Once you have a business idea and capital, the next puzzle is usually finding a convenient business location. The site must have the essentials for your trade to thrive, and there are some aspects which you won’t permit. The location of your business influences its survival significantly.
The preferences of traders in business sites vary depending on the perspective from which they look at the matter. While one entrepreneur thinks about the accessibility of the business, another one’s priority could be government regulations, and so on. Some startups fail because of the investor’s wrong choice of the business location.
Below are nine considerations to make when selecting a location for a business.
1. Ease of Access
The accessibility of a business is a chief concern for many business owners. If you deal with frequent deliveries, your business premises should be in an area with adequate transportation infrastructure. Well maintained roads will allow a steady supply of raw materials and workers will not have a problem reaching the premises.
Ensure that it is easy for customers to visit you if they have to visit your store or office to get your services. In such a case, your location should be accessible by car and public transport. Locations like Dupont Circle have the best public transportation systems, and you can view here for more information.
Clients won’t reach your business if it’s too expensive or time-consuming to get there. You must be well-positioned to survive the competition from other established traders.
However, accessibility can be expensive. The cost of a brick and mortar store at the CBD can be many times higher than a similar one in the suburbs. If you can create a customer base out of town, you could make significant savings.
2. Proximity to Related Businesses
Businesses can be symbiotic or hurtful to one another. The presence of competitors, for instance, means that you will be sharing the customers who show up in the area. You may want to reconsider a location if there are too many people offering the same service.
The presence of competitors can establish you in an existing market if you go a notch high. Customers will start streaming to your shop once you prove that your service is more superior to the usual. You can also choose to set up your business next to another which provides a service that complements yours.
Some regions are usually safer than others, whether you are considering the whole country or a specified city. The level of safety in an area determines the probability of your business getting robbed, for example. The consequences of doing business in a high-risk area are expensive.
If you set up your business in an area prone to crime, you must employ extra safety measures to protect it. Secondly, some customers will be reluctant to visit your premises for fear of becoming victims of crime. Then, insurances companies may demand high premiums to cover your business.
Although some entrepreneurs get lucky and thrive in parts considered unsafe, it is better to take precaution than to live in uncertainty. Research about the safety of your potential business location and make a decision based on the findings.
4. Business Rates
Raising the amount for starting a business is not enough. Your business needs enough cash flow to settle its bills and grow. Recurrent expenses like utility bills, rent, and tax in a region influence the ability of a business to survive.
If you are not keen on indirect costs like parking fees, your expenditure can shoot through the roof and hurt your business. Assess the cost of living at a place and be sure that you can afford it before committing yourself.
Once you establish who your possible clients are, you should find a location near them. Study the demographics of various regions and define a place with enough consumers of your product. The community around should match your customer profile and be in need of your services.
6. Possibility for Expansion
Some entrepreneurs set up short-term businesses while others have hopes of growth. If you are confident that your business will expand, you should look for a spacious building.
Relocating a business is usually expensive, and you don’t want to find yourself doing it. Apart from confusing your customers, some of your stock and business equipment can get destroyed or lost.
7. History of the Area
You should explore how businesses similar to yours have performed in the area in the past. If others tried and made it or failed, find out the reasons.
The history of an area can hint what you should expect. It provides insights on what you can emulate from other traders and where to improve. You can choose not to invest there if the danger of failure inevitable.
8. Operation Style
The location of your business should match how you operate and the image you want to keep. Are you targeting prominent clients who won’t visit you in a downtown store? Are you selling from a physical office or online?
Some businesses flourish along busy streets while others need a quiet office in a prestigious neighborhood. Understand your customers and position yourself strategically.
9. Special Requirements
Businesses have different needs, and some of your requirements may not be available everywhere.
For instance, not all business premises have executive suites. Similarly, an entrepreneur who requires high voltage power has to look for a building with that provision. Some also look at locations that offer offices with modern interior designs.
You must also consider any special needs for your customers. If many physically challenged clients are to visit your premises, you must have the facilities appropriate for them.
The bottom line is that there are many things to factor in when choosing a business location. Some considerations are for your success while others are for the wellbeing of your clients.
Most importantly, do an exhaustive field study at different places. A mistake when selecting a business location can cause serious challenges for your business or eventually lead to its closure.
If you have to, monitor the foot traffic of the target location for some time to determine its suitability for your trade. Research is part of the early stages of opening a business which helps in making informed decisions.
After finding the right location, you’ll need to market your business. Here is how you can promote it in your local community.