You’re thinking about moving but you’re not sure if it’s the right call for your business. You may have already looked around at what’s available in the market and be weighing up the pros and cons of some different options. Regardless, you’ve identified that your premises needs to change in order to accommodate changes in your business. The question is: is the grass really greener and is moving premises really worth it?
To help you answer this question, consider the following:
- Did you take the lease over from someone else? taking an assignment of a lease means taking it warts and all, with no ability to change any terms you don’t like.
- Did you dance to the landlord’s tune when you agreed to the original lease? Your negotiating position may have been compromised so you had to agree terms you would have preferred not to.
- Did you get advice when you originally took on the lease? You may have DIYed the lease negotiation missing crucial improvements you may not have known about.
If you’re feeling constrained by your current premises, the problem might not necessarily lie with the premises. You may not have lease terms that work for you as well as they do for your landlord. If things have significantly changed in your business, you need to look in detail at what your business needs from its premises, to best support its operations today. Those needs won’t necessarily be the same as when you first took the lease.
Your next step is to compare your current business plan with your previous one and identify what has changed, through a SWOT analysis of your business as things stand. Analyse these differences and ask what your premises should be delivering to your business and if your current premises could still do that, with some changes either to layout or lease terms or both.
If you do decide to renegotiate your lease, remember that the order and choice of words is critical to the outcome. In my work with my clients, what you might not know is that the same commercial lease terms feature if the annual rent is £6,000 or £600,000. In fact, you’ll probably see similar terms in a license for a co-working space. Sometimes in business, it’s not what you say, it’s HOW you say it that determines the outcome.
If you do need to renegotiate, you need to know what the terms in a lease mean and how they can be amended to better suit your needs. Forewarned is forearmed! Consider whether you need support negotiating a commercial lease for your business. “Common gaps” in the knowledge of people that come to me for advice, include:
- the reality of repairing obligations
- statutory regulations
- break clauses & rent reviews
- tenant covenant
- deposits and personal guarantees
- the 1954 Landlord and tenant act and its implications,
- alterations and reinstatement
The truth is: a full, comprehensive knowledge is required in order to negotiate on equal terms with a landlord or their agent, who do this sort of thing every day. Experience and understanding equal to theirs is essential, to level the playing field and get the best outcome for your business. That comprehensive knowledge is what I deliver, so my clients get the outcome that works for them (not just the landlord!).
So what next?
If you’re looking for a quick overview of the process to better understand what you don’t know you don’t know, check out my suite of plain-English no-nonsense online courses, designed to empower you to get the right premises on the right commercial terms for your business: https://www.culverwellconsulting.co.uk/talk-to-jim/
Alternatively, a free 15-minute call with me could help you reach a decision that supports the needs of your business as well as saving you time and money. Click here to check availability and book a slot straight into my diary.