Friday, February 24, 2012

How To Choose The Best Location For Your Growing Business

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One of the most difficult things an entrepreneur has to go through is choosing the right location for their business. Anyone will tell you that a location can make or break a business. A business in a very good location can grow faster than a business in a not-so good location. Meanwhile, a business who is not accessible or cannot be seen by people will eventually close. It doesn't matter if the business is good.

Any entrepreneur who wants to grow and expand his business must be able to identify the ideal location for his business. The ideal location for your business is where your primary consumers can easily go to your store;whether they have cars or not, and buy your products, you don't have any competitors within the area and the rent is so affordable.

But in most cases, I see badly placed businesses. The businesses-owner decided to put-up the shop there because the rent is affordable and that is the only place available. Most of the time, the decision to open the store on a badly placed location will result in the business not taking off.

These are the factors you need to look-out when choosing the ideal location for your business:
  • Accessibility - your shop should be accessible to your target market. They should be able to find your location immediately. If your customers have cars, do you have a parking lot? If your customers will be going to your place using public transport, will they have no trouble finding a taxi or a cab?
  • Barrier to entry - a construction going on in-front of your place will make people twice before they enter your store. Make sure that your entrance is free from obstruction and can be clearly seen by your customers.
  • Foot traffic - choose a location where the foot traffic the quite high. A high foot traffic will enable you to have a higher capture rate (the number of customers who will go in your store versus those who are just passing by). 
  • Traffic generators - these are things, events and other businesses that gives the reasons why your target consumers are in the area.
  • Presence of competitors - you will have a greater chance of attracting customers when you don't have competitors in the area. 
I will be discussing each of these factors in my next few blogs. I will also cite some examples on how these factors contribute to the success of your business.

I will share with you some stories and anecdotes regarding my experiences in choosing locations for a food business. I used to work in the fast food industry and we have developed a system that helps you determine where to put your shop.