Recent Newsletters

What’s In a Place? Part I A Guide for Lessees




Let’s suppose you have a great idea and aspire to be a business owner. The decision you face is where to set up shop.
 
It turns out this decision is multi-faceted. It may seem that rent is the only important metric to consider, but there are far more aspects to evaluate and Summerside EDO can assist in the following ways:

Demographics: Identifying your customers is important more than just from a revenue or marketing standpoint. You must be physically accessible to the people you cater to. For instance, a tattoo parlour probably wouldn’t do well in a retirement community.
 
Are your products or services for children?  If so, consider realities such as the proximity of schools and clubs. The presence of either can boost that demographic significantly since hundreds of students are bussed in from elsewhere. If your business is meant for the needy, think about ease of travel. Consider choosing a location that’s dense, central, and accessible by public transportation.
 
Labour:
While most anyone is willing to travel somewhat for the right job, travel time should be within reason. For instance, hiring youths could mean locating near a high school or along bus routes rather than on the outskirts of town.
 
Income: As with demographics, this should conform to the status quo of the community. If your business targets people with disposable income, then it would be wise to plan your location accordingly. If you are too far from your target market, you could find yourself out of reach or avoided.
 
Traffic:
Traffic volume ranks highly in promoting a business, especially for restaurants and retailers – the more visibility, the more visitors.
 
On the other hand, if your business is manufacturing engaged in high volume shipping and receiving, heavy traffic can pose a problem for out-of-town customers, especially for delivery trucks.
 
Intent:
Most cities have an area that’s in vogue – an area that’s priced higher than others since it’s the place to be. Think hard about whether you need and are willing to pay a premium for the prestige factor with more visibility and walk-ins.  
 
These five factors make up a checklist to consider when deciding on a location for your business. Your EDO can help address them.
 
While decisions may seem daunting, Summerside EDO has the tools and market statistics with which to make decisions less complicated. From demographic and household analytic insights to 10 year traffic volume trends and key business indicators, The Summerside Office of Economic Development is your key partner and lead agency for assistance in easing the decision making process.





What’s In a Place? Part II
A Guide for Lessees


Of course, it would be optimal to have leasable property fully occupied month after month, but any landlord will tell you that is wishful thinking. There are many challenges that come with leasing, the most challenging of which is filling vacancies.
 
Suppose you have a dependable, long-term tenant. They’ve been with you for a decade, the space has been modified to suit them, they pay their rent, and the space has become iconic to the neighbourhood. Now suppose the tenant declines to renew their lease with you. Although a departure is a bitter pill to swallow, this situation can be mitigated with a well thought out action plan.
 
A space can go downhill when neglected. Abandoning a vacant property is unwise. A prospective tenant will have enough work to do when physically moving in plus the task of running a successful business. Places that are dank, rundown and where weeds abound, will likely turn away prospective lessees who may assume that that the lessor’s poor attitude will persist should they take up residence.
 
It is difficult to tout a space to a prospective tenant as, if someone has been allowed to use it as storage space. It begs the question as to whether the space is available. Also, taking away someone’s storage space may result in animosity.
 
Frequently, available space is advertised by a phone number. More often than not, the caller is given several options to press, or a message machine answers. Because we live in an age in which full information is expected quickly, phone calls are less popular. Immediate information on the Internet is the prospective client’s preference.
 
We live in an information age. Be sure to include square footage, address, price, zoning, previous use, other tenants, building age, HVAC setup, elevators, parking, security, lot size, and telecom provider. Depending on the property, other specifics such as ceiling height and loading bays may be important.  
 
As for media a sign out front will probably render few results. If you are seen only by those who drive by, you are limiting your reach. Better to post your available space on social media or your website. Paid advertising can also boost the number of enquiries.  
 
Although your space ought to be ready to occupy, some tenants may require retrofitting. Investing in some modifications can pay off for you for the right tenant. Be informative, a little give and take can go a long way, perhaps parlaying into a fruitful long-term lease arrangement.
 
Please keep in mind that Summerside EDO has a chest of tools designed to assist property owners and managers in reaching wider networks. For potential clients, there is a sites tool tailored to industrial and commercial clients seeking the right location. To ensure your space is well represented, visit our website at:  http://www.bigpossibilities.ca/property-search


EDO Releases New Investment Brochure
 

The City’s Economic Development Office has recently published a comprehensive Investment Brochure on doing business in one of Canada’s most pro-business cities. In response to client demands, EDO has compiled an investment brief which highlights our comprehensive services, our key location attributes, an overview of our key driving sectors and support services to assist companies in growing. Electronic versions of this investment brief can be found and downloaded at http://www.bigpossibilities.ca/brochures. Hard copies are also available through the Office of Economic Development. 
 
Place marketing too often falls into the trap of promoting generic ideas about a community’s business environment. Concepts such as “live, work, play” and “business-friendly” say very little to companies, developers and site selectors, especially in the context of those same terms being thrown around by competing municipalities. It is our ambition through this focussed investment brief to speak to Summerside’s intrinsic strengths and become a go to resource for our businesses, prospects and labour force candidates.


Contact Information:
 
Mike Thususka
Director of Economic Development
City of Summerside
902 432 1255
mike@summerside.ca

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