Getting the right business location is one of the most important factors in success. It impacts the number of clients or customers you have, relevancy in the market, operating costs, and overall profitability. Location affects all types of businesses. So if you are already an established company, it could be worth speaking to a realtor and some office movers. And if you are a home-based business or an online store, think about how your customers find you there as well.
Business Location #1: Accessibility
When it comes to selling directly to customers, choosing exactly where you set up shop is about as important as what you sell. Consider where you live and shop. Do you prefer to look around at a popular mall? Is the drive downtown a pain and something you avoid like the plague? How about those hard to find, back roads with sparse population? Of course, everyone is different but keep in mind exactly what it takes for people to find you. Even a single street over or a corner location could make a big difference to your sales.
Business Location #2: Competition
Competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Did you ever notice that many similar types of businesses group together? Think about the last time you wanted a fast food meal. I’m guessing there were at least several of these types of restaurants around the location of the one your chose. And, what about those bars? This is because when consumers shop, they often don’t just hit one store. Having multiple choices is a positive thing that often results in a convenient shopping trip.
Do your research before you open or look at relocating. Having direct competitors could also be a negative thing if you don’t have a product or service that stands out. Make sure that you can be seen and that you can bring something viable to the area.
Business Location #3: Count Your Cost
Just because a city is big and popular and full of potential customers, doesn’t mean it makes sense to be there, especially from a financial standpoint. The costs of operating a city business could seriously outweigh the amount of revenue you bring in. Could you do as well at a suburban mall that charges half the rent? Again, these are things that you will only know after doing market research. Realtors, market analysts, business owners, and online records are all resources to help you understand location.
Business Location #4: Regulations
There is so much to consider when it comes to location, including zoning, fees, and taxes. Do investigate local and state regulations and tax rates in your area. Also remember, these can change from state to state if you are moving from a distant location. This goes for home-based businesses and some online ones, too. If you don’t have a business attorney in your corner, seek out some advice from a local business organization or legal aid center. Sometimes, accountants can help with regulatory fees as well. It’s not fun to get bills in the mail that you didn’t expect. Also, if you move, make sure that all of the agencies governing your business can find you. I once had a situation because I didn’t get my mail on time after I moved.