My advice to you if you are going to open a traditional shopfront for your business is that you really do need to read and research as much as you can about retailing and retail techniques. As this book is primarily aimed at those wanting to start a home-based business, I can only really touch on what’s involved in opening a shop.
But I do believe that many successful home-based businesses will grow to such a size that opening a shop is the next logical step to take. So don’t say never, never. And if you are going to open a shop, undertake lots of research and speak to as many retailers as you can in the area where you are proposing to do so. Never rely on the promises or claims made by letting agents or landlords. It’s up to you, and you alone, to undertake your research.
Before deciding on a shop you need to consider carefully the costs involved, which go beyond rent. You’ll have to consider business rates, insurance, maintenance, heating and lighting as well as other additional costs.
Leasehold or freehold
Just like buying a house or a flat, there are both leasehold and freehold retail properties available. With freehold property you own the building as well as the land it sits on and have full rights over the property and can sell it (subject to any mortgage conditions) whenever you wish.
You’re also free, subject to planning regulations to make any alterations to the building. The disadvantages to buying a freehold property is that it is relatively expensive and can be very difficult to sell in the future.