Location, location, location is regarded as the primary factor when choosing a location for a business. Keep in mind that what may be a good location for a convenience store or restaurant may not be good location for a convenience store or restaurant may not be the the best location for a clothing store or jewelry store.
Before Deciding on a Location Consider the Type of Business
For instance, if you own a small business where being located right next to a high traffic area is important like a convenience store, restaurant, or gas station, the quantity of traffic is the most important factor, so being located at an intersection of two major highways would be a prime location.
In a clothing store, for example, you want a retail space with heavy foot traffic and a good population to draw from. Depending upon your price range it may be better to locate in a strip mall or upscale center where there is an opportunity to attract certain types of buyers.
On the other hand, if you are going to sell jewelry, fine watches, or high-end furnishings, you will want to be in an area where the clientele has money to spend.
Besides traffic and population, there are other things to consider when choosing a business location. The zone in which the business is located can be very important. For service businesses, it is important to be located in an area where people are already accustomed to using services like that. Or, if you are starting a daycare center, for example, you would want to be located in an area with a lot of young families.
Before deciding on the final location, be sure to do a thorough analysis of the area, look up your potential customer demographic profile and consider where competitors are located.
Don’t Forget About Employees
Employees are another important consideration when choosing a business location. If you are going to have a lot of employees, you will need enough space to accommodate them and they can easily get to your store. You will also want to be sure that the area is safe and has good access to public transportation.
Considerations For A Good Location
In addition to traffic patterns, there are many other considerations to think about. You have to think about zoning, or the neighborhood the business is located in.
- Does your business require a retail zone or is your business permitted in an office zone?
- Is the location segregated from nearby businesses with high crime rates?
- Would you be able to survive if there was a natural disaster at that location?
Also, in many cases, buyers of retail goods like to compare items in several stores by traveling only a minimum distance. As a result, stores offering complimentary items tend to locate in close proximity to similar businesses and services. That is why most car dealerships cluster near other dealerships or complimentary clothing stores in the same malls.
Some other considerations in choosing a retail site include:
- What are the traffic patterns in the area you are considering? Where is the growth of the town directed?
- Are your potential customers’ average income level and spending patternsthe same as the demographic living around the store?
- What is your budget for startup costs and monthly rent/lease expenses?
- Is there sufficient parking in your parking lot for the peak number of customers?
- Where are utilities located?
- Are there any permits, ordinances, or regulations to consider? Make sure the property is zoned commercial before choosing the space by calling your zoning administrator at city hall. If not, you need to request a variance that may or may not be granted.
- Are stores in the area compatible with your product or service? Would your target market shop in your store?
- Do you have easy access to your store from major roads and highways?
- Is the area walkable?
- What is the condition of the building? Is it structurally sound and up to code? If renovations need to be made, be sure to get quotes before signing any contracts to ensure there are no financial surprises.
- Is the landlord or property owner reputable and cooperative?
- Does the city have any incentives or tax credits?
- Are there any restrictions such as the size or location of signage or adequate infrastructure such as electricity or plumbing.
- Do you need access to a loading dock or other ease of access so suppliers can make deliveries to your business?
- What is the history of that location? If other restaurants have failed there, maybe you should think twice before locating another one there.
The selection of a good business location requires time and careful consideration. It should not be done in a hurry just because you are ready to get started. Delaying a few months is only a minor setback compared to the massive — often fatal — problems that occur from operating a retail business in a poor location.
When you are ready to choose a location for your business, it is important to consider all of these things. By taking all of these factors into account, you can be sure that your business is in the best possible location for success.