How to Choose a Location for Your Business?
If you’re thinking about renting a commercial premises for your business, the old adage remains as pertinent as ever: it’s all about location, location, location. Where your business is located is going to have a direct impact on how many customers and clients you’re able to obtain, while also impacting your choice of staff and employees.
In this guide, we’re going to go over everything you need to know about choosing a business location: why your location is important, how to make the right choice, and what to do if you don’t have the financial means to rent a commercial property. Let’s take a look!
Why is a business location important?
Your business location is going to be the hub of your enterprise. Where your business is situated is going to determine both how many customers and clients you’re able to reach, and the attractiveness of your business to talented professionals. Here are just a few reasons why choosing the right business location is key:
If your business is a traditional brick-and-mortar enterprise, your location is going to be absolutely paramount. In fact, your business location is going to correlate directly with your potential for revenue. It’s just good common sense: if your business is located in the midst of a bustling city, your potential for revenue is going to be much higher than if your business were to be situated on a poorly frequented residential street with little passing traffic.
That being said, it’s important to consider the costs, too. Placing your business in a highly-sought area with lots of traffic is going to mean paying large sums every month in rent. If your business is new and you’re just starting out, you might want to consider bridging the gap between accessibility and cost: this could mean opting for a smaller city, or a less populated area of your ideal city.
Access to the best talent
It’s a known fact that large, bustling cities are some of the best places to find new talent for your business. While that doesn’t mean you can’t find talent in remote areas, larger cities such as London tend to attract the best and brightest of the workforce; those who are lured to the city by its rich prospects and wider choice of employment.
Therefore, it’s important to consider your business location in accordance with the employees you’re looking to attract. If you want to attract sought-after talent, you need to situate your business amongst your competitors, and in a highly accessible area. You also need to offer a workplace that is enriching, with plenty of room for employee growth – but location really does matter, too.
How to choose a location for your business
So, what factors should you be taking into consideration when looking for a location for your business? Here are six points that we’d recommend thinking about:
When it comes to running a successful business, you need to think about accessibility. After all, how can you find customers if your customers can’t find your business? Accessibility means finding a business with adequate transport links, such as underground stations within walking distance, as well as affordable bus services where possible. Accessibility isn’t just for your customers: you also want to be able to offer your employees an easy-to-reach office or work premises that doesn’t cut 2 or 3 hours out of their day in commuting time. An accessible business is one that is easily found, easily reachable, and easily discoverable by passing traffic.
Another key point to take into consideration is just how many people might be passing by your business on a day-to-day basis. Passing traffic is going to be crucial when it comes to keeping the revenue flowing; you can’t always rely on loyal or regular customers to balance the books and keep things running.
And just because your business is in a central area, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have lots of passing traffic! If your business premises is located within a city centre, but only discoverable via a 5 minute walk through a lane or residential street, you could struggle to find new customers.
That being said, if you’re running a service-based business, such as a lawyers office or an accountancy office, passing traffic isn’t going to be as important as it will be for a hospitality business, such as a cafe or a restaurant.
Type of business
Before being able to settle on a business location, you need to consider your key priorities based on the exact type of business you’re running. For example, if you’re running a relaxing spa or salon, you might not want to be situated in the most central or busy street in your chosen city – you’ll likely encounter lots of noise disturbances, which could result in a negative customer experience.
Similarly, if you’re running an office-based business as opposed to a customer-facing business, you don’t necessarily need to be situated in the busiest area in town – so long as your office is still easily accessible by public transport for employees.
And don’t forget about virtual offices! If you’re running a small business and don’t necessarily need a workspace, a virtual office can offer you a business postcode in a lucrative area, without the hefty price tag associated with commercial premises. A virtual office in Mayfair is going to be significantly cheaper than a physical office within the same area, but the prestige of having your business located there remains the same.
Security is going to be one of the most important factors to consider before choosing a business location, especially if budget concerns mean that your choices are limited. Before choosing a spot, it can be a good idea to do some research on crime statistics in your chosen area, especially when it comes to crime concerning theft and burglaries.
Security is going to be perhaps the most important concern if your business involves the sale of expensive, high-value items: you won’t be able to remove your shop’s inventory every evening before closing for the night, so it’s important that your products are safe. In general, for businesses selling high-value products, it’s best not to skimp when it comes to the location of your shop premises.
For customer-facing businesses, you’ll need to think about the level of competition in your area before settling on a location. For some types of businesses – such as eateries and cafes – competition can be a good thing: customers often enjoy variety, and you can offer deals and discounts to draw new customers in and compete with your commercial rivals.
However, for service-based businesses (such as accountants, lawyers, hairdressers, etc) it might be more difficult to establish yourself amongst competition – especially if your competitor has been in business for a long time and established a loyal roster of local clients.
If you have ambitions to grow and expand your business in the coming years, you’ll need to make sure to choose a business location adept for growth. Scalability means having the space required to increase your inventory, as well as the capacity for increased administration. If scaling is in your business plan, make sure your chosen business location is up to the job.