Location, Location, Location
According to the often-used cliché, the three most important things in retailing are – location, location, and location. This well-worn platitude does have some merit in that it really drives the importance of business location home. Where you choose to set up your business can be a critically important decision with serious, often disastrous implications if done incorrectly.
The importance of business location can’t be overstated. Finding the best location to set up shop could be the single most important thing you do for your business. Sure, the quality of your product and/or service is important too – that goes without saying - but little good it will do you if you can’t get your customers through the door!Deciding where to open up shop?
According to Entrepreneur, here are some tips on choosing the best location for your business:
Check your demographics & do your due diligence
You can approach this from a number of ways but the simplest is to get to know the neighbourhood.
Walk or drive around and get a sense of traffic generators in the area like parks, office buildings, schools or hospitals, and notable retailers. You need to assess both highway and foot traffic. Make note of the parking situation and nearby public transit stations. You need to be easy to find and even easier to access.
It’s also important to assess the area’s demographic overview (age, household income, etc), especially if your product or service is geared to specific segment of the population. A good retail realtor worth their salt will be knowledgeable on the demographic trends for a given area.
Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer
Entrepreneur argues that the simplest strategy, and often the most effective, is to set up shop within eyeshot of your biggest competitor. They will have (hopefully) done all the due diligence in choosing their own location and as a bonus, the proximity means you can piggyback on their marketing efforts. Chances are they’ve already invested in attracting their (and your) perfect customer so why not take advantage?
Don’t underestimate the power of professional help
Earlier we mentioned that a good realtor could provide you with the insights to make choosing the right location a lot quicker and whole lot simpler. Time (and real estate) waits for no man; professional expertise can go a long way to helping you make the right decision, fast. If you don’t already have an attorney, consider hiring one. According to Entrepreneur, they can help you make sense of the legal jargon in your lease agreement and can help you negotiate with your landlord. Remember, you are essentially “marrying” your landlord so make sure you screen them and give them as much consideration as the location itself.
These 22 questions can help you decide if a given location is right for your needs or not.
Thinking of moving?
There are many factors that may contribute to a desire to move your business. Entrepreneur states that business’ 5 most common reasons for moving are:
- Labour & work force issues
- The desire to reach new markets
- The need to upgrade facilities and/or equipment
- The desire to lower costs and/or increase cash flow
- Quality of life considerations
Financing your relocation
Step 1: Evaluate your costs
There are numerous costs associated with relocating your business before, during, and after the move, such as:
- Moving materials like boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper
- Hiring moving personnel to transport large equipment
- Professional cleaning crews
- Renovations to the new space
- Updated equipment for the new space
- Transitional costs associated with running parallel operations (staffing, utilities, inventory, etc)
- Changes in insurance costs
- And the list could go on and on
Your first step is to sit down and figure out all your costs associated with the move. Don’t neglect to consider the expenses connected to the old space that you’re leaving behind.
Step 2: Decide how to finance your move
Self-financing isn’t always possible or even a good idea necessarily, especially when running parallel operations while you’re in transition. Expenses can pile up fast, stressing your cash flow, and you can run the risk of going into overdraft, adding even more fees into the mix.
If you’ve taken the time to estimate your moving costs you should already know the amount of financing that you require, then add a buffer amount to account for any unforeseen expenses. Depending on how big your operation is a micro-loan sometimes referred to as a small business loan ($5000-$100,000), will probably be more than sufficient.
When looking for a financial provider, look into their application process before you move forward. Traditional lenders require very in depth applications that slow down the process and ultimately increase the time it takes for you to receive funding. Using Evolocity as an example, our small business loan program can secure the funds for your move in as little 2 business days. You can apply from start to finish from the comfort of your computer (or on mobile) thanks to our secure online application. This means that you can focus your time and efforts on the move itself instead of juggling cash flow.