Choosing a business location is one of the most important decisions a small business owner has to make. It requires serious and precise planning and research. Demographics have to be looked into seriously, and the supply chain must be assessed thoroughly. Not only that, but competitions should be scoped, budgets must be met, and state laws must be understood. There should be no loopholes, no gray areas.
So, how can you make that possible? Here are some tips:
Determine Your Needs
Some businesses choose a location that provides definite exposure to customers. There are also less obvious factors and needs to consider such as:
- Competition – Check if the businesses around you are complementary or competing.
- Brand Image – You also want to check if the location is consistent with the image of your business that you want to maintain.
- Local Labour Market – This is also an important factor. You have to know if the area offers potential employees, and find out how their commute will be like.
- Proximity to Suppliers – It is not just the customers that you would want to have an easy access to your business. You also have to think about your suppliers and whether or not you are accessible to them.
- Plan for Future Growth – If you are anticipating future growth for your business, you would want to look for a building that offers extra space should you need it.
- Zoning Regulations – These are important because they determine whether or not you can conduct your business in certain properties or locations. In order to find out how a property is zoned, contact your local planning agency.
Evaluate Your Finances
Other than determining what you can afford, you will also need to be aware of other financial considerations:
- Taxes – It is important to ask about the income, property and sales tax rates of the state your location is in. Ask if you can pay less in taxes by locating your business across a neighbouring state line.
- Hidden Costs – There are very few spaces that are business-ready. For the hidden costs, you should include costs for decorating, renovation, IT system upgrades, and so on.
- Minimum Wage – You also have to check what the minimum wage is of the state or area. Some states have a higher minimum than others’.
- Government Economic Incentives – Your business location will be able to determine whether you qualify for government economic business programs. You can also ask about this.