Advisory Board: Score a Condo Spot for Your Business

Robert Fung, Kimberly Hall | BCBusiness
(From left) The Salient Group’s Robert Fung and Kimberly Hall of the B.C. Division of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters.

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Q: “I am planning to open a small bistro restaurant in Surrey, but am weighing my options about locations. A friend advised me to work with a condo development to secure retail-level space. How can I do this without spending a ton and to identify the right fit for my business?” —Mike, New Westminster  

A: Robert Fung, President, The Salient Group

Working with a developer is a great way to locate your business in a new condo building with a built-in potential customer base. As a developer, it’s tough to find good businesses for our projects. It’s even harder to find the “right” tenant. Put together a well thought-out business plan for your concept. Know what you need from a space and its size. Getting in before a building is completed can help ensure that a space has the correct infrastructure for your new venture. It can also provide time to plan your space and business. Well-resolved designs keep construction costs down. Determine where you really want your bistro, then call the developer or their agent. Ask questions about project timing, leasing and operating costs and about other prospective building tenants. You might be the call they’ve been waiting for. Good luck. See you on opening day!

Q: “I’m a high-school student unsure about what industry to enter. I hear about the upcoming skills shortage in B.C., but what are the specific fields that will require workers and will therefore pay the highest salaries?“ —Mikaela, Hope

A: Kimberly Hall, Director of Marketing, Events and Programs, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters—B.C. Division

Try to match your skills and abilities with career options that will stimulate your capabilities—i.e., physically, spatially, mentally and/or intellectually. The manufacturing sector is broad with many different types of employment in every corner of the province. From designers to skilled trades, accounting, human resources and engineering, the manufacturing sector should provide anyone with a long career that is both fulfilling and lucrative. Manufacturing wages are typically 15 per cent higher than average wages. I would recommend that you visit the WorkBC website, specifically the “Career Exploration” and “Statistics” sections, as well as “A Guide to the BC Economy and Labour Market” to research opportunities, options, salaries and skills requirements.