There are several factors to consider when small businesses are hunting for the right location. Location is everything, but for many small businesses that simply cannot afford the high costs of a prime location.
First, a small business must determine their immediate needs and look for a location that offers excellent exposure to potential customers. The following are additional factors to consider when looking for a business location:
- Competition – Businesses need to check and see if competing businesses are located around their new potential location.
- Brand – Make sure the location is consistent with the brand image a company wants to maintain and present to the public.
- Local Market – Businesses need to scout around the area and see if it has potential employees. This includes if there are nearby residential areas so commute times will not hinder potential employment.
- Future Growth – Consider looking for a building that has the possibility for expansion, so future remodeling and additions are acceptable. Check out this information with property owners and local zoning.
- Proximity – Look for locations that are within close proximity to local suppliers, as this will greatly reduce shipping costs and allow customers to immediately receive products, goods and services.
- Safety – Business owners should always research local crime rates. Make sure employees and customers alike feel safe walking to the building and to their cars.
- Zoning Regulations – This will be discussed more below.
Small businesses should regularly evaluate their costs. There are many lenders that specialize in working with small businesses, supplying them with business cash advance loans, working capital loans, business lines of credit and short term business capital loans, to name a few.
Businesses need to evaluate any hidden costs, including decorating, IT system upgrades and upcoming renovation expenses. Taxes are also an expense that needs to be factored into business expenses, which include property taxes, income taxes and sales taxes. Some nearby states offer better incentives and it may be more advantageous to relocate.
Local zoning regulations and ordinances are important when selecting the right business operating location. Zoning laws can affect existing buildings and improvements to existing properties.
Property is zoned commercial, residential, agricultural and rural, to name a few examples. Property zoning is easy to research by contacting local planning agencies. This information is also available online in large counties or metropolitan areas.