Starting your own business can be difficult, which is why you will want to make sure you get things right, especially the location to attract both employees and customers without any difficulty. Finding the right store location could not be more vital to your business success. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you find the right store location –
1. How far am I willing to drive as the store owner?
As the store owner, you will probably do long hours so how far are you willing to drive to ensure your business goes well?
2. How far are my employees willing to drive?
Your next consideration is your employees. How long are they willing to drive? You need to make sure the store location is not too far to attract the right talent for your business.
3. Do I need to be on a busy street?
Although many people pre-research online today, being on a busy street can dramatically grow your business and attract new walk-in customers. Take a cue from some of the biggest retailers in the world – Chic-fil-a, Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, Target. All of these retailers want to be on a busy street. Why? Because they know how important it is to maximize sales. This is increasingly important if you are a new business just starting out. Having said that, there are exceptions where if you are a unique destination business with a strong existing customer base, you can probably get away with a less busy street.
4. Do I need a place with good parking?
Depending on which city your store is in; parking could make or break your business. If you live in a city that is road-dependent, be sure to look for a space with good parking. This is important for both customers and employees.
5. Do I need to be visible from the street?
Being on a busy street is not always enough, you may want to be visible from the street. If you are a new business, street visibility is a big advantage to attract walk-in customers. It may not make a huge difference if you are an established business with repeat or referral customers.
6. Who is my target customer?
You need to choose an area that is well-aligned with your target customer. What are the demographics and median income of the area? Choose a location that helps you better connect to your target audience. A massage spa, for example, would need to look for an area with higher than average median household income as massages are generally a luxury and not a necessity.
7. Is the area safe?
The crime rate is another consideration you will want to factor in your location search because you will want to protect yourself, your employees, and your merchandise. No area is crime-free and no one can ever guarantee safety, but you should look up historical crime data in the areas you are considering.
8. Would other businesses help me attract new customers? Who would they be?
Other businesses may help you draw more customers. For example, if you own a clothing store for children, then it may be sensible to be near a toyshop or a baby-friendly restaurant or café because your respective businesses will be attracting a similar customer demographic.
9. Is the area affordable?
Any space you choose should be affordable and within your budget. There is no point in overextending yourself if you cannot afford it. It’s easy to fall in love with the largest space but focus on growing your business.
10. Is my business permitted in the area?
It’s important to check that you can run your business in the area by making sure you meet all zoning requirements to avoid disappointment later.
11. How many competitors are around?
Be sure to scope out your competition in the area so you don’t end up constantly having to fight to stay afloat. How far is your nearest competitors?
12. Do I need to be near public transport?
In some cities, it may be helpful for you to be near public transport for yourself, your employees, and your customers. Be sure you are easily accessible to attract as many customers as possible. Look at bus and train options.
13. Is the population growing or declining?
The area you choose should ideally have a good population base to attract enough foot traffic to your store. Ideally, a growing population in the demographic that is important to you.
14. Is the store or shopping center clean?
The store or shopping center surroundings should ideally be clean and free of trash because this is important for your business image.
15. Is the store a good size?
The store in a particular area should be the right size to ensure you get the best benefit out of it.
Finding the right location will make all the difference in the world to your business. Be sure to follow this guide to help you make the best decision.