5 Ways to Find the Perfect Location for Your Business

You already know that choosing a good location is one of the most important factors that will impact the success of your business. But how do you know a good location when you see it, especially if you are not familiar with the neighborhood that you are considering? 

Find the Perfect Location for Your Business

This is where working with a local commercial real estate agent can save you a lot of time and headaches. An agent who is familiar with the area will help you zero in on locations that might be a good fit for your business. When you meet with your local expert, make sure you ask the right questions up front to help her find ideal locations and prevent you from wasting both time and money. 

1. Follow Local Zoning Laws

One of the most frustrating mistakes many business owners make is that they fall in love with a particular location, only to find out later on that the city won’t allow them to set up shop in that spot due to zoning conflicts. There are some cases where the city or county will grant you an exception, but the process can be lengthy and expensive. So it’s generally best to just filter out zoning issues right from the start. 

2. Identify Your Target Demographics

If your product or service is suited to a specific slice of the population, then you’ll need to consider the neighborhood demographics before you sign any lease agreement. Knowing your target market is key to your success, so make sure you have customer personas in mind that describe your ideal customers in terms of several relevant factors such as income, transportation options, gender, language, lifestyle and so forth. 

3. Look for High-Visibility Locations

Many small startups focus primarily on price when looking for their new locations, but that isn’t appropriate for all types of businesses. You want to make sure that the building you choose offers great visibility for your target customers. It’s not much use to set up shop if nobody knows you’re there. 

4. Avoid Low-Traffic Locations

Traffic — both vehicle traffic and foot traffic — will make or break many businesses. Pay close attention to how many cars are driving by these locations and how many pedestrians are passing by. Packed shopping centers and mini malls are ideal for many retailers, since there is built-in foot traffic. If you can locate near businesses that share your target market yet are not direct competitors, that would be ideal. An example might be setting up a vitamin shop or sporting goods store a few doors down from a health club. 

5. Size Up the Competition

While you will likely want to avoid areas that are saturated with strong competition, that isn’t always necessary. Some neighborhoods have such strong demand for certain products or services that there will always be room for one more competitor to move in and thrive. Consider how many competitors are nearby and how long they have been in business. If they’re all raking in the dough, then you might be able to squeeze in and grab a slice of their business, especially if you can differentiate yourself from them in a positive way. 

Finding the ideal location for your small business is a lot easier when you know exactly what you’re looking for. Follow these five tips to help you narrow down your selection, avoid wasting time following dead ends and find the perfect spot to set up your business.