Choosing the right location to run your business out of is essential if you want it to be a success. This is particularly true for bricks and mortar businesses, but believe it or not, it even applies to some online businesses – because business rates, tax and shipping can vary depending on where you are located, choosing the right location can make your business very cost efficient.
For an actual brick and mortar business, though, location really is key – it is what will make the difference between a business failing because of lack of footfall or thriving because it attracts a busy trade.
The best location is one that you can afford, but that also gets lots of passing traffic. Somewhere that is big enough that you can show off your products or accommodate the number of users that you need, and that is clean, suitably lit (or modifiable to make that true), and that has parking and good public transport links.
That wish list is a hard one to meet. Real estate is limited and there are a lot of people who will be competing for spaces like that! You will find that demand for the best real estate is high, and that there is often a waiting list to get into the better properties.
If you see somewhere that is vacant or that has a very high turnover, then you will need to examine it carefully – why has every business that has moved in there so far failed? If you like the location, what makes you think that your business will be any different?
Remember, that different kinds of businesses will have different priorities. Some businesses will do OK out of town because by their very nature they rely on people having access to a vehicle (wholesalers, for example). Some cater to students and would be better off being located within walking distance of student accommodation. Some require parking and public transport links because they are aimed at parents who will be bringing children with them. Some are mainstream and can do well from passing trade if they have a prominent shop window. Others are more niche, and will attract customers who find them online or who are referred by word of mouth – and since they can expect that their customers will seek them out it’s OK if they are more ‘hidden away’ because people will come to them.
It can take a long time to find the perfect location but it is worth hunting for it. Try not to move around too many times – because moving has its own challenges and stresses – including updating the marketing and sorting out bills!
The wrong location will kill your business – but the right location will make it thrive. Start small, let your business grow, and be patient while you look for the perfect place, so that you can build up the audience that you have always coveted, and build a brand that will last a working lifetime for you.