By Scott Vollero
Thus goes the old mantra. And if it’s true online, it’s 10 times more in that old-fashioned world of brick-and-mortar stores. Good locations can give you passive exposure to thousands of passers-by and give you an edge up on your competition, while poor location can leave your otherwise-impressive business to wither and die.
But what’s the difference? Well, it’s not simple — it’s complex and involves a lot of research and legwork. It’s hard to get around that. That said, these five qualities to look for when considering a location will at least get you started.
- Make Your Location Consistent With Your Style
Match your location with your offering’s quality. For instance, put your ritzy restaurant in a ritzy part of town. This serves the double purpose of promoting your image as a classy place to go and of maximizing the number of pedestrians whose wallets can stand up to your prices. In terms of style of vending, consider your product — is it best sold out of its own store, or would it do better from a mall kiosk?
- Foot Traffic
Your store is a standing advertisement for itself, which (if you lump all the upkeep costs together with those of doing business more generally) is basically free for you. So maximize the number of people who see it by putting yourself in an area with plenty of foot traffic. This way, people can drop on in. And be sure to take into account the time of day — if you open at noon, it’s not going to do you much good to set up in a place with amazing foot traffic from 9am to 11am.
This can be good or bad. If another business is going to overwhelm yours and drown you out, you probably want to avoid them. However, in many cases, this can actually work to your benefit! If you are in a business where comparison shopping is popular, or if you’re in a position to catch overflow customers, camping out near the competition could be a very good move.
A little bland, but very important — don’t overlook local ordinances! This can get you in trouble both business-wise and legally. Plus, it could be bad for your image. Setting up a wine and spirits store next to an elementary school, for instance, would be a big no-no.
Because apparently, just buying the building isn’t enough. No, The Man wants you to pay for things like water, electricity, natural gas, etc. These things can be a serious drain on your financial resources, so check things like the local climate, how well-insulated the house is, how much water bills will run, and anything else that might affect your overhead costs.
Choosing a new location for your business is as exciting as it is complicated. If you follow these five simple steps, however, you can at least get off to a good start in getting set up in your new home.
Scott Vollero is an international entrepreneur and expert in the precious metals and automotive parts recycling industries.