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Choosing a Good Business Location: A Guide for New Entrepreneurs

Every year, more than 627,000 small businesses open their doors. And though some don’t have physical locations, most entrepreneurs choose to house their businesses out of a central location.

But finding the perfect business location can be harder than coming up with a solid and successful business plan.

Every company is different and the type of location that you’ll need may differ from your closest competitors. But there are a few things you can do to make the search easier. Here are a few tips to help you find the right location to call home.

Know Your Target Demographic

Before you can start finding the perfect business location, you need to understand your target demographic.

Think about the types of customers you’re trying to reach and the type of business you conduct. Do you rely on foot traffic or does the bulk of your business happen online?

Are you a service provider who sends people to your customers or do you expect your clients to come to you?

Knowing these things will help you decide where you should base your business. For example, if you rely on customers coming to your business, you need to choose a location that’s convenient for them.

Remember, people like easy access and easy-to-find locations. If they have to go out of their way to get to your location, they’ll often choose to go to a competitor. Most customers value convenience almost as much as they value the quality of your services.

Pay Attention to Parking

No matter what type of business you’re running, you need to focus on your parking situation. Employees and clients alike need to have an easy and safe place to park when they reach your location.

Make sure there’s enough space to accommodate current and future employees as well as clients and customers.

You’ll also want to find a company that can help you maintain that parking lot. This paving company recommends hiring a provider that can handle everything from new asphalt installation to repairs and maintenance.

This way, you’ll have a single contractor you can rely on as your business grows and your parking needs change.

Decide to Rent or Buy

There are pros and cons to both buying and leasing a business location. And before you can make your decision, you need to know which one will best suit your needs.

When you’re first starting out, it’s normal to feel unsure about how rapidly your company will expand. And the office space you choose may fit your current needs, but not your future ones.

Leasing a building allows you to choose a location that fits your current business’s needs. When you need to expand or move to a larger location, you can do so at the end of your lease term.

But if you’re comfortable with the size of your business or have an idea of how you want to scale the operation, buying is a good option.

When you buy a building, you’re able to tailor it to your unique needs without worrying about violating the terms of your lease agreement. And as you grow, you can expand on the property to accommodate that growth.

Look to Your Competitors

It may seem controversial, but take a look at where your competitors are if you have any in the area.

If your business thrives on foot traffic, you can use your competitors’ advertisements against them by putting your company close to their facility. If customers can’t find what they’re looking for with your competitors, you’ll be close by to help out.  

Keep in mind, it’s important to strike a balance. You want to be close to your competition, but not right next door. Being too close can create ill will between you and your competitors which can hurt your business.

Know How You’ll Use the Space

Unfortunately, zoning laws determine what you’re allowed to do with a building and what’s prohibited.

Using a building for a purpose that’s not covered by the zoning allowances puts you at risk for fines. Worse, the county or city can ask that you cease activity altogether. And if that activity is vital for your company, you’ll have to find a different place to call the company home.

When you find a property of interest, contact the city or county and find out the zoning details. If you can legally use the building for your business, it’s a great option. If not, keep looking.

Changing zoning regulations is incredibly difficult and time-consuming. It’s far better to choose a building that’s already zoned for your business.

Don’t Neglect Your Commute

You’re an entrepreneur and business owner. That means you’ll be at your company working more than anyone else. It goes with the territory.

And that means you should also focus on how long your commute will be. The last thing you want to do is have to drive for more than an hour to deal with emergencies on your rare days off.

Try to pick a location that’s a comfortable commuting distance for you. Keep in mind this will vary from person to person.

And if you plan to expand and hire tons of employees, you’ll want the location to be convenient for them as well. Try to choose a location that’s close enough to public transportation to ensure that everyone you want to hire can reach the building easily.

Otherwise, you may exclude talent that could help your company grow and thrive.

Final Thoughts on Choosing the Best Business Location

The best business location will fit your company’s needs both in the immediate future and as you grow and expand. This can take time, but if you follow these tips, you’ll be able to find the right location for your company. Just be patient and only choose a location if you’re confident that it will work for you.

Looking for more tips and tricks to help you grow your brand and improve your business? Check out our recent posts.