Before you start looking for a business location, you should have a clear picture of what you have and what you want to have in future. Coming up with that picture is a time-consuming process, which is both tedious and exciting – but you need to give it the attention that it deserves.
Although many business mistakes can be corrected later, a bad location is sometimes impossible to repair.
Here are some other factors that you should consider when choosing the best business location:
Style of Operation
Is your business going to be formal or elegant? Your location needs to be consistent with a particular image or style. If you own a retail business, do you want a traditional store or an online store?
When considering demographics, you should think about two important angles. First, you should think about who your customers are and how close they are to your location. This is critical for some service providers and retailers but not so for other businesses. The demographic profile that you have for your target audience will allow you to make this decision.
Secondly, you should consider your community. Is your customer base local, and does a percentage of it support your business or match your customer profile? When choosing communities that are largely dependent on a specific industry, you need to be careful because a slump can be bad for business.
For many businesses, foot traffic is very important. Nobody wants to be tucked away in a corner where potential customers will pass him/her by. On the other hand, if your business needs confidentiality, you should opt for a low-traffic area.
Find an ideal location by monitoring the traffic outside a certain location at different times of the day and different times of the week. Doing so is a great way of confirming whether the traffic meets your needs.
Parking and Accessibility
Consider the accessibility of the location for every person who will be coming there. If you are on a busy street, is it easy for cars to get in and out of your parking lot? Your facility also needs to be accessible to people with disabilities. Which sort of deliveries are you likely to receive, and will your suppliers be able to access the facility easily?
If you are considering an office building, ask yourself whether you need the keys for periods when the main doors are locked. If the building closes on weekends and you would like to work then, you should look elsewhere. Make sure that there is sufficient parking for employees and customers.
Just as with foot traffic, you should monitor the facility and see how the parking demand fluctuates. Moreover, you should make sure that the parking lot is adequately lit and well maintained.
Are competing companies close by? In some instances, this can be advantageous if comparison shopping is popular. You might end up catching the excess from nearby businesses if you are situated near an entertainment area or restaurant. However, if you are selling CJ aviation fuel pumps and there is a competitor nearby that sells the same thing, start looking elsewhere. When consumers are looking for very specific products, they understand that their choices may be limited, so they will probably only visit one location.
Site’s Image and History
What does the address say about your business? If you are targeting a local market, you should ensure that your location reflects the picture that you want to project. It would also be a good idea to check the history of the site and consider how it has changed over the years.
Make sure that you ask about previous tenants. If you are opening a hotel where five hotels have failed, you will be starting with a serious handicap.
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