Investing in a commercial unit is a big decision for any business. Whether you lease or buy, you are paying out money so you need to ensure the unit is a good for the business.
No doubt, you will be very concerned about configuring the internal space, but have you given much thought to the external space?
If not, you really need to, as a lack of forethought could negatively affect your business in ways you may not have considered – and here’s why.
Commercial landscapes tend to be quite bland. Think acres of concrete or gravel, punctuated with painted parking zones and utilitarian lighting. However, commercial landscaping need not be so boring and functional. There are many ways to create a more attractive outdoor space around your commercial unit, without compromising functionality.
First impressions count, so think about how you want your client to view the business when they arrive for an important meeting. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your entrance lobby or receptionist is, if the first thing clients or customers see is a scruffy parking lot pitted with weeds and trash, they are unlikely to be impressed. To avoid this from affecting your business, it is a good idea to take steps to address any landscaping issues.
Create a Pleasant Outdoor Space
Outdoor areas need to be safe and level. You can achieve this by using different hard landscaping materials such as paving, timber decking, gravel and stone. Mix and match materials for an aesthetically pleasing vista. If your unit is on a slope, make sure you provide a disabled access slope for wheelchair users.
Use Trees and Foliage
Trees, plants and other foliage break up hard landscaping areas and add interest. You may not be able to plant trees, but you can add decorative trees in planters and other large containers. Work with the local climate and stick to native plants and trees, as these are less likely to suffer in extreme weather conditions. For example, in hot climates, succulents and cacti will do well, whereas plants that require a lot of water are unlikely to survive for long without a good irrigation system – which will be expensive.
Plants and foliage provide balance in a commercial setting. Too much glass, metal and stone is not a good thing, so it helps to add natural materials and greenery. Use color to your advantage. Mix and match foliage to create a changing pattern of color all year round. That way, no matter what month it is, there will always be something of interest for your visitors.
Outdoor Areas for Employees
Don’t neglect your employee’s needs when landscaping your commercial unit. They will benefit from an attractive outdoor seating area where they can relax, eat and drink, and chat to colleagues. Provide tables and chairs, plus a smoking area if applicable.
You don’t need to spend a fortune landscaping your outside area. Even a few nice planters will make a difference if you are running your business on a tight budget.