Commercial property

How to Choose a Retail Space for Your Orange County, CA Business

retail space

Are you a business owner looking for the perfect retail space in Orange County, CA? If so, there are plenty of options available!

To narrow down your selection, it helps to know exactly what you’re looking for and which features you need. Should you rent your space, or does it make more sense to buy? Do you need a certain amount of square footage? 

Then, there’s the location to consider! You want to make sure the site you choose will get plenty of foot traffic to drive business to your door.

It can be a lot to think about, so today, we’re breaking it all down and sharing how you can find the perfect space for your retail establishment. 

1. Establish Your Needs

Before you start searching for local brick and mortar stores in Orange County, start by doing a little bit of brainstorming. Take the time to think about all of the features and amenities your retail space must have. Consider how you plan to use your space, and the different functions you must complete. 

For instance, if you’re opening up a clothing store, you need enough room to display all of your inventory, as well as dedicated changing rooms. If you plan to open a bakery, you’ll need a separate kitchen. If you’re opening a service-oriented shop, such as a computer repair center, you may want a designated space for behind-the-scenes repairs. 

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all list of amenities to consider. Rather, your needs will be unique to your business. Once you list your essentials, have a little fun and think about all of the features you’d like to have, such as window spaces to set up seasonal product displays.

2. Determine Square Footage

The features you listed in the first step will help you with this one. Before you can set a budget for your space, you need to know exactly how many square feet you need. 

As you’re crunching the numbers, remember to keep the overhead costs in mind. Sure, you might love the idea of a massive store location, but you also have to heat, cool, and power all of that room. 

You don’t want to get into a space that’s too big for you to comfortably afford. Calculate how many square feet you need for your space to be functional and efficient, and start there. If you’re not sure how to begin, think about businesses that are similar to yours and check how many square feet they’re working with.

3. Set a Budget

Whether you buy or lease your property, you’re a business owner first and foremost. You don’t want to risk your establishment because the costs were too exorbitant. 

Before you get too far in the process, set a firm budget and try to stick to it. Use the square footage calculation above and research the cost per square foot in the area you’re eyeing. Then, use these numbers to determine your ideal lease rate. 

There are financing software tools designed to make this process as easy as possible, though you may be more comfortable working directly with a real estate agent or financial advisor. These experts can understand your vision and help you choose a location that you can afford both now and in the future. 

Still trying to decide? We offer a helpful price comparison tool on our website that allows you to cross-reference different lease rates in your desired locations!

4. Choose the Location

You’ve heard the mantra your entire business life: Location, location, location!

Thankfully, there are plenty of high-traffic spots in and around Orange County that are great for setting up shop. However, it isn’t always as easy as picking the most populated area.

In most cases, it’s best to position your retail location strategically near your target market, rather than the general public. If you haven’t defined who your target buyers are yet, you can follow this guide to find the answer to this important question. 

In addition to keeping your market in mind, also look for a location that’s near other businesses you can potentially partner with. If you find the right neighbors, you can send shoppers their way and they’ll return the favor. Don’t underestimate the value of setting up in a well-established shopping center where there’s plenty of foot traffic and helpful fellow business owners next door.

5. Consider Accessibility

Once you’ve narrowed your options down to a few locations, think about how accessible each spot is. Do you need a lot of parking spaces and are those available? If you sell large goods, like home furniture, you may also need spaces for docking and loading. 

Ideally, the location you choose should also be easy for shoppers to access by personal vehicle or public transportation. Plan to offer services like curbside pickup? If so, make sure there’s enough room for drivers to easily access that space.

6. Work With a Broker

While you could search for retail spaces for lease on your own, it’s usually much easier to trust a broker to help you! This is especially the case if you’ve never searched for a business location before. 

To find a great location that’s within your budget, we recommend hiring a commercial real estate company that has experience in the Orange County retail industry. Not only will they know all of the best local properties, but they can also help you negotiate a favorable rate and leasing terms with your landlord.

Find the Perfect Retail Space for Your Business

The perfect Orange County, CA retail space is out there! Now, it’s time to go find it.

This is a busy area that’s ripe with potential. Whether you’re opening a small establishment or a major enterprise, you can find the ideal space for you. 

At Commercial Orange County, we specialize in the leasing and sale of commercial property. When you’re ready to start your search, you can reach out to us to learn about all of the latest available spaces. Call us at (877) 775-9625 today and let’s take the first step together. 

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