Before you begin looking for business space, it is important to know what you want, what you can tolerate, and what you are willing to pay. It can be tedious and time-consuming to create this picture, but it is essential that you give it the care it deserves. Although many startup mistakes can be fixed later, it is often impossible to fix a bad choice of location.
Type of operation
Are you going for formality and elegance? Or relaxed and casual? You should keep your location consistent with your style and image. Do you prefer a traditional retail store or a kiosk in a shopping mall? Or a cart that can be moved to different locations?
Demographics can be viewed from two perspectives. Consider who your customers are and their proximity to you. This is crucial for retailers and service providers. It might not be so important for other businesses. This will allow you to make the right decision.
Next, take a look around at the community. Is your local customer base representative of your target customer? Is the community stable enough to provide a favorable environment for your company? Consider communities that are heavily dependent on one industry to support their economy. A downturn could spell doom for businesses.
Foot traffic is a crucial factor in retail businesses. It is important to not be in a place where customers are likely to skip you. Even the most popular retail areas can have dead spots. If your business is confidential, it may be a good idea to avoid high-traffic areas. To ensure that your business is well served by pedestrian traffic, monitor the traffic outside potential locations at different times of day and on different days.
Parking and accessibility
Think about how easily the facility will be accessible for all who use it, including customers, employees, suppliers, and customers. How easy will it be for cars to access your parking space if you live on a busy street? Are people with disabilities able to use the facility? What kind of deliveries will you be receiving? Will your suppliers be able to get the materials to your company quickly and efficiently? If you are going to receive palletized freight, small-package couriers must be able to get in and out quickly. Trucking companies will need access to roads and loading docks.
Learn about the hours and accessibility to the locations you are interested in. Do the cooling and heating systems remain on at night or are they turned off on weekends? Are there times when the exterior doors of an office building are locked? If so, do you have the keys? If you are looking for a beautiful office building for a great price, it is not worth the cost of the building being closed on weekends. Or they permit you to access but the heat and air conditioning are off so you can freeze in the winter and roast in summer.
Do you know of any other companies in the area? Sometimes, that can be a good thing. If you are located near a restaurant or entertainment area, you may be able to catch the excess business. If a competitor is going to make your job harder, then look elsewhere.
Other businesses and services are within proximity
Two perspectives are needed to see what services and businesses are available in your area. First, look at the potential benefits of nearby businesses, based on their customer traffic. This could be because those employees and companies could be your customers or it might be more convenient and efficient to be their customer.
The second is to consider how they will enhance the workplace quality of your company. Is there a sufficient selection of restaurants in the area so that employees can go out for lunch? Are there any day-care centers nearby for employees with young children? Is there a convenient location for other services and shops that you or your employees may need?
History and image of the site
What does your address tell you about your company? If you are targeting a local market, make sure that your address accurately represents the image you wish to project. It is also a good idea to check the history of the site. Take a look at how the site has changed over time.
Ask about the past tenants. You may find yourself in a difficult situation if five other restaurants have failed. Do your research to determine why several businesses have failed in the area. You need to verify if the problem is with the business or the place. It is a positive sign that the previous owners have been extremely successful, but you should temper this with information about what kind of businesses they had.
Check to see if any ordinances could impact your business. You should check for any restrictions on the location you are considering, as well as nearby properties. A liquor store shouldn’t be located next to your daycare center.