How To Choose Business Location – The location of your business is very important. Whether it’s your first time or you’re opening a second location, choosing a business location isn’t a decision you should make on a whim. Your choice can affect your company’s chances of survival.
Choosing a business location is all about setting your business up for success. You shouldn’t just choose the most modern building or the cheapest listing. You need to think carefully about where you want to set up your business. After all, the location of your business is not something you can easily change.
How To Choose Business Location
Your business location sets the tone for your business. It adds to what customers think of your business. The location of the business determines how well you will do. Choosing a location is not a task to be taken lightly.
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There are many factors to consider when finding a business location. You can make a better buying decision by asking yourself questions about your needs and finances.
Below are several business location factors and questions that you should ponder when choosing a location for your business.
Before you start looking for a business location, you need to create a business budget for your upcoming expenses. Your budget is one of the most important business location factors because you probably don’t have the cash as a new business. How much can you afford to spend on your business location?
Remember that the monthly rent or lease payment is not the total cost of the location. There are other costs to ownership.
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Find out if you have to pay taxes when you buy a commercial building in your area. Also, think about the cost of property taxes. How much you spend in taxes will depend on your location and whether you buy outright or rent.
Your company’s location strategy should also consider the average cost of utilities. Older buildings can cost more to heat and cool. You may be able to ask the previous owner how much the utilities cost each month.
There may be hidden costs for the building. You may need to refresh or install updates. For example, you may need to add insulation or run communications cables. You will also need to decorate the interior to suit your style and brand. The extent of improvements required will depend on the building’s age and previous use.
Determine what you want to use the business location for. Will you only use it as commercial space? Do you need a workshop or an office? Do you need a storage area or warehouse? Do you need a kitchen or room for special equipment?
Choosing The Best Location For Your Business
Knowing what type of building you need will help you decide if future buildings are suitable.
Your company’s branding and visual style can help rule out certain small business locations. Your brand and your building must be cohesive.
For example, if your business sells vintage superhero memorabilia, a colonial-style building with chandeliers might be a mismatch for your brand.
You might be able to decorate the building to fit your brand, but your lease might prevent you from making some changes.
Choose Your Business Location Wisely
Part of your company’s location strategy should be based on the amount of competition in the area. If there is a lot of competition, there may not be enough customers for you. Or, you may be able to secure customers that the competition can’t accommodate. If there is no competition, customers will not be stolen from you. A lack of competition can also indicate that there are no customers in the area. It is important that you do a market analysis to know your customers and competing companies in the area.
Plus, find out which businesses are near your potential location. Will the other business attract customers who will also visit your business? Your business may not match existing businesses.
For example, if you are creating a vegan restaurant, buying a building next to a butcher shop would be an odd choice. You probably won’t be able to attract many customers who visit the butcher shop next door.
Consider your company’s potential growth when choosing a business location. A small space may be cheaper, but the size may limit your business in the future. As your business grows, you may need more space. For example, you may need more production space to make more products. Or maybe you need a larger retail area to accommodate more customers.
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Think about how the space can grow or adjust with you. Can you rearrange the layout? Can the building be extended? If the space can’t grow like you, you may find your business confined to a small space in the future.
First, think about your customers. Do your target customers live nearby? If not, you might not get much traffic to your store. Find out how often your desired customers are in the area.
Think about how easy it is for customers to get to your business location. Is there public transport nearby? Is there parking? Are there parking meters? How far do customers have to walk?
Once customers are in the area, how easy is it for them to find your business? If your business is far from the main shopping area or hidden behind other businesses, your customers may not be able to find you.
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Also, find out how easy it is for customers to enter the business. How accessible is the location? The best business locations will be very accessible and convenient for your target customer.
Second, think about how you will get supplies and deliveries. Can delivery people easily move items to your business? If you receive large shipments on pallets, is there an entrance that can accommodate trucks? The right location for a business must work for vendors and suppliers.
Find out what the surrounding neighborhood is like. Research the crime rate and common crimes in the area. You want to be sure that you and your customers will be safe. Also, you want to make sure that your goods and building will not be damaged.
Before buying a business location, find out how it is zoned. Local zoning regulations may limit how you can use small business locations. Zoning rules can restrict which buildings can be used for commercial purposes, hours of operation, noise levels, type of signage and use of chemicals.
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Make sure the building’s zoning designation matches the needs of your business. If not, you should probably keep looking for a business location.
Finding a business location can be tricky, especially if you don’t know where to start looking. Here are some sites that can help:
You may need to use a combination to find a place to plant your business. Remember to consider the business location factors above to narrow your search. “It is the set of sails, not the direction of the wind, that determines which way we go.” -Jim Rohn
Does your company have a solid strategy for determining your next location? If you’re considering expansion plans to increase your income stream, you need to create a plan that requires discipline, market research, and of course, passion—the main reason you fell in love with your business to begin with.
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First, while the temptation to expand for competitive or growth reasons may drive your next location, make sure you’ve evaluated your motivations. “The decision to expand is sometimes motivated by the wrong reasons,” says Juan Alcácer, associate professor of strategy at Harvard Business School. “In many cases, companies don’t think about the long-term consequences of what they’re doing.” Alcácer continues: “Often companies blindly follow their rivals from city to city or country to country without analyzing whether this same situation suits them… They are realizing that they were not well prepared for the market or that it was not the market right for them.” Many companies like Crumbs Bake Shop, Wise Acre, and XciteLogic were too late when they caught on.
Before jumping into the expansion game, consider all the factors that could affect your current business if you open a new location: resources, budget, schedule, unknowns, and expansion goals. “When you open a new operation, it takes not only money, but also the time and energy of managers to make sure it’s on the right track.” says Alcácer. Walmart is a good example of choosing the right time and the right reasons to expand. In the early 1960s, Walmart’s initial growth strategy was slow and methodical, only opening stores near local and pop stores. But it was years later that they felt they had built up enough resources to start opening stores near larger competitors like Kmart.
Now that you’re sure your business is ready for your next location, start creating your visual plan in a mind map so you can see all the variables and considerations when choosing a new location. Faisal Hoque writes in a Fast Company article: “By mapping our decision-making process, we can see what our assumptions are and where they might go wrong, and when they go wrong, we can find the incongruity between our perception of
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