5 questions to ask yourself before signing your next warehouse lease
So you’ve answered the “where?” in the search for your next warehouse. But, before you start
rolling in the moving trucks, there are many other questions to ask. Like, is there anywhere to
1. What’s negotiable? And when?
Your average commercial lease comes with a bit of wriggle room on things such as the rent, lease length and the right of renewal – so wriggle away. Just make sure you get everything written into your contract upfront. This may involve a bit of to-ing and fro-ing at a time when you’re already frantic from juggling set-up logistics, but it will be a lot easier than trying to renegotiate mid-term.
2. Are there any added costs?
Before you take on a commercial lease, make sure you unearth any hidden costs such as landscaping, security, or compulsory insurance. That said, if insurance isn’t a requirement, you should think about getting your own policy anyway. Leasing a commercial property is a big undertaking. Protect your assets.
3. Have you allocated space to grow?
Most warehouse leases are between three and five years, though a ten-year one isn’t unheard of. Whatever the term you’re agreeing to, it won’t be a get in, get out scenario. Make sure you literally have enough room for your business to grow into over the coming years.
4. Have you looked up?
You may have found a space with the ideal square meterage – but how much space does it have in the upwards direction? You will probably be stacking your stock. To what level? And what about a mezzanine floor for offices – do you need an existing one, or plan to have one built in? Warehouse ceiling heights range wildly from around five to ten metres. If you can get added space this way for the same kind of price, you may as well.
5. What’s the parking situation?
Trucks can be cumbersome things that are difficult to maneuver – you don’t need them to be causing problems ‘at home’ too. The thing is though, being allowed to park trucks outside your leased warehouse overnight is not actually a given. Specialised parking is an integral part of commercial property negotiations – but go in equipped with the numbers and your reasoning.