You’ve studied up and have a dream. You know you have a great idea and you are ready to put it into action. You want to start your own business. The research for your product has been done. You’ve created a business plan and set goals. You have educated yourself on what to do to make your business a success. Now that you have a business plan and goals, you want to find a location.
The location of your business is extremely important. The wrong location could be catastrophic to the success of your business. You know how important the location is. Now you need to figure out where to start the process of locating the right spot for your business.
You will want to think about the following:
Look at your competition. Find out where your closest competition is located. Consider if your industry is good for comparison shopping. If it is not, you may want to distance yourself from your competitors. In some cases, it may be smart to locate closer to competition. You may generate foot-traffic from comparison shoppers or convenience shoppers who can’t find what they want at your competitor’s store.
Consider your demographics. You will want to really understand your target audience. Know what type of client you are looking for. You want your business to be located close to your demographic and in an area that caters to the image you want to portray.
Decide what style you want your business operation to be. Would your business best benefit from a standalone store front, a commercial business strip or a kiosk? You will want to consider the size of your business and what style is appropriate. Also consider your target audience. Choose the location that reflects your demographic—modern, historic, high-end etc.
Consider accessibility. You obviously want to get customers through the door. You should look at the parking situation to make sure there is space for your customers. Is parking free or will customers be forced to pay? You will also want to look at sidewalks and entrances to make sure you can accommodate persons with disabilities. Finally, consider street access. Will it be difficult for drivers to access your location? You don’t want them to get frustrated trying to reach your business.
Look into any ordinances, utility costs and infrastructure. Consider the stores nearby and make sure your business won’t be in conflict. If you plan to rent the space, you will want to speak to the landlord and consider what type of lease they are offering. There are different types of commercial leases. The type of lease available could determine what you are accountable for. Know if you are responsible for utilities and get an estimate of cost.
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