Question: How do you choose a great location for your business?
Negotiate Your Overhead
"Of course, the best location is decided by the numbers: foot traffic, cars driving by, access from highways, visibility, parking, expendable income of visitors, etc. The real best tip is to recognize that most businesses fail within the first five years. Negotiate your overhead for lower rates to help you get through the lean years when you are still building your company."
Reference Public Transportation Maps
"We were fairly unscientific about our location choice but ended up with a phenomenal result. We looked on a public transportation map and got an office where all the lines intersected. The convenience of our location and breadth of cultural options located minutes from our door made all the difference."
Start With a Vision Board
"This may seem counterintuitive, but a great place to start is with a vision board. Have a meeting with the principals involved in the process, and ask them to create a list of their ideal locations. What is the best area/neighborhood? What zoning does it have? What is the cost? Write it all down, and have the team visualize the ideal space and hold on to that ideal. Then go out and search!"
Find Proximity to Competitors
"Although some people might tell you to avoid being too close to your competitors, I think it might actually be a great advantage to you. If what you are offering is better than their products, then your customers will be able to make that distinction, because they will have more choices."
Get a Destination Location
"Our franchises are destination businesses, meaning our customers come to our stores for a specific experience. We look for upscale shopping centers, boutique shops or trendy historic districts -- places people want to travel to. Ample parking that is safe and well-lit is a must. We use websites like city-data.com to gather important demographic information on the nearby population."
Get Close to Your Customers
"Your clients are the key to your business' success. Ever wanted to get an important meeting with a client and just not been able to find a time that works? Having an office close to your clients means that you can easily do an early morning or late night meeting. If you're not sure where you should be www.idealspot.com is a great place to start your research. "
Stick Close to Partner Organizations
"Find out where the related agencies are located that you will have to do business with on a regular basis. Then, look for a location that gives you instant access to those agencies so you can get advice and have questions answered quickly. As CEO of a California biotech company, it is critical that I have speedy responses to my submissions and queries."
Perform a Google Keyword Research
"Follow the direction the Internet points you towards. If you are looking to expand your business in other cities, see the amount of search engine traffic for your top keywords in those places. This will help you see if there is a market for your business in that particular city or area."
Poll Your Team
"Before we moved, we polled the team to find out what the must-haves were in the new space. We received many opinions, but the team unanimously required proximity to public transportation and abundant natural light (our old office had a lot of heart, but lacked in windows). When we moved in, the team was thrilled at the commute and the sunlight, and our extra amenities were the icing on the cake."
Look for a Location That Reflects the Vision
"The aesthetic of a space can greatly dictate how people feel. Our company, which prepares high school students for college, is intent on finding spaces that feel aspirational and inspirational. That means no strip malls or business parks. Our space is deliberately designed to feel like a startup, as many of our students are inspired by the idea of working at one."