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Location is Key: 5 Steps to Choosing the Right Location for Your Business

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You’ve got a great business idea and the finances to back it – now all you need to do is decide where to set up shop. Choosing a location for your business will depend heavily on the nature of your business. If you’re a retailer, for example, you’ll need a storefront in a high-traffic area. If you’re a consultant, you’ll need a convenient office space. There’s a lot to consider, but the decision can be made easier by breaking it down into steps.

1. Consider your business model

If you’re a service-based business, like a restaurant or a shop, you will need to be near your customers – ideally, in places they already visit often. Otherwise, think about what else your business needs in order to survive. If you’re in the exporting business, you might need to be near your resources or near reliable transportation links. If you’re a knowledge-based company, selling products like books and guides or services like consultancy work, there’s a chance you can run your business from anywhere! Square in on general areas that work for your business model.

2. Think about your target audience

Especially if you’re a service-based business, you want to choose a business location that is appealing to the people you’re hoping to serve. In fact, Entrepreneur stresses that this is the most important consideration.

Think about your ideal customers and consider their demographics. Things like age, income, household composition and even education will have a direct impact on where those people live, work and spend their leisure time. You need to make sure that your business is strategically placed to reach these people when it’s most convenient for them. A great tool to use is Locate, Grow and Optimize which gives you demographic info for a given area.

3. Consider accessibility

When you start looking at location options, you have to think about how accessible they are. Would your business survive if it was on a pedestrian-only street? Or, do you need to make sure there’s an easily accessible parking lot nearby?

Think about how much time your customers will be spending at your business and how they’re most likely to reach it. If you need to be in a high traffic area, like in the centre of your city’s downtown, you might want to make sure there’s at least a public parking lot nearby. With an estimated 3.6 million wheelchair users in the US alone, it’s also important to ensure your business is accessible to those with limited mobility.

4. Get some help

You don’t have to do this alone. There are real estate agents who specialise in commercial property, like, who would be more than happy to help you answer all these important questions (and more) and help you find the perfect location for your business. Working with a team of professionals is the best way to make sure you don’t miss a single consideration.

5. Get ready to move!

Regardless of whether you’re starting a brand new business or expanding a current one, moving can be a difficult and tedious process. Do you need to move heavy, complicated manufacturing equipment? Relocate some of your employees? Will you have to close your business for a set period of time? Create a budget and figure out where you can allocate your resources – time, money and manpower.

By following these steps you’re on the right track to finding a location for your business that will work long term. Don’t forget that both relocating and setting up an initial location can take a lot of time and effort, and it’s important to be as prepared as possible.

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