Too many would-be entrepreneurs become so excited about launching their new business venture that they fail to invest the necessary time in finding the right location. But as your company’s image and its location are closely tied, finding the right place to set up shop can be critical to your success.
If you’re in retail or hospitality, think about the location of the business from your customers’ point of view. For example, a large retail space in an industrial area may be affordable, but may not attract enough business. On the other hand, if your business involves manufacturing, wholesaling, or selling strictly over the Internet, then selecting a location will not hinge on customers visiting your business.
Here are some tips to make choosing the best location for your business a little easier:
- Know your business. Understanding the needs of your business is the first step in finding a location. Will customers visit your location? Do you anticipate walk-in business, or will customers call for appointments? Does your business make use of natural resources? How are your goods delivered? Does your business involve chemicals or excessive noise that might fall under the zoning restrictions? Make a list of your business-specific needs.
- Find your customers. You need to identify who your customers are and how you can best meet their needs. If you are moving a business operation into a new city or rural area, find out as much as possible about population trends there. The U.S. Census Bureau provides plenty of helpful data on population trends and statistics. You can also contact local and state agencies for their input. When you have gathered as much information as possible, start creating your demographic profile. Once you know who you’re trying to reach, you can determine where you’re more likely to find customers. For example, if you’re opening an after-school centre, you’ll want to open it in an area that not only has many families but also has a high number of two-income households. Good research will help you find such a location.