Chances are that you have heard this word being repeated like a broken record. But in the midst of finding the perfect brand, strategizing future plans and many other things, this one word is overlooked. In reality this should be the top priority for anyone looking to open a business. While many mistakes can be rectified at a later stage poorly selected location can be impossible to repair.
It’s time that location gets precedence over any other thing on your to-do-list. Putting your business in the proper location might be the single best thing you can do for yourself especially if you plan on opening retail or food business. Here are some points to consider which will influence your selection process of a location.
What are the operations going to be like? Are they going to be Casual, formal, elegant or laidback? Can you operate from a kiosk (or booth) in a mall or a cart that can be moved or does your business require a traditional store in order to be operational. There should be a correlation between the particular style and image of the business and the location.
This can have a big influence on your choice of business location. There are very sophisticated location analysis tools in the market that one can use to determine the feasibility of a location. Making these determinations can be as simple or as complex as you make them. There are a couple of important perspectives to the issue of demographics. First, you need to ask yourself the question, who your customers are? And how important their proximity is to your location? This question is crucial for retailers, food businesses and certain service providers. Secondly, look at the community where the location is. Is there a sufficient percentage of population present in the community that matches your customer profile to support your business?
Retailers will tell you that location is dependent on the foot fall or the amount of traffic a specific location has. One can agree with this statement but you cannot overlook other factors that influence selection of a location. Being in a location that is not easily visible can be disastrous. You have to put in extra efforts to attract customers which diverts your energy and focus away from other functions of the business. The volume of traffic can be easily monitored by spending some time at the location. Choose different times of the day and on different days of the week to monitor the traffic and see if it will meet your needs.
Being on a busy street is great for your business but if your customers don’t have a place to park or stop by your store then is it really worth it? Or having a food business in a high footfall area but having no seating area for customers. Accessibility not only to customers but also employees and suppliers should be considered. Parking and accessibility convenience for customers is a very important factor especially if you plan to open a business in a busy metropolitan area.
Foot fall is important but landing the ‘perfect’ customer is far more vital for the business. Being close or next to your competition can be an advantage provided that you’re confident enough in your product to outsell the competition. Your competition has most likely already devoted a large portion of their advertising budget toward driving traffic to their location so you can take advantage of that. In a retail scenario where comparison shopping is popular you can undercut your next door competitor and gain market share. You could possibly catch overflow from your competitors.
Author: Haider Shah