8 Tips for Choosing the Right Business Location
“Location, location, location” is a popular maxim frequently heard in the real estate industry where placement, it seems, is everything. Similarly, for your business, a good location is just as important as your product, employees or marketing. Ultimately, the place you choose to situate your company could determine whether or not your business makes it. So here are 8 tips you can follow to help you decide on the perfect location for your business.
1. Population Demographics
Find out if the majority of the human traffic in the area falls under your targeted consumer base. For a fee, you can make use of location analysis tools, such as Locate, Grow and Optimize (http://locatengrow.com) that can give you information like traffic patterns and lifestyle data of those who come and go in the area. Such demographics include age, professions and household income. By figuring out the nearby demographics, you’ll be able to know how well your product will sell in that vicinity.
Alternatively, you can save on the cost of location analysis by looking at where your competitors are. Fast food chains usually situate their businesses right next to each other because of human traffic. Seeing where your competitors are located gives you a good gauge about the feasibility of doing business in the area. It is then up to you to engineer your business to draw more customers to your store.
Make sure your shop front is visible from major roads and can easily be located. Visibility does not mean that you need to be right in the heart of the activity. Situating your business, such as a restaurant, a short distance away from a major shopping mall will mean that you can enjoy the consumer traffic from the mall without having to pay exorbitant rental costs.
Accessibility is vital. Your business may be visible and offering a great product, but it is also important that your customers have easy access to it. A good location should have several nearby parking spots and gas stations to cater to those who drive. It should also be as near as possible to bus stops or MRT stations so people can get to your location with ease.
Another consideration is the availability of IT infrastructure. When you’re looking at potential locations, ask the landlord for information about communications wiring, such as whether the space is connected to a fibre-optic network or has a high-bandwidth Internet connection. These can be essential for some businesses. Even if you do not require them now, they will be good to have as your business expands.
6. Location Costs
Besides the base rent, consider all costs involved when choosing a location. Does it cover the cost of building maintenance, utilities and security? If the location is remote, you may also want to factor in the additional marketing costs it would take to enable customers to find you. Modifications, such as painting, redecorating and renovation also cost money. One way to get help in determining how much rent you should pay is to find out what similar retail businesses are paying.
7. Powering Up
Make sure that any space you’re looking at has enough power for your business needs, both in terms of the number of power outlets and the capacity of the circuits. If you’ll be running machinery or other electricity-hungry equipment, find out how much the circuits can handle and whether a generator is available in the case of a power outage. For sensitive computer equipment, check how many hours of air-conditioning are included in the terms of your lease and see if negotiations can be made.
8. Personal Factors
If you plan to work in your store, think about the time it will take to get there from home. If you spend much of your time travelling to and from work, the commute may overshadow the excitement of being your own boss. Also, you need to pay attention to the restrictions that may be placed on a tenant by a landlord, management company or community that can hamper a retailer’s independence.