Your lease will be one of your biggest expenses in opening your golf center. We want to make sure you avoid the pitfalls that can sink you.
Today you’ll learn exactly how to get the best location and the best lease for your indoor golf facility.
Let’s jump right in
There are “Fore” fatal flaws you need to avoid when locating your business
Flaw 1 – Negotiating without an attorney
Commercial leases are a complex contract between two parties. Unlike a residential lease, commercial leases do not have the consumer protections and regulations designed to protect individuals. Many people starting a new business skip on getting a lawyer to scrutinize the lease and often signing very unfavorable terms.
If you are considering forgoing an attorney, be prepared to review every single word of the lease. The language is often skewed in favor of the landlord and with a lease term that may run five years, mistakes can cost you for a long time to come.
On the other hand, hiring an attorney can demonstrate to your landlord that you are serious and expect to get a great deal and fair treatment. Given the headaches and hassles you can avoid, hiring an attorney to review your lease is a best practice we recommend. Nolo offers some great resources on how to hire an attorney to review your lease.
Flaw 2 – only comparing locations on price per square foot
Many business owners focus intently on price per square foot as the main way to compare different locations. That risks overlooking many other factors that could drive up the cost of the lease. There are many reasons why a higher price per square foot may be a better lease. It may be a gross lease and include expenses such as utilities and taxes.
The cheaper lease may have less parking, be in a less desirable location or have less truly usable space for your business. The cheaper location may be further from your customers and not be as well suited to your planned services. Look at price per square foot as a starting point, not the only point of comparison.
Flaw 3 – Locating too far from your ideal customers
Our player preferences study found that most players won’t drive more than 20 minutes to play indoor golf. When you look at a prospective lease, you’ll often get demographics like the number of men and women within 3 to 5 miles. That is nice, but won’t help you understand whether one area has more golfers than another.
You need to do some research to find out where the best concentrations of your ideal customers live. In our location selection tool, we show you how to find the number of golfers within a 3 to 5 mile radius of your indoor golf facility.
Flaw 4 – Trusting the landlord’s measurements
We do not mean to imply that landlords intentionally mislead tenants. Rather we believe that most are trying to provide a fair service at a fair price. That said, we have heard too many instances when prospective tenants found measurements to be inaccurate.
If your lease overstates the square footage of your facility, it can hurt you in a number of ways. First and most obvious is that you would end up paying more rent than you should. Less obvious is that you would end up paying more than your fair share of things like taxes, janitorial services, and common area maintenance. It is critical that you double check the size of your space to get an accurate lease.
Did I miss anything?
Now I’d like to hear from you:
Is there a fatal flaw that I missed? Did you develop a unique approach to get a great lease?
Comment and share your experience or idea.