Finding the Perfect Business Location

Every entrepreneur is familiar with the old adage, “Location is everything.” No matter the quality of your products or services, if your clients can’t get to them, you won’t have much luck in business. Don’t let a bad spot stand in the way of your success — consider these five tips for choosing a prime location for your company.

Know your neighbors

Be aware of the businesses, institutions and establishments in the area you’re considering. Consider what could draw traffic to your business. According to Karen E. Spaeder, a contributor to Entrepreneur magazine, colleges, healthcare complexes, schools and offices can help funnel traffic towards your enterprise. Irene Dickey, who teaches management and marketing at the University of Dayton, urges aspiring entrepreneurs to take a data-driven approach. She suggests investing in a location analysis tool, which will break down local demographics and customer behavior while also providing insight into your nearby competition.

Convenience for customers

Consider your business from a customer’s perspective. Is it easy to spot from the roadway? How are the parking conditions? Is it accessible via public transportation? How is the crime rate in the area? For the sake of both your customers and your employees, try to establish your brick-and-mortar in a safe, visible location. It’s also a good idea to consider what your specific clientele considers convenient. If you specialize in elderly, disabled or pregnant clientele, extra accommodations may be necessary, advises Scott Allen, a contributor to The Balance Small Business.

Legal and industrial requirements

Depending on the nature of your company, you may have to comply with specific zoning laws. Allen emphasizes it’s critical to verify that your type of business is legally allowed in the area before signing any kind of lease agreement. Furthermore, make sure the facility you’re considering has everything you need to hit the ground running. This is especially important for industries that require heavy power usage, specialized electricity setups or private meeting rooms.

Accounting for growth

When you’re scouting for locations, Spaeder suggests contemplating whether the facility will be able to grow with your company. If you’re setting up a restaurant or a brewery, a small parking lot could become a hindrance as your business picks up customers. Furthermore, if your brick-and-mortar establishment needs to expand, is it possible to purchase more space, such as an adjoining bay or lot? Don’t forget about the logistics of shipping and receiving inventory, Spaeder warns. Check behind your potential location and make sure there’s enough room to accommodate a delivery truck.

Factor in expenses

Before you sign on the dotted line, be aware of the costs involved with the location. Read the fine print on the lease agreement, and make sure you understand the terms and conditions. Account for any repairs the building may need, along with any improvements you may need to make. Spaeder suggests evaluating the wiring, lighting, ventilation and HVAC system along with the building’s square footage and overall layout. If the building needs too much modification to suit your needs, consider a different location.

A good location can make or break your company. If you need assistance finding a favorable location or want a hand when negotiating the terms of your lease, consult with a professional agent or real estate lawyer.

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