Location is Key: Is Your Business Located in the Best Place?
Finding the best spot to grow your business is a unique challenge. Not only do you want to accommodate what you’ve already built, but you’re going in with the hope of making operations better than ever. Do you know what it takes to begin researching the ideal location for your business? If not, the following information will give you a good start.
“Location, Location, Location”: Does It Apply to Your Business?
First, you have to determine what’s at stake. Do you depend on customers and clients who walk through the door and come straight to you? If the answer is no, reevaluate your real estate needs. If you won’t be dealing with customers in this space, make the budget your biggest priority, not location.
Some businesses, such as contractors, may have a front office, but the actual work takes place at a jobsite located elsewhere. Since that’s the point where the most customer contact and customer impressions are made, which street you choose for your headquarters is secondary, at the very least.
The same goes for offices where clientele are contacted remotely via phone or internet. Call centers, for instance, do not need to put location above budget, building size, or appropriate communications wiring.
Tips for Choosing the Best Location for Your Business
If your business offers customer-facing services in-store, the criteria for a prime location can be quite long. Once you’ve chosen a general area, sniff out the competition. It may seem odd to want to place yourself in close proximity to these businesses, but as you may have noticed, fast food restaurants are usually clumped together – and for good reason.
Chances are, those competitors are already positioned there because the traffic includes the demographic that they serve. You can essentially use that competitor’s prior analysis and advertising to effortlessly choose an ideal spot where the people who want your products and services are already going.
Even if there are no competitors in your area, always look at who has set up shop nearby when you’re looking at commercial real estate for lease listings. If the businesses on that street are primarily industrial, question whether or not your quiet office space would fit in here. Pay strict attention to zoning to ensure you don’t somehow end up with a lease that doesn’t allow you for your businesses to operate as intended.
Also factor in the safety and density of this particular neighborhood. Would your staff or clients feel safe if they were walking a hundred yards to get to the building? Can the area be navigated relatively easily?
These factors are best taken into account when you visit the area yourself. Choose a time where traffic would be heaviest, usually in late afternoon or early evening. Note how much parking is really available, and if you’re sharing parking with residents or other businesses.
Location is extremely important when you want your audience to visit you. However, it’s also crucial that you seem inviting to your new neighbors, too. Be sure to introduce yourself to others on the street with an opening day event. After all, you’re not just a business, you’re a new member of an established community.