a steady flow of customers instantly.
Be Prepared to Wait
Unless you’re extremely lucky, it won’t be easy to find a suitable commercial space for your bakery quickly. The hunt for your ideal place could take months. Don’t rush. There may be a temptation to go with the best option that’s on offer, but it’s better to hold off until the right place becomes available.
Be prepared for lots of disappointments. If the location is right, the shape of the unit may be unsuitable. If the interior is good, the external environment may be dismal. When everything is right, the price will be way out of your budget. Ultimately, you will need to compromise.
Once you go ahead and sign the lease, be prepared to stay for some time. You will be investing a lot of cash to renovate the place, furnish it and possibly even design custom furniture and install kitchen equipment that can’t be easily moved.
Make sure that you have the option to renew the lease for a second term at a rate that is pre-agreed now, or where the rate increase is capped. Avoid being caught off-guard by a huge rental increase by the landlord once your initial lease runs out.
Although you can move to another location, the cost of moving may be prohibitively large, so it’s always better to plan for the long term if possible. Bakeries are a retail business where customers need to know where to find you. After building your reputation in a certain place for years, the last thing you want is to move somewhere else.
If you Really have to Move
Of course, there are times when you can’t avoid having to move. Either the location is just unsuitable, or you’ve outgrown the size of the place. In such cases, plan for the move way in advance.
Let your customers know months ahead. Don’t wait till the last few weeks as some people who do not come into your shop all the time may not be aware of what’s going on. If you don’t inform them of the upcoming move, they may think you’ve shut down when they come back to find that your bakery isn’t there any more.
By giving yourself lots of lead-time, you’re able to look for and compare different quotations from moving companies. You may need to get specialists in to help dismantle certain furniture or kitchen equipment. This may be costly, so do your homework to find a good supplier to do the job.
Request for What you’re Entitled to
So, in summary, don’t take your lease planning lightly. It is one of the most important decisions for your new bakery. Give it the attention it deserves and try to get it right the first time.
Stand firm to negotiate a good deal with the landlord, or make the realtor earn their fees by getting you attractive terms. Don’t be a pushover.
Where appropriate, get the building owner to do any repairs for you before you move in. Check on the electricals thoroughly and other infrastructure such as the plumbing. You don’t want any of these basic things to go wrong once you start your business.