Sunday, 8 May 2011

Diary Excerpt–The Birth and Death of the Old Coach House Tea Rooms

August 2010 – January 2011

August 2010
27th August 2010 – Business in Focus Advice
“Today I met with Jane Way at her offices in Cardiff Bay. Amongst several of the things that we discussed were how to go about finding the perfect venue for my new business. I have quite a specific idea in my head for what sort of shop I want for my tea room, this is based on good places I have been to in the past and also what shops I think are in Cardiff in areas that I think will work. 
For my first tea room and indeed my first business, I have decided to rent a property to minimise the risk involved and also keep my start up costs down. I figure that a good street facing unit on a busy shopping street area is the way to go. With this in mind I am targeting Wellfield Road, Albany Road, Roath, Pontcanna, Penarth, Whitchurch Village, Llandaff Village, Cyn Coed and Cardiff City Centre to start with. 
I will need A3 planning consent to operate my tea room, however getting this kind of planning consent where it does not already exist is really tough. It turns out that in the recent past Cardiff has been very free with handing out A3 consent, so takeaway outlets and restaurants have popped up all over the city. As a result Cardiff has now developed the opposite attitude and won’t hand out A3 easily. Scarily Jane also pointed out that it could take over a year to find a venue, she has had some clients where it has taken several years to find the right place…”
Tuesday 31st August – First Impressions of a Seemingly Expensive Property
“There are so few commercial properties listed on the internet in Cardiff that aren’t huge warehouses. It is really frustrating especially as it is now so easy to find residential properties online through third parties. I am stuck with and neither of which have very much choice for my narrowed down search. From looking around so far properties of the size and in areas that I like range from £10,000 to £50,000 per annum.  I have budgeted in the region of £15-£20,000.
Mike has seen a property near Sophia Gardens which is pretty close to Cardiff City, however it is over my rent threshold and is one of the first properties i have found.”

Sunday, 1 May 2011

How to Find and Lease the Perfect Commercial Property - 10 Top Tips

Yes this is one of the most exciting titles for any Blog post. I toyed with punning my way into this subject, but it is just too important to make the subject line any more exciting. I shall endeavour to make the content a little more interesting than the title!

July 2010 - May 2011

Just Looking I am Not Buying

I have been looking for a commercial property to lease in South Wales of the UK for the past ten months, to become the perfect home for my Tea Room Business. The writing of my business plan was one of the first steps in creating my venue requirement brief. You probably have a pre-conception in your head for what a traditional tea room looks like. I am coming at this from a different angle, I can picture several types of buildings that may suit, but actually it is the content and subsequent functionality that helps me stay open minded to a venue. Jane Way advised me that it may easily take over a year to find a venue, when we met in July 2010 and here I am ten months on with no signed lease agreement. It may be very easy to find the venue you want, but the majority of small business' rely to a crucial extent on finding a venue that is actually quite unique. To me it feels like finding a needle in a haystack.

When I sat down to find my perfect property I started by creating a brief that would allow me to rule in, or rule out certain venues quickly. There are many things to consider when making your venue brief here are a few good questions to ask yourself particularly if you are looking for a retail property;

I Want to Bake Free on


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