The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), a membership based organization for industry advancement in commercial real estate, created the “Setting Up Shop” a commercial space readiness guidebook. This resource is a great starting point for any business owners deciding on whether a brick-and-mortar space is a right for you.
The resource dives into detail on multiple steps to creating a thorough business plan including: Creating the Business Strategy, Managing Capital (Estimating Costs + Budget and Securing Funding + Financing), Identifying the Right Real Estate, Designing and Constructing Your Space, Marketing Your Business and an index of Key Terms.
You will need a great real estate broker who will ask A LOT of questions to understand your business model in detail including your customer demographics, cash flow projections, customer acquisition process, necessary tenant improvement build out requirements, etc. They will also look at both on and off-market opportunities for spaces that fit your businesses needs and set-up tours of the spaces. When touring spaces the broker will provide market data to help support the decision including area demographics, anchor tenant sales, traffic counts, rents and NNN expenses, estimated build-out costs, zoning and other use restrictions, signage options, and more.
The more technology savvy brokers can also utilize programs such as Placer.ai that utilize artificial intelligence and customer cell phone data to track customer travel patterns, peak shopping days/hours, and provide detailed customer profiles. There is a lot to consider and it can often be overwhelming, but the good news is our team at Capital Rivers Commercial is here to help.
Feel free to review the outline of this comprehensive guide below. We hope that it provides you great value as you explore opening a new retail space. Keep in mind this is just a guide so hiring the right professionals, experts in their respective fields, is still important but at a minimum it will help you create an action plan and ensure you are asking the right questions. When it comes time to find the right space for your business you will want to hire a commercial real estate broker who knows the market and can help you navigate the process.
Commercial Space Readiness Guide Outline
- Step 1: Choose an entity type
- Step 2: Form a legal entity
- Step 3: Create a business plan & team
- Step 4: Create an omnichannel strategy
- Step 5: Create an exit strategy
- Step 1: Calculate rent
- Step 2: Estimate startup costs
- Step 3: Draft profit and loss projections
- Step 4: Seek funding and financing
- Step 5: Explore incentives and partnerships
Search and Identifiy
The Right Space
- Step 1: Establish site search criteria
- Step 2: Engage a broker
- Step 3: Conduct due diligence
- Step 4: Sign a lease
- Step 5: Plan for flexibility
Designing and Constructing
- Step 1: Understand the process
- Step 2: Design your brick-and-mortar experience
- Step 3: Obtain required municipal approvals
Getting to Launch
Marketing Your Business
- Step 1: Create and maintain an online presence
- Step 2: Attract and retain customers through marketing
Download the Commercial Space Readiness Guide
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