Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Make Your Business Accessible

When choosing a location for your business, accessibility should be the first thing you should consider. Your customers should be able to go to your shop quite easily.

There is no use in putting up a business in a cheap location with a parking lot if your customers need to drive an hour to get to your shop. There is also little value in putting your shop in a high-traffic location if you are selling to a small niche - the rent will just eat up whatever you will earn.

image from http://brokensidewalk.com
Getting the ideal location for your business is a delicate balance between making your shop accessible to your clients and making sure that rental payments will not eat into your profits. The most ideal and best locations for businesses are also the ones that have the highest rents. So be very careful in evaluating where you put your business.

Most business people like putting their shops in malls. Understandably, malls offer high volume of traffic for those who want to rent a space. Malls also provide parking spaces. They are also accessible via public transport. If you are a business-owner, setting a shop inside a mall would make good business sense, except for the rent. The rents inside malls are quite astronomical and sometimes even forces some of the businesses to close shop.

If you have a very high profit margin, say for example you are selling jewelry; or you are attracting lots of customers, think of McDonald's, then renting in a mall won't be a problem. You can easily cover the rent with your profit margins or the number of customers that buy your products.

However, if your profit margin is not that high or don't get that many customer, it is best that you avoid setting-up shop inside malls until you are certain you can pay the rent.

Choosing the right location for your business means you have to understand where your customers are mainly coming from and how they will visit your store.

Different kinds of products or services need different kinds of locations. You cannot evaluate a site based how a fast food company evaluates a given location if you are a furniture company. Those who are buying from McDonald's might not be the same people who are buying Ikea products.

When you choose how accessible you want your store to be ask yourself these questions; are you customers traveling by car? Will they be using public transport? Can they walk to your store?

Customers who are using cars need parking spaces. If you are a stand-alone shop, you should be able to provide your customers a parking space they can park their cars on. If you are a jewelry store, it would make no sense to let your customers park one block away from your store. You will just provide opportunities for thieves to rob your clients.

If your customers are using public transport, then make sure that they can easily go to their next destination when they leave your store. This just means, your store should be near bus stops or terminals. It would be no use to rent a place with a very large parking space. You will just be wasting your money.

Getting to know your customer is the key to finding the ideal location for your store. Find out how they will be going to store. Talk to them if possible. Get into their mind.

In the end, you want your shop to be easily accessible to your customers. You want them to get into your shop and buy your products. Make it convenient to visit your place and they will keep coming back.