Dear M & M:
How do I go about choosing a location for my business?
Choosing the right location for your business is one of the many choices a business owner needs to make to continue to stay in business. Economic considerations need to take place. Remember if your business is destination driven like a doctor’s office or contractor’s office people will seek you out.
If you are dependent on traffic or impulse sales one might have to pay a little more for that high traffic location. Choosing the wrong location one could have to spend a lot of money to get people there. Other considerations; do you lease or do you buy a building or land and build?
Everyone should run two plans one leasing and the other option of ownership. Pros and cons of buying or leasing need to be considered. Many times it comes down to availability in whatever market you are going to operate in. Existing land and buildings for what you are considering might not be available to purchase or lease.
Other things one needs to consider include; parking, competition, curb appeal, hours of operation, location of services or similar products, complementary amenities (food court, bathrooms, banking, security). Remember your image and brand is at stake. Does the location fit the type of message you want? Don’t forget about plans for future growth.
Can you provide other services or does your lease exclude you from doing particular services or selling similar products? Keep in mind hidden costs, renovation, property taxes, common areas maintenance and marketing or promotional costs needed to comply with any shopping center, mall or other groups marketing efforts.
As you grow your business you want to make certain that the shopping center is growing or is it a dying commercial piece destined to be empty. There are a lot of synergies that a group of like-minded business owners can create together. The bottom line is do your research, talk to other business owners and potential co-tenants.