So, you’re about to launch a new business! It’s an exciting endeavor where success is very important. Success is deeply intertwined with the location in which the business operates and incidentally, it’s very important to research and select the right location as it impacts the customer reach and operational efficiency.
In this guide, we’re going to look at some crucial steps and considerations surrounding business location research before launching a business.
The Local Market
Typically, businesses will start by gathering demographic data. Once that’s out of the way, they will conduct market research to identify consumer behavior patterns. Information about customer preferences can help guide you in choosing a better location.
Sometimes, you will also find opportunities. Let’s say a customer segment is not being serviced properly. Or, that there’s a pain point that hasn’t been completely tackled.
These opportunities can help you provide significantly better services to your customers.
The bottom line is that you should only launch a business in an area where there’s a considerable demand for your services or products.
For example, let’s say you’re opening a physical casino establishment inside a bar. You need to limit your search to areas that have bustling nightlife and complementary services all around it. Such locations can be more expensive, but they will break even sooner and start generating higher profits for you quickly.
On the other hand, if you’re unable to get such a location due to price constraints, it would be better to take it online entirely by offering games like online blackjack entertainment options, as compared to starting a physical casino where there’s virtually no nightlife and interest. This comes with additional benefits, as online casinos minimize overhead costs, allowing for an increase in your margins.
Accessibility and Infrastructure
There are many accessibility and infrastructure considerations that you also need to pay attention to. It’s your job to make it easy for your customers and employees to access your business and good connectivity, especially with public transport, can be a true game-changer.
Here are some more specific tips to keep in mind:
- Ensure proximity to major transportation hubs. Convenient locations tend to attract more foot traffic—But the job doesn’t end here and you should look into ways to bring in more foot traffic to your location.
- Ample parking space for customers and employees is also important. Easy parking always encourages repeat visits while making your business more accessible.
- In today’s digital age, your business location must provide reliable internet connectivity and network strength. It’s not only for the customers and employees but also for your internal operations.
- The exact condition of the roads and public amenities can also be important.
Zoning Regulations and Legal Considerations
The zoning regulations and legal issues differ from location to location. Before you even start looking at real estate prices, we recommend fully understanding the legal framework that governs your business operations. FindLaw’s commercial zoning guide is a great place to begin.
Some zones restrict a few types of business activities. A an owner should ideally check the zoning laws to determine which activities are allowed.
To operate legally and conveniently, your business is also going to need permits and licenses. This includes business and trade licenses and health permits among other documents.
Lastly, we also recommend you consider the environmental regulations that can apply to your business. If your business operations involve waste disposal or emissions, then this becomes all the more important. Contact the relevant authorities and get the necessary environmental permits for your business processes.
Scoping Out the Competition
Position your business effectively by analyzing your competition in the chosen location.
You should identify the direct competitors that are operating in the vicinity and take note of their strengths, weaknesses, pricing, marketing, and customer reviews.
Good businesses also pay attention to any market pain points that haven’t been tackled. Given the customer base is the same, you can capitalize on this. Simply fix the problem or provide a better solution!
This is the easiest and fastest way to gain a competitive edge in today’s economy.
Now, assuming your business does have a USP or value proposition that sets you apart from your competitors, you should make it your mission to advertise that heavily throughout the area so potential customers can know why to choose you over others.
The location of your business is the most important consideration after you have a business plan. Remember—The right location can easily amplify the potential for growth while creating a strong foundation for long-term success.
Starting a business can be daunting task. But at least when it comes to selecting the location, all you need to do is a lot of research while studying the market of your product or service. Good luck!