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Finding the best location for your small business

By Samantha Garner | July 7, 2010

We’ve all heard the saying Location, location, location! The actual place where you launch your small business is a very important consideration – especially for businesses that rely on window shoppers and foot traffic. Finding the best location for your small business is a step that involves a lot of research, but can make a big difference in the success of your business.

So, how do you find the best location for your small business?

Identify the best location for your type of business

There are several different location types for businesses:

  • Home-based businesses – Home locations are great for businesses who need minimal equipment and don’t have much face-to-face contact with customers. Depending on the kind of work you do, you may need a separate office or meeting space.
  • Retail businesses – Retail businesses are located in shopping centres, strip malls or street-level shops. These locations must be accessible to customers. Consider also the amount of competition nearby – is it complementary to your business, or is it direct competition?
  • Mobile businesses – Mobile locations are favoured by businesses who take a service or product to where their customers are. These locations often cost less to operate and have more flexible hours than traditional storefront locations.
  • Commercial businesses – Commercial businesses often have office locations where clients can visit to interact with them. These differ from retail locations because there is no storefront location and, often, there is a service offered rather than a product.
  • Industrial businesses – Industrial businesses are often further away from commercial or retail centres and must be accessible to trucks and tractor trailers making deliveries and pick-ups. They are often also large, accommodating equipment.

Analyze your desired location

You’ve found a location or two that you really like – but that’s just the beginning! Once you’ve got a location or two in mind, sit down with a large piece of paper and analyze your business’ potential location from the following areas:

  • Accessibility to customers
  • Nearby competition
  • The business environment (health of surrounding businesses and nature of environment)
  • Access to supplies and resources
  • Site availability and regulations
  • Costs
  • Layout

Finding the best location for your small business involves a lot of work and research, but it’s a critical step. Your business’ location can make all the difference to your success!

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