Whether you’re buying, selling or leasing, the old saying about location being the most important aspect of real estate still holds true and more than ever if you’re the owner or manager of a small business. Here are six vital considerations when thinking about your business location.
Visibility is job one.
The first thing you need to think about is: is your business easy to find? If you’re shopping for a new spot, a corner location or a busy street can make your place easier to spot. Make sure your signage is easy to read from a distance and from different directions, and an attractive facade can’t hurt.
Customers are busy these days.
Think about the last shopping trip you took. You probably wanted to do all your errands with as little travel in between stops as possible. Set up your business with this in mind. A location near other businesses lets people visit your workplace at the same time they take care of other tasks.
Desirable neighbors can boost your traffic.
When locating your small business near other enterprises, think about which ones can increase traffic to your place the most. For example, a block with a bakery, a florist and a window treatment company would likely be a better place for your housewares shop than one with a tire store and a printer. A storefront on a street of well-kept businesses is better than one on a dilapidated block or one with lots of soaped windows.
If you have like neighbors, not only can they help bring in people to your store, but you can team up for business ventures too. You can swap business cards or brochures and hold block events together to capitalize on the power of numbers.
Your location reflects on the quality and character of your business.
Your overall location in your city or town tells customers a lot about your business. Think about how you might perceive a clothing boutique differently in Manhattan if it’s located in Soho versus the Upper East Side. Furthermore, consider the safety of your visitors. That cool loft in a yet-to-be developed neighborhood might be fine for some customers, but it might feel unsafe to others at off hours or at night.
Don’t forget about parking.
Make sure there is parking available near your business, the closer and more plentiful the better. While there may appear to be a certain caché about a business with limited parking, this could frustrate and alienate patrons if it’s a continual problem. If you don’t own your lot or share free parking with neighbors, consider offering parking validation in a nearby garage or public lot.
Pedestrian customers are important too.
While many people in the US travel by car, there are many who also walk, bike or take public transportation everywhere. A business location on a bus or trolley line can make a huge difference when attracting both customers and employees, and it may help curb tardiness for workers and client appointments.
Sometimes the money just isn’t there to move to a better location or improve the one you’re in. Don’t discount the possibility of a small business loan from a place like Advanced Funds Network. You may qualify for a loan or line of credit. You could also look into factoring, where a company buys your accounts receivable and gives you the cash you’re owed up front, while they pursue your invoices. Let someone else take on the headache of bill collecting, and use the cash to take advantage of that real estate constant: location, location, location.