How to Choose a Location for Your Business [5 Tips for Entrepreneurs]
Choosing a location for your business is not always a straightforward decision. There are many factors to consider such as location, budget, accessibility, brand and how you feel in the space.
Think about it this way. Global companies such as McDonalds and Starbucks aren’t in the business of burgers and coffee—they’re really in the business of real estate. They know how to choose the best locations in order to skyrocket their profits and continuously grow their businesses.
How to choose a location for your business
You’re ready to take your company to the next level, and you’re wondering how to choose a location for your small business. Take time to properly research and consider your options based on your unique criteria. This is a big decision and a huge investment in yourself and your company’s future.
Here are five tips for how to choose a good location for your business.
Decide what type of location you need
First things first, determine what type of location best suits your needs.
If you require a physical address for your business but are otherwise virtual, then a virtual office may make the most sense. Virtual offices can handle everything from mail receipt and forwarding to lobby directory listings and lobby greeting.
Do you need a physical location at all? Depending on your business and your goals, you may discover you can successfully run your business from home. And for those rare occasions when you need something offsite, you can always rent a meeting room or co-working space.
If you sell products directly to customers and require a storefront, consider locations with heavy foot traffic like malls stand-alone buildings in shopping districts.
If you don't want an anchor store in a permanent location, but you'd like a physical, public space, there are plenty of temporary and mobile options. Consider kiosks, food carts or pop up shops instead.
Commercial business space
Service-based businesses don't have the same need for drop-in shoppers, and for niche services clients are willing to travel out of their way to come to you. In these cases, commercial business space may provide the right mix of public availability and affordability.
If you specialize in manufacturing or distribution, a large warehouse in an industrial park might be the best option for you to grow your business. This will give you the space you require in an area that was created for this purpose!
Stay within your budget
When searching for the right location for your business, setting a budget and sticking to it is imperative. There's a sweet spot between investment and profit, and finding the right balance for your business will help ensure you can survive economic ups and downs.
The unit's price is not the only cost to keep in mind. Depending on the area and zoning, there may be hidden costs such as taxes, minimum wage requirements, utilities, renovations and more. Learn as much as you can before signing, and plan for these extra expenses on top of the listed price.
Be accessible to customers, clients, vendors and employees
The type of business you operate will determine who you need to cater your location to. Here are a few questions to ask as you consider choosing a location for your business.
Customers and clients
● Can customers or clients easily walk to your location?
● Is this location convenient for customers or clients to get to?
● Is there a parking lot or will customers or clients have to find and pay for street parking?
● Is this a safe area?
● Are vendors able to easily bring goods to this location?
● How expensive and convenient will it be to ship goods to and from this location?
● Is there enough parking for your employees?
● Is this an area where employees can easily get to and want to work?
Fit your brand
It's important to consider your brand and image when choosing a location for your business. Think about the feel of the area and the surrounding businesses. Does the area suit you and your business? Does it represent your brand? Will you be out of place?
Just as a high-end clothing boutique would not fit in an industrial business area, a mechanical shop is going to be equally out of place in a shopping mall. Choosing a location that fits your brand helps attract your ideal customer and makes it easier to be discovered.
Find a location that feels safe
Committing to a location is a big commitment and investment in your business. It's important for you, your employees and your clients feel comfortable in whatever location you choose.
A clean, well-lit, well-trafficked area with kept-up buildings sends the message that doing business with you is safe and people will not hesitate to visit your location.
Besides the safety of the people who access your business, keeping your property and products safe is also important! This is especially critical for businesses with inventory at higher risk of theft. Spending a little more to move to a secure location can help increase your profits and decrease losses due to damage and theft.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a location for your business. Determining the right location could be critical to the success and future of your business, so make sure to carefully weigh your options before committing so you know you've found the best location for your small business.