Once you’ve decided to open up a business, one of the most important choices you’ll be faced with is where to locate it. Location can have a significant impact on the success of your business, so it’s something you should think long and hard about.
A few key considerations can help you narrow down your business location options and find the perfect place for your company to call home.
Independent business vs. franchise
One of the first things to be mindful of when it comes to business location is the difference between selecting a location for an independent business and selecting one for a franchise.
If you’re opening up an independent business, you’re the one calling the shots. This means your business can be located just about anywhere. You have the freedom to choose a location one block away from your home, in the next town over or even farther away.
For entrepreneurs buying a franchise, your choices may be slightly more limited. Most franchisors assign their owners a “territory,” and their business must be located within those boundaries. If you are buying a franchise, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your preferred territory and possible flexibility if you are willing to relocate to another city or state to open your new franchise business.
Another key consideration for your business’s location is how much competition is located within the area you’re considering. You wouldn’t necessarily want to open a coffee shop right next door to a business that sells the same thing. It’s not impossible to be successful with competitors nearby, but you should always go into this situation with an informed plan. If buying a franchise, that competitor data is likely already available from the franchisor.
Scope out the areas you’re considering for your business and take note of how many competitors are present. Is the market over-served, or is there room for more opportunity? If you will be entering an area with competition, how do you plan to make your business stand out?
Also consider overall market need, regardless of competition. Is there a consumer demand for your business in the area? If not, your business may perform much better somewhere else.
Also consider what type of location will help you most effectively serve customers. If your business is in food service or retail, you’ll want customers to be able to visit you easily. Does the location you’re considering have easy access for foot traffic and nearby parking? Ground-floor, street-facing commercial space is ideal.
If your business does not rely on foot traffic, you may have some more flexibility in your location. You could rent an office in a more populated building or even work from home, if you don’t need customers to visit in person. Above all, think about what will make the most professional impression and provide customers with a great experience.
One final consideration for your business location is budget. You’ve likely taken time to outline a business plan and have a ballpark estimate on how much you can spend on renting or building out your storefront or office. Make sure you’re keeping that budget in mind as you browse listings and consider any necessary retrofits.
Beyond rent, also consider the cost of utilities in the area and any other costs you might incur, such as parking and insurance.
The financing products available through Tenet Financial Group can help you secure funding to launch your small business, no matter what location you choose. Contact us today to learn about our funding options.