Regardless of what business you are starting, location is everything and will make or break your business. Even if you have everything else down, if your customers will be unwilling to travel to your location, you will not be a success. For example, how many customers would travel to a clothing boutique in an industrial area?
Think About Your Demographics
Consider the demographics that you will be most likely targeting:
- Are they young or old?
- Are they male or female?
- Are they of a particular ethnicity?
- How much money do they make?
Then, use the census.gov website to look up the demographics for several areas until you find the sweet spot where you will have customers pouring in.
Consider Other Nearby Businesses
Place your business near your competitors. While you will have to work hard to steal customers away from your competitors, you will also be in a location that will have foot traffic that is interested in your product. Even better is if you locate your business near a compatible business.
For instance, if you are starting a car rental company, it would make sense to be located in an area where there are several hotels. If you are a restaurant, being located near a shopping center will provide customers with a place to eat after shopping. Think about the type of customers who will be coming to your business and then think about what other services they will need. When they visit a nearby business that is compatible with yours, they will be more likely to visit your store as well.
Choose A Safe Area
Pick a safe area for your business. If the location has a bad reputation, you will have a more difficult time attracting customers. Also, an unsafe location is more likely to attract shoplifters, vandals, and other types of criminals. Fortunately, there is extensive data online regarding the level of crime in each area. If your store is in an unsafe location, make sure that the parking lot is properly illuminated. This will ensure that customers are kept safe as they are moving to and from their cars. Also, consider installing a security system and hiring an off-duty police officer to provide security.
If you are unsure about the location where you should construct your business, visit the locations of similar stores that are successful. You will eventually get a sense of the types of locations that would fit with your type of business and you can simply copy them.