Yes Cath, Choosing THE location for the business is one of the biggest decisions that must be made.
One should review the data of the targeted market population:
Police and fire services
Labor rates and availability
Provision for future expansion
and so much more, LUCKIEST
Yes, Cath, location is the most important thing.
When selecting a location, some of the first things I considered were, of course, who is my demographic to make sure I was near those areas and also cost.
It is always important to consider cost at the very beginning so as to plan to keep overhead as low as possible without sacrificing sales potential.
It also depends on if your business is a "destination business" or a retail or food "whim business".
My businesses were always destination businesses so it was not as important for me to get passers by or "foot traffic".
And the "trick" I always used was to find the best neighborhoods where the demographic I was going after lived and then find something right on the edge of that neighborhood store area so that it was still fairly nice but not in the most expensive prime spots.
I did this for locations in both big and smaller cities and it worked very well every time, coast to coast.
You are right, location matters a lot in success of any business. Before initiating some factors should be in mind as:
Availability of Local Transport
I enjoyed reading your remarks and found your listing of a nearby hospital intriguing. I am not disagreeing with you but would you mind talking about that one a bit more?
After I posted my original post in this thread, I had one of those 'light-turning-on moments and wanted to add a bit more and hope that some of you all will jump in and comment on it.
I think we all agree that location is almost always of prime importance for a business. BUT there is something to be said about: customer service or quality of product too. I'm sure you all can immediately think of a favorite business of yours that is off the beaten track. Consider that restaurant that is so popular but the first timers usually need a map to find it. Or the business that is in the middle of nowhere but people will pass by businesses of the 'same flavor' to get to this company in a remote spot.
I would agree that these businesses are rare examples but they are out there and for them location is of no importance. Anyone want to chime in on this?
Never mind & thanks for sharing. Well! location depends upon the nature of the business. If someone want to open a fast food restaurant then one will definitely consider the location. it will be more beneficial for him/her to open that in a market rather than somewhere far or in any corner separately.
I do agree with you about example of restaurant you gave but that will take too much time to become popular so someone go there with the help of map or guidance, nowadays people prefer places which are easy to reach.
Some good comments already.
If you have settled on a location and before you sign a lease for a store that is relying in part on foot traffic and passerby traffic, I suggest that the owner, or a reliable, trustworthy person "watches" the immediate store area for a couple of weeks.
Find a coffee shop, a donut store, a restaurant, that is right there. Someone in your camp should sit there for some hours in the mornings, noon and at night, during the week and on weekends, and observe your new location area. See what the foot traffic is, for real, rather than what the renter and seller of the property, or statistics are telling you. You may be surprised at what you see, one way or another.
I would go to businesses in that immediate section also and tell the owners what you are doing and ask them their thoughts of the business climate in their immediate section there. I believe many of them will give you invaluable information.
I know for a fact having done this would have helped and immediate family member that purchased a 2nd location for a clothing store in another city. They rented an upstairs back end location of a strip shopping center.
Turns out not as many shoppers on foot went to the 2nd floor. But mostly the ones that did went to the first few stores right off the stairs. This drove them to significant financial problems. They luckily got out of the lease early or it would have been bankruptcy for them. Their 1st store is successfull so the location had a lot to do with it.
Thanks, koln, for opening my eyes to another possibility! Solid ideas and if many or any are like me, we have never considered foot traffic. So many people are walking or biking these days we need to add this to our pondering lists when we are looking for good business locations. Kudo to you for this valuable reminder!
I would think that most, if not all of us, would agree that location for our business is of ultimate importance, right? And perhaps we might all agree that this prime location comes with a large price tag?
Time, lots of time, is spent on where we will put down our business roots. How about a spot in a mall? or strip shopping center? or a business complex? or small house at the edge of a neighborhood? - all can be good choices for a business.
I am curious in knowing the thought process you, small business owners, put into your site selection. If you had to do it all over, what suggestions would you give us as to where you would look and where you would NOT look. Everyone has good ideas and my hope is that our shared ideas will assist perspective business owners when they look for the location for their business.