Location is about more than simply choosing a building to put your business in. Your location should balance cost, convenience, safety and efficiency while looking good enough to attract high-quality customers and employees.
As you search for the right location for your business, keep these three questions in mind:
What Type of Location is Best for Your Business?
For retail businesses and restaurants, location is a top consideration. But for service businesses like plumbers or businesses that have little face-to-face contact with the public like call centers, location is not a make-or-break consideration. Those businesses are better off finding a low-cost location and passing the savings on to their customers.
For businesses that need to attract customers to their locations, there is much more to consider, such as demographics, pedestrian and highway traffic patterns, and aesthetics. Often the best location for your business is alongside your competition. As long as you’re confident in your ability to outsell your competitor, you can benefit from their marketing efforts, and together, you’ll bring in more business.
How Much Rent Can You Afford?
The perfect location will only hurt your business if the rent is too high. Your business plan will tell you, based on projected revenue, how much rent you can afford.
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Also, do your homework and find out about any additional start-up costs from zoning requirements, utility hook-ups, renovations, moving, etc. Ask other business owners about their experiences to find out potential problems, delays or expenses to look for.
Is the Location Suitable?
Your business location should be convenient to you, since you’ll be working there every day. It should also be within a reasonable commute for your employees.
Make sure the facility itself has all the essentials you’ll need to do business there. If you’re opening a grocery store, you’ll need to make sure customers can get in and out easily, that there’s plenty of parking and a separate area for deliveries. If you’re opening a coffee house, your location will need at least minimal kitchen facilities. Your location should also be able to handle the technology and energy requirements you’ll need to run your business.
It probably won’t be worth your while to make these improvements yourself, so, if a building lacks some major essentials, keep looking.