6 Questions To Ask When Selecting Your Business’s Location
Place is essential to business success. When you’re trying to analyze your proposed location, you should be asking yourself and your partners the following questions:
Are we positioned for our target customers?
Who is your target customer? Do they frequent your area? If you answered yes to both, you’re on the right path! For small retail businesses (bars, restaurants, stores), I research the demographic and median income of the proposed location’s zip code. I want to be able to make reasonable explanations for why the demographic and ensure my target customer has the income my business requires. It’s possible that the zip code’s income and demographic doesn’t match the target customer, but for the greatest chance of success your business will need to have a strong market pull to bring in customers.
Does your business fit the location?
Fitting into the location is a top priority. You don’t want your business to be an odd location. Aim to have complimentary businesses. Strategic partnerships can be very powerful. Team work makes the dream work! Search the address on Google Maps and zoom in. It will tell you the businesses there and you can see their reviews. Better yet, go to the location, walk around, take pictures, visit the neighboring businesses, talk to the people there.
Do we need an anchor?
An anchor is a business that draws a lot of people and is expected to remain the same forever. Typically these are big box stores, grocery stores. Many times these are stores that people flock to for a specific reason or errand. If your business relies on foot traffic, anchors are great to have. They will guarantee that people continually see your business.
Is this place accessible?
Is parking an issue? If so, what can we do about it? Is the egress and ingress convenient? Even if your demographic is right for the area, being inconvenient can put you at a disadvantage. Being convenient is essential for grab-n-go businesses. Their customers do not want to go through extra traffic lights to reach your business.
Will people see our business?
Even if we are convenient, it’s very possible that people simply don’t notice our business. Is there an obstruction preventing passerbys from seeing your business? If you’re going into a plaza make sure people can see your business. If you get a plaza sign ensure it tells people exactly what your business is and that it is attractive and unique.
Is it the right size?
“The most expensive seat in a restaurant is an empty seat.” Wise words from a very experienced and successful restauranteur. This is very important because the right size will give your business the feel it needs and will keep your overhead low.
Obviously there is much much more that goes into analyzing and selecting your business’s location. I wanted to give you these questions because I have seen many business underperform after going into the wrong location. If you need help with selecting your location contact your closest Small Business Development Center. They are a completely free service with a team of knowledgeable and up-to-date counselors. Best of all, all their services are free. Find your SBDC here!