Choosing a new business location is an important decision, and the right place can help you succeed. Companies consider several factors, including the type of operations, the costs, and local ordinances when choosing a site. Here are some tips on choosing the best new location for your company move.
Types of Businesses
Business locations are of five primary types, each of which has different requirements. The first is home-based businesses that need extra space. In this case, you may be able to obtain the room by adding to your home, moving to a larger home, or arranging to rent storage space or conference space when needed.
For many retail operations, a critical success factor is how close the store is to its customers or potential customers. If you know your target demographics, you can access Census data to help you determine where your potential customers live.
Foot traffic also is essential for many retail businesses, so you’ll want to locate in a high-traffic area with good visibility. Once you’ve narrowed down potential sites, monitor the traffic at different times of the day and week to find one that has the volume you need. Of course, you’ll also need adequate parking for customers and employees.
Online sales are becoming increasingly important for retailers, so consider the availability of nearby courier services to help you ship your product.
Professional services firms may not necessarily require a high volume of traffic. While proximity to customers is still a factor, potential customers will generally travel further to consult with their attorney, accountant, or management consultant than they will to buy everyday items. Often professional services firms benefit from locations with purpose-built space, well-landscaped exteriors, and high security, such as office buildings and business parks.
When evaluating potential space, ask whether the exterior doors are locked at a particular time and, if so, can you have keys? Make sure the neighborhood is safe and that the parking lot has adequate space and lighting. Being near lunch spots and banks will make employees happy. A good technology infrastructure also is critically important.
Personal service businesses such as hair salons, dentists, and physicians will also want to locate relatively close to population centers and target customers. However, many people will drive a little further to visit a dentist than to buy their groceries. Research how far people will travel in your industry to be sure you aren’t too far away. Also, make sure you’re not locating too close to competitors.
Adequate parking, or in some cities, good access to public transportation also is essential.
Manufacturing or Warehouses
Critical factors in a relocation often include being near major transportation routes and a potential labor force for manufacturing businesses. As a result, some localities will offer incentives such as training grants or tax holidays to acquire manufacturing employers.
On the other hand, some communities might restrict some industrial employers to certain industrial parks.
Regardless of the type of business, the cost will be a significant factor in your location choice. One-time costs, such as remodeling and ongoing costs like taxes, rent, insurance, and utilities, are all part of the equation.
Laws and zoning also will impact where you can locate a business. So be sure to check these laws carefully before signing a lease.