From my previous article, I discussed extensively on business location and its types. Here, I will be looking at the factors to consider in choosing a business location. However, you will do yourself a disservice by not reading the previous article.
Now, having gained an overview of what is available; your resource, your business present need and future need, you now need to decide what is most suitable for your business. To make the right choice based on the factors to consider in choosing a business location, I must say that you should be systematic and realistic as to the following points:
Factors To Consider In Choosing A Business Location
1. Style of Operation
To choose the best possible business location, you first have to know the operation of your business. In a nutshell, is your business operation going to be formal and elegant? Or just casual?
Your business location should be consistent with your particular style and image. If your business is retailing, you would want to understand before choosing a location whether you want a traditional store, or you like to move to various locations using any means of location? Preferably, you would want to consider operating from the normal kiosk we know. If you’re in a traditional mall or shopping center, will the property location permit you to have a sidewalk sale if you want to? How about you wanting to decorate your windows, sideways the way you want to? Are these factors permissible?
RECOMMENDED: Choosing a location for your business
Talking about demographics as one of the factors to consider in choosing a business location, there are two important angles to it. One of them is your customers; the other angle is your employees (if you are to hire employees).
First, consider who your customers are and how significant their proximity to your location is. For a retailer and some of those whose business is service-based, this is critical; for other types of businesses, it may not necessarily be that important.
After that, take a look at the community. If your target customers are residing with the community, is the population big enough, or does a sufficient percentage of that population match your customer profile to support your business? Does the community have a stable economic base that will provide a healthy environment for your business? For most businesses, electricity is a major conscience, and others require environment devoid of noise.
You must be careful in considering your immediate community to see if the need amenities that will boost your business are present.
Now reflect on your workforce.
What skills do your business need, and are people with those skills readily available? Back to the community again, is there sufficient housing in the appropriate price range available for them? Of cause, accommodation is a major problem in major cities now due to the exorbitant price.
Also, will your employees find the schools for their children if they have? How about recreational opportunities, culture and other aspects of the community. Are they satisfactory?
Another thing that you may want to consider is the economy. When an economy is strong and the unemployment rate is low, the availability of potential workers becomes very low. However, keep in mind that in many communities, few people may be unemployed, but many may be underemployed. If you are offering attractive jobs at competitive wages, you may find staffing your company easier than you thought.
3. Foot Traffic
For most businesses, foot traffic is exceedingly important. You don’t want to be tucked away in a corner of the street where potential customers are likely to bypass you. On the contrary, if your business requires confidentiality, you may not want to be in the notice of every onlooker.
It is therefore advisable to monitor the traffic of the location at different times of the day and on different days of the week to make sure the volume of traffic meets your required needs.
4. Accessibility and Parking
Accessibility is one of the major factors to consider in choosing a business location. You have to consider how accessible the building location will be for everyone who will be using it; the customers, employees, and suppliers depending on the kind of business you do.
How about the parking space available? If you’re on a busy street, how easy will it be for cars to get in and out of your parking lot? Is the building also accessible to people with disabilities? What sort of deliveries are you likely to receive, and will your suppliers be able to easily and efficiently get supplies across to your business? You must also consider the small package couriers. They need to be able to get in and out quickly.
Some offices are located in a plaza with many offices occupied by different companies. Thus, before paying for the office, you also need to find out about the days and hours you have access to it. Are the cooling systems left on or turned off at night and on weekends? Should you be at the office at night. How about if you’re inside an office building, are there periods when external doors are locked and, if so, can you have access to the keys?
You should also ensure there’s ample convenient parking for your customers and employees. Also, you may want to consider safety issues. Some parking slot has been identified to be very close to the major road. This can be risky if appropriate measures are not put in place.
Competitors are one of the core factors to consider in choosing a business location. You have to know whether or not competing businesses are located nearby? Sometimes associate the word competitors to an enemy. While this may be true, there are actually many things to learn from competitors. Being close to your competitor will help you keep a close eye on their activities, know when you are playing outside the game box and know when to restrategize.
On the other hand, being close to a competitor is going to make your marketing job tougher, look elsewhere.
6. Proximity to Other Businesses and Services
Before you choose a business location, take a look at what other businesses are in the vicinity from two key angles.
1. First, see if you can benefit from nearby businesses. That is from their customer’s coming to patronize them.
2. Second, look at how they will enrich the quality of your business as a workplace. Are the businesses within the vicinity comfortable with your customers and employees?
CONCLUSIVELY, among the factors to consider in choosing a business location, room for growth or future expansion is pertinent.
“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” —PETER DRUCKER,
What is the need of locating your business in an area that has proved to be unprofitable? Some business owners are not even aware that some businesses require a different location.
It is also necessary to consider the infrastructures that exist within the area you choose to locate your business. Are they necessary to further the growth of your business? All these and many more questions you must provide answers to.