The importance of locating your business in an appropriate place cannot be understated. If you are planning to start out on your own, no doubt you are wondering about where to establish operations. Deciding the right spot depends on myriad factors, which are discussed in this piece.
The fortunes of many businesses have been made or unmade by their location, so think carefully about where you want to be. Before zeroing in on the spot you want, consider various factors such as the nature of the activity, the facilities and other resources required and most important all, the target customers. Other considerations such as the layout of office space and equipment, although secondary, are worth looking at. Most importantly, there is a cost.
Finally, remember that undoing this decision is a lot harder than correcting most other, especially if you’ve got a large manufacturing set-up.
Let’s now take a look at the different types of premises that you can choose from, for locating your business. Again, the primary consideration would be the type of business activity that is intended.
Start at home: If you starting small, operating from home offers several advantages, the most important being, saving the cost of the rent. You could move to a commercial space or a big setup once your business grows. Working from home also helps you avoid negotiations with landlords, onerous deposit payments and even day to day travel. The flip side is that it might not give your business the professional image you desire; also, conducting business meetings at home might be inconvenient.
Rent a retail space: Obviously, you’ll need it if you’re selling directly to consumers. Retail space comes in different forms and sizes; choose between malls, shopping centers, free-standing buildings or downtown shopping districts. Retail space is also available in other high traffic locations such as airports, railway stations, hotel lobbies, sports stadia, and temporary event venues. Most retailers will tell you that the best place for locating your business is within shouting distance of your biggest competitor!
Lease a commercial building: This is just right for B2B operations. Commercial office space can be found in downtown business districts, business parks, and suburban facilities. Consider taking an executive suite where the landlord himself provides front office and secretarial services, conference rooms, telecommunication facilities, and other support services as part of the lease package. This takes away the hassle of an elaborate setup process and also saves you capital investment. There are also some executive suites that rent their facilities on an hourly basis to home-based businesses or to people who need office space on occasion. Negotiating Commercial Real Estate Leases can give you useful information on how to go about your negotiations with a landlord. For quicker access, you could download the electronic version of the e-book – “Negotiate the Best Lease for Your Business” from the Nolo website.
Look for proximity: If you are setting up a manufacturing plant or need a warehouse facility for your business, you’ll need a vast distribution service and easy access to vendors. Find out details about the nearest airport, seaport or railway line to your chosen destination, before locating your business there.
We’re sure that you’ve figured out by now that the activity of locating your business requires careful planning and preparation. Do your groundwork thoroughly before taking that call.