Acquiring a location for your business can be perturbing considering the plans and energies invested into selecting the best location for a brick and mortar shop. It requires a lot of thinking, planning and strategizing which otherwise will be a total waste of money and resources because these strategies will determine if your business will succeed or fail. New retailers will usually just settle for any location so far as it is available for use without considering the necessary factors that are likely to affect their businesses positively or negatively.
Are you a new retailer trying to find a place for your physical shop? Let’s walk through this together.
Demographics and a ready market: I am sure you already know the kind of business you want to engage in. If you did not know, then you would not be reading this. With that set, what group of people are your products targeting; age groups, sex, and social class? Is your target group available at or around the intended location of the business? In other words, if you set up your shop with your products, are you assured of high purchases? If your answer is no, you must find a location in a community where the demographics will fit your product.
Visibility and accessibility: As a retailer your shop should be visible enough to your potential customers especially since it is a new business. It should be in an open and a highly visible area, and not at a location customers will find difficult to locate or would pass by without noticing. Also, consider the accessibility of your shop to customers, suppliers and employees when choosing a location. Parking lots for customers and suppliers are very essential to your business to ensure the smooth transportation of products to and from your shop. For instance if your products will be supplied by trucks, your retail shop should have a parking lot able to accommodate these trucks. Parking lots for customers can provide a very convenient shopping experience for your customers.
Competition: Competition is good for businesses but can be bad for a new business. Think about this, why would you set your shop at a location where there are so many businesses marketing the same products you intend to sell. This is like pouring water into the sea, it becomes very unproductive. In my opinion, new businesses should set up at spots with less competition to be able to grow their businesses especially since you are now going to create relationships with the target market. Already existing competitors are going to make it hard for you to penetrate the available market.
Cost: Before you plan to get a good location for your physical shop, you need a budget so you don’t overspend. In your budget the things to consider are rent, utilities (electricity, water, internet) security, maintenance and servicing. Cut on cost by renting an adequate space to reduce rent cost, request for previous utility bill receipts to help you know your budget for utilities and assess the cost of maintenance and its effect on your budget. In short, focus on your budget and stay in your financial boundary.
Demography: This is also very important. You want to select a location that has a considerable number of potential customers who may want to buy from you. This is normally referred to as your market size. If your location has the wrong demographics (that is the wrong product class) and the number of potential customers are also very few, then your chances of success will be very minimal. It is therefore imperative that you consider a location that can provide you with a substantial market size for your business. A good research on the target market and market size in your area is therefore very important to the success of your business.
To add to the above factors, you must learn the history of the location, ask questions about the location and about previous occupant’s status before leaving. These might provide you with information to guide you on some decisions to be made concerning the location and whether to keep it or not.