Location, location, location! It is a cliché, but it is true; the right location can cause a business to be successful while a poor choice of a business location can cause a business to fail. There are many things to consider when searching for a location for your small business. With some research and legwork, you can find the perfect location for your business that will allow you to grow and build the business of your dreams.
What Is Your Business Activity?
If you depend on drive-by traffic and pedestrian traffic, your business location should be close to other retail stores or downtown. These areas tend to have fewer restrictions of advertising and signage to help attract customers to your business. If your business does not depend on customers finding you, your options for location may be more varied.
Access for Customers
If your customers have trouble finding a place to park, provided they find your building, they will think twice before coming back. Customers prefer locations that are easy to locate and easy to enter. Drive to the potential location from several different directions to make sure that customers will be able to locate you and find parking before you sign a lease for your business location.
Checking Zoning and Signage Ordinances
Local zoning and signage ordinances vary widely depending on the location of a business. Restrictions on the size and location of signs can be verified by contacting the local zoning office for your town. Before you decide on a business location, check the zoning ordinances to make sure that you will not be restricted by the regulations for a location. Depending on the type of business, some potential locations will not be as favorable if the location has strict zoning ordinances.
Where Are Your Competitors Located?
You do not want to put your new small business in the same shopping center as two other businesses that provide the same products or services. In fact, you should not locate your business close to any competitor if you can avoid it. By choosing a business location away from competitors, you will increase your customer base as customers avoid driving further for the same service or product.
Research Crime Rates
Before deciding on a business location, check with the local law enforcement agency to determine what the crime rate is for that area. This will not only affect your insurance rates, but it will also be a determining factor for some customers. Consumers do not want to shop or do business in areas where they fear for their safety.
Costs for Upgrading and Operating
If you must spend a great deal of money to upgrade the location or make costly changes to the building, it may not be worth the advantages of low rent and great location. Consider how the floor plan will benefit your business or create disadvantages for operating business. Before you begin your search for a business location, draw a floor plan of your business to help you visualize your needs.