The first thing you hear when it comes to real estate is “location, location, location”! Well, there’s a reason why that saying is so heavily used, and that is because it is 100% true. The first thing on your mind when you decide to open up that family restaurant or clothing boutique should always be location.
If you’re preparing to open up a food or retail business with a storefront, putting your business in the proper location can be the single most important thing you do as a startup. Of course, you’ll need a winning product or service, but how will anyone know what you’re even selling if you can’t get them to the door?
It is said in the brick-and-mortar retail world, the top three most important decisions you’ll make are location, location, and location. Careful deliberation over property sites is crucial for most retail and customer service businesses.
The importance of demographics
This process can be as easy or as difficult as you make it. For example, there are sophisticated location analysis tools available that include traffic pattern information, demographic and lifestyle data, and competitive analyses. You can even use this tool specifically by asking questions like, “What does overall traffic in the area look like around 10 am?” or “Is there a need for my product in this targeted demographic?”
You should also be focusing your time checking neighborhood traffic generators, such as other retailers that draw people to the area, industrial or office parks, schools, colleges, and hospital complexes. Also, make sure to check the difference between highway and foot traffic.
Find out where your top competitors are located
Locate yourself as close to your biggest competitors as possible. Landing the perfect customer is crucial and in doing so you must be in close proximity to your competitors so you can benefit from their marketing efforts.
Your competitors have basically already done some of the work for you by choosing their location based on the ideal demographics of a particular area. They have also already devoted tons of marketing efforts and budgets to drive traffic to their locations.
Why spend your own money doing what they have already done?
Of course, it is still a good idea to make your own evaluations of a particular property, even if a competitor seems to be thriving in the area.
Seek professional advice
Even after you think you’ve found the perfect spot for your business you are not done yet. Next, you’ll need to negotiate a lease that works for you and your business. This is just as important as the location itself. Find a good lawyer who can negotiate your lease for you. Your attorney will help you look at the term of the lease, buildout allowance and the condition of the property.