Location, location, location – a realtor’s favorite phrase. All of them will tell you that’s the most important aspect of a sale. And as annoying as it is, it’s true.
Especially when you’re starting a brick and mortar location for your business. You may be able to stomach a commute into town – but your customers are not going to go out of their way.
Especially not at the beginning when you’re starting to build your business. So – what do you do when you’re trying to find that perfect business location that won’t break the bank?
You start here, by reading this article. Continue for the answers you need below.
Finding a Business Location: Choose Your Strategy
When it comes to finding that perfect spot, you have two options. You can, absolutely, go on the hunt on your own. Or you can hire a realtor.
Both aspects have their pros and cons. Finding your own space by yourself can make you feel proud and independent, but you may not get as good as a deal.
Working with a realtor can make sure you find that perfect location at a good price, but you will have to pay them a commission. It’s up to you when it comes to the option you choose.
Before you even start looking at empty space, though you need to do some background work.
Do Your Research
Let’s say you’re opening a frozen yogurt shop. You’re not going to open it right in the middle of a bunch of old folks homes, right? While maybe their loved ones will see your shop as a nice outing – you’re not near your demographic.
We’re not frozen yogurt gurus, but we assume that population is under 35.
You want to be somewhere near young families and young people. A college campus is a great place to put yourself or right outside of one.
Another thought would be to set up shop in a well-functioning shopping center. Where there are a Starbucks and a grocery store, there’s usually a good customer stream.
Go online and find out what kind of race, income, religion, age and gender population frequents areas you’re interested in. Set up your area dream-list based on these principals.
Maybe you don’t love the architecture in one section of town – but if it’s where the customers are, that’s where you need to go.
Check Out the Competition
If there’s a really good spot for your business – a competitor is probably already there. If you don’t want to set up shop next door and chance the odds, analyze their location.
Where else in town has the same attributes as their location? Are they in a shopping center? Near a residential area? Near recreational activities?
How can you re-create their success by copying the type of location they chose?
Figure Out What You Need
Some buildings just aren’t made for the type of business you run. If you fall in love with a space and it turns out you can’t install a commercial kitchen – then what’s the point?
Make sure you have a good idea of the type of machinery or technology you need before you go out and look.
Know how much electricity or strength of internet they need and make sure your location can accommodate those requirements.
Know Your Budget
If you made the minimum amount of profit your spreadsheets predict, could you afford the rent in your dream location? Maybe not.
Remember you can always move or open a second location once cash starts flowing. The last thing you want to do is overspend on location and not have enough money left over to run your business.
That means you may have to cross dream areas one and even two off your list, to settle for three. That’s the reality of starting a business.
Now’s the time to decide if you want a realtor or not. Commercial property buying is much different than buying a home, so yes, we’d suggest one.
Before you go out to look at locations, show them your list. Let them know what demographics you’re looking for, where you’d like to be if money wasn’t an issue, and, importantly, your budget.
If they have suggestions or comments about something you tell them, listen. They’re in this job for a reason. They may know about an up and coming area you’d never thought of.
Or they may tell you your dream location actually has terrible visibility. This should be a partnership where they help you help your business.
Consider the Details
A lot of people never think through the logistics of a dream location. The main one being parking. If no one can ever find a spot or has to circle a lot for 20 minutes, it’s going to cut down on their excitement to visit your business.
You want to find a business location with a sweet spot of accessibility without sacrificing foot traffic. Also look for locations that have room for an office or some sort of administrative space. Get more info here.
Your Business Location
Finding the perfect spot isn’t an easy task and it’s mostly up to luck. Luck and the quality of the realtor you hire. Hopefully, the cards will be in your favor and you can still make your projected opening date.
Remember to stay flexible and reasonable – nothing is permanent. It’s more important to open and start making money than to stay broke and wait until all is perfect.
Finally, don’t forget to market your business location and your services! We see too many business owners not leaving enough budget for this.
If you want to talk to someone about what that budget amount should look like or what you can expect, please allow us to help.