Site Selection and Commercial Leasing for Small Business

Congratulations Entrepreneur! You are growing and ready to move or relocate into your brick and mortar location. With research, zoning, site selection, business incentives, leasing and a grand opening to consider, the task at hand can seem daunting and exciting at the same time.

The Greenhouse and our partners have compiled resources and topics to guide you through the site selection process and provide tips for a successful leasing and business launch experience in your new location. 

Looking for ongoing 1-on-1 assistance on these topics?  Request assistance!

Foundational Business Basics

“Back to Basics”  – it is important to implement the basics of business before moving on to growth strategies. There are business basics that you need to be aware of in order to become a successful, robust business for the long-term. Once you have a strong foundation for your enterprise, you’ll be better positioned for innovative thinking and be ready to become an industry leader in the marketplace. 

The month of February will feature LIVE webinars dedicated Business Foundational topics. 
View the live calendar:

Recommended recorded webinar:
The Fast 1-Page Business Plan — Lean Canvas

Market Research

Market research empowers and helps you make the best decisions for you and your business. When you conduct market research, you understand your customers, competition, and industry better, and are able to make data-based decisions that will help you succeed.

Market research helps you learn more about:

  • DEMAND: Is there a desire or need for your product or service?
  • MARKET SIZE: How many people would be interested in your offering?
  • ECONOMIC INDICATORS: What are the income ranges and employment rates of your potential customers?
  • LOCATION: Where do your customers live? What markets can your business reach?
  • MARKET SATURATION: How many similar options are already available to consumers?
  • PRICING: What do potential customers pay for these alternatives?

Recommended resource:
SBA Competitive Analysis

Recommended recorded webinar:
Simple Steps to Business Research

Request special market reports from The Greenhouse! 
-Consumer Profile
-Traffic Counts
-Community Profile (Demographics)
-Active commercial real estate listings

City Services & Incentives

Location, location, LOCATION! If you buy, rent, build, or plan to work out of a physical property for your business, make sure it conforms to local zoning requirements. Neighborhoods are generally zoned for either commercial or residential use. Zoning ordinances can restrict or entirely ban specific kinds of businesses from operating in an area. You might have fewer zoning restrictions if you base your business out of your home, but zoning ordinances  still apply, even to home-based businesses. 

Zoning laws are typically controlled at the local level, so check with your department of city planning, or similar office, to find out about the zoning laws in your area.

Research key points for selecting your business location from a zoning and permitting compliance standpoint.  Grease trap requirements for food and beverage establishments, economic development incentives, and other city services are also important to consider.

Recommended recorded webinar:
City Services & Incentives (City of St. Petersburg)

Recommended Resources:
City of St. Petersburg Zoning Map  – Determine location’s zoning district

City of St. Petersburg Zoning Use Permission Matrix – Verify use is allowable in the determined district, review parking requirements

City of St. Petersburg Incentives Map –  Search by location for local incentive programs

Considering a Commercial Lease

Before signing a commercial lease, there are important steps to consider for any new or existing business owner. Whether you’re opening a store, relocating to a new space or renting out facilities for production, at some point, you’re probably going to have to reserve a space for your business.

The world of commercial real estate can be complicated – These resources are  for business owners who are looking to lease a commercial space and who want to ensure they understand the process and contract considerations.

Topics to consider:

  • Researching the area and defining your requirements
  • Elements of a commercial lease agreement
  • Types of rent structure
  • Negotiation
  • Other major considerations before signing a lease, including consulting with a legal advisor for drafting changes or negotiating the contract. 

Recommended recorded webinar:
Commercial Leasing for Small Business Owners

Recommended Resources:
12 Questions to Answer When Negotiating a Commercial Lease  

Launching Your Business: Grand Opening and Beyond

The Greenhouse, in collaboration with SCORE and the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, presents an innovative workshop offering tips for successful grand openings & strategies for growing your customer base AFTER the ribbon is cut.

Workshop Highlights Include:

  • Event Planning Checklist
  • Media Contacts
  • Tips for continuing the growth momentum after the Big Day

Recommended recorded webinar:
Successfully Launching Your Business: Grand Openings & Beyond