Most people have heard the phrase location, location, location but if you are in the throes of planning a new business venture the location may not be top of mind, particularly if foot traffic isn't key to the business. So, why does location matter so much? Well it's not just the name of a TV program, it's a well-known phrase that puts so much emphasis on the importance of location that it repeats itself three times. The location of your business make or break of your success. Here you will find a guide to scouting out your business location and finding great success.
Check Your Demographics
When you start out in business, planning is uber important. Determining who your demographic or ideal customer is will in turn determine how you should promote your business. When you do identify your target audience, researching their buying behaviours will show you a clear path on how to promote your products to this group of people. In your planning process you will identify some important factors.
Starting with the 4 P's
In marketing terms you may have heard of the "marketing mix" or the 4 P's. These are the 4 important elements that determine what your product is, how much to charge for it and how to promote it to the marketplace. The 4 P's are Product, Price, Promotion and Placement. While you could sell a product without knowing its placement in the market, you will need to determine things like price early on in your product planning. However as time goes on you will need to be clear about each of these important P's to ensure sales success.
In regards to both placement and promotion, where your business is located plays a big part. Placement refers to where your product is placed, or whom it competes against, in the market. Promotion relates to how you attract your customers to purchase your product if you have a physical store then it relates to how you get your customers through the door and at the sales desk.
What are your competitors doing that you aren't?
To help identify the best location for your business, look at what your direct competitors are doing, i.e. where are they located, how are they promoting their product, and how are they advertising their business location. When you find where your competitors are located, make a list of the pros and cons of having your business in close proximity. It may be advantageous to be close by to attract the similar foot traffic vs being the only business in the block selling your product exclusively. Both have benefits but only you can answer whether it's appropriate for you to be amongst other businesses that are similar or not.
How do you know what to look for in a location?
Through your business planning you would have identified a plethora of "must-haves" to run your business, i.e. if you are a baker you need an oven, if you are a recruiter you need a telephone, if you are a car sales you need a car yard etc. When you are seeking a new location make sure you have a list of all the things your business cannot compromise on. Ensure the location you are seeking meets all of these requirements. You may be fortunate enough to even meet some of the things on your wish list. These are added bonus factors that will make your business location even more attractive to your customers.
What to consider when looking for a new location?
- What is the location zoning? Does it meet your business permits?
- Is the location large enough? Does it meet all your business needs?
- Are there any repairs or fit-out requirements?
- What are the lease terms?
- Can you afford the lease?
- Do you want a whole building or could you work with a shared space?
- Where are your competitors
- Should you buy or rent?
- How far will you and your staff have to travel to this location, is it convenient?
- What are the nearby facilities, i.e. post office, cafes, lunch options, parking etc.
- Does the location meet the image you want your business to portray?
- Can your customers and suppliers easily access your location?
- What is the parking situation like?
- Is there an opportunity for your business to expand in this location?
Once these questions are answered you will be ready to go to find your new business premises!