The local high street is dying and small businesses tend to get trampled on by big superstore chains but not anymore. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has launched a guide to support small businesses; helping them manage their property more efficiently and hopefully making their business more profitable.

This new guide teaches business owners how to manage their finances by offering help with how they handle their property assets. It covers all aspects of the property process from finding the right premises to making the most of any space, in a comprehensive easy-to-read guide.

When setting up or running a business your main priority is the business itself; you don’t want to spend hours stressing out and researching decisions about whether your lease is a competitive price or whether the space is being optimised. The RICS guide gives information and support for common property issues so problems are resolved swiftly and aptly and you can spend more time on the day-to-day running of your business.

Issues covered in the guide include:

•    Finding the right premises – Where to find available premises, financial help and the process.
•    Buy or lease? – Which is more financially viable and how to finance it.
•    Surveys and valuations – When and why you need a building survey. Why valuations are important, what to expect from a RICS evaluation and what information a valuer will need.
•    Property insurance – How to arrange and how much it should be insured for.
•    Reviews and renewing a lease – When does a review happen and what is the purpose? How to renew a lease.
•    Tax allowances – What are capital allowances? How to plan ahead to minimise tax.
•    Records and cash flow – How to produce a cash flow table and plan the record-keeping system.
•    Making the most of space – Choice of furniture, hot desking and open plan working.
•    Construction, alterations and dilapidations – Procedures and the tendering process. Knowing your dilapidations rights.
•    Planning permission – When you need planning permission, how to apply and conditions attached to planning permission.

But why should you listen to RICS?

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors are the professionals of the property world. They have years of experience and undeniable knowledge as well as being trained and qualified to help all aspects of the property experience. A member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors is a reliable and respected resource.

How good is the guide?

The Small Business Property Guide may be a great help to the small business owner. It has even been endorsed by reputable sources such as the Federation of Small Businesses, the Association of Town and City Management and the British Retail Consortium.

Although the guide is very useful for the small business owner it should not be a substitute for work done with a professional surveyor, lawyer, accountant or with business finance brokers. Instead, this guide will highlight when online sources are not enough and you need to call in the experts.

The guide is free! So get online and go to www.rics.org/smeproperty and download your own copy.