Choosing a business location is might be the single most important decision a small business owner will make, so it requires careful planning and research. It involves looking at demographics, assessing your supply chain, studying the competition, staying on budget, understanding how state laws and taxes might impact you, and so much more. Your business location can mean the difference between success and failure. But more than that, your business location is the hallmark of your brand and your profits. Here are some tips to help you choose the right business location.
Most businesses choose a location that will provide exposure and drive foot traffic or volume to their location. That makes features like parking, pedestrian and vehicular access, the reputation of the neighborhood, all major factors to consider. There are other less obvious factors, though, that can turn out to be just as important.
Your brand image is one of the first items to consider. If you are selling upscale sporting goods, you will want a location that is frequented be the kind of customers you are targeting. Are the businesses around you complementary or competing? Some businesses, such as retail stores, benefit from being in a retail hub alongside the competition. Others may be at a disadvantage if located close to competition.
If you anticipate further growth, stop the need for multiple moves by looking for a building that has extra space you can expand into should you need it.
Zoning regulations will determine whether you can actually conduct your type of business in certain properties or locations. You can find out how property is zoned by contacting your local planning agency.
Getting your business location wrong can be costly. Talk to other business owners, work with a mentor, and use available resources, such as your Chamber of Commerce and the local small business association to help in your efforts.