Even if you’re a freshman in the entrepreneurial world, you know that being a businessperson means making choices. Dozens and dozens of choices, and all of them are vital, key, crucial, essential, paramount for your future in business. That’s the thrilling part of running a company, isn’t it? So, when the moment comes to choose the right location for your business, savor it. Take all the following tips into account, turn them over in your mind, and then put your finger on a (Google) map.
Tell me your business type, and I’ll tell you…
…what’s the best location for it. As far as the sayings go, this one is as close to the truth as any. Not all businesses require ample office space, a reception desk, and a canteen. Perhaps, you can successfully run your home-based startup from your basement office, take orders and manage your staff via an app, and have lunch – in your kitchen. If so, lucky you. If not, take the quiz.
- Mobile business. Who wants to put down roots, anyway? If all you need is a parking lot for a day, you can move around the city wherever and whenever you feel like it.
- Retail business. If you’re into brick-and-mortar retail, then foot traffic is what you want. Shopping malls, stores downtown, but also airports, and vicinity of bus stations and prominent metro lines – that’s your territory.
- Corporate business. You may not rely on a heavy customer load, but you will need space for all your employees and diverse business operations. Commercial buildings and most co-working spaces are built in strategic locations and specially designed to accommodate entrepreneurs and their clients.
Don’t stretch your pockets but expand your knowledge
One of the first things about budgeting you learn as a kid is whether you can afford one or two scoops of ice cream. So, either you have the capital for a storefront downtown, or you don’t. Sometimes, splurging out on business space in a prime location isn’t even necessary.
Don’t play the guessing game to choose the right location for your business operations. Instead, talk to established business owners in your niche and at the desired location and see if the investment is worth it. Also, check alternative sites favored by your target clientele. Take a really good look at the city you wish to launch your business in. Where are the new developments budding?
The budgeting part
The budgeting part may seem the most complicated, but it’s the most straightforward. Having limited resources will help you narrow down your choices. But to do it right, you need to ask yourself as many questions as you can think of. Start with: how much do I expect to earn? and then proceed to:
- Should I rent the space or buy it?
- How much will I spend on utilities?
- Do I need to renovate before opening?
- What am I expected to pay in taxes here?
- What are the minimum wage requirements?
- Do I need permits and how much do they cost?
In case you’re stuck in an unfavorable location and think about moving your business, plan out the process in detail. You may be surprised to discover that affordable but promising business locations sprout away from the usual hot spots. Simply, you’re not the only one who’s trying to save.
And check, look, ask around until your head starts spinning. The more you know about the costs in the area, the more precise your budget projections will be. Just don’t dally; neither prices nor affordable locations will wait for you.
Where are the other links in the chain?
There’s no supply chain without suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and vendors. Your business is just one cog in the wheel regardless of your place in it. So, what you want to ensure is to find a location that puts you in the correct spot – right between the links you depend on the most. Otherwise, you will experience delays, which are costly in more ways than one.
Customers vs. employees: Why not both?
While you chase customers, great workers look for employment closer to home. No one is crazy about long commutes. You might object: without customers, there are no jobs. Actually, without good workers, there’s no business. Without great workers, there’s no profit. One option is hiring a Virtual Assistant, which saves money and time by getting the work done remotely. That way, you don’t need to worry about location.
If you prefer to hire on-site workers, you might just discover that managing your workforce and making good workers into great ones isn’t that difficult. It all starts with understanding them better. After all, happy employees will be your most loyal customers and the best brand promoters.
Also, consider the attractiveness of the location in terms of available amenities, parking, lines of public transportation, and general appeal to ensure an effortless recruitment process and smooth business operations. Your chosen location should conform to all: workers, clients, and suppliers.
Safety for all
There’s no other way to put it: certain areas in every city are affordable for a reason. Yes, your target demographic lives close, the rent is inexpensive, and yet there is a red flag poking your eye. Don’t overlook the crime rates as you choose the right location for your business. While doing your homework, you may account for theft insurance and security system installation and maintenance, but do they guarantee your safety and that of your customers?
If it fits…
Finding that perfect cardboard box isn’t easy. Even cats know it. So, if you’re trying to fit your molecular gastronomy restaurant in an area populated mainly by the elderly, don’t get surprised if nobody peeks inside. Even if the location appeals to you, it’s not essential for success. Your business needs to appeal to locals and their spending habits, too.
In other words, consider how your brand fits in the area. Are there only competitors, or are there compatible businesses? Can you count on cross-marketing? And equally important: are the values you’re promoting resonating with the local population?
Choosing the right location: the bottom line
In brief, this is what awaits you. Collect the relevant data, analyze probable incomes and expenses, position your company by considering all relevant stakeholders, choose the right location for your business and shoot for the stars.