Pretty vacant – what to do with empty business premises?

Following on from my visit to the forums of a business website yesterday, I’ve come across another question posed to the masses…


“I have a commercial property that will soon become vacant.


“I’ve been renting it out for the last few years, but before going down that road again I’m racking my brains trying to think if I could utilise the space with a business of my own.


“So far I’m thinking of splitting it up into self-storage units as a possibility… I would just need to know the building regulations and where to go for the fitting side of things.”


Sounds like a good idea, but there could be a few more factors to take into consideration:


Location size – a few folks on the thread aren’t convinced that the property is big enough.


Competitors – how many other self-storage businesses are in close proximity? Once again, other forum users think that the small size of the unit could count against it.


Transport links – what’s access like for vehicles? People are mostly going to be transporting their belongings in cars and vans.


Desirability of the area – might sound odd, but I’d consider the surrounding area when choosing a use for my property. Putting storage units in an area full of upmarket offices may be a missed opportunity, and not the first place potential customers would look for storage in the first place.


If the building is already configured for office use, would the cost of converting it to something else even be worthwhile?


Lots of things to consider.


We’ve addressed these kind of issues and loads more in Module 4 of the Made Not Born guide to starting your own business, which can be found here: