There are many factors that determine whether a business will flourish or flop. For many entrepreneurs and business owners, business location is at the top of the checklist. The business location is a priority for many entrepreneurs because it can have a huge impact on sales and revenue, number of visiting consumers, and ability to attract talented employees. All of these pieces can make or break a company and all of them relate back to your location selection.
Whether you’re looking to start a new business from scratch or expand an existing company, take a look at our checklist of business location characteristics that will help your company thrive. Learn about a few things you’ll want to ask yourself before choosing an office space for your business.
Download our Checklist Here
Download our handy checklist to take with you as you visit each potential location for your business!
What to Ask Before Choosing an Office Space?
Here is our complete list of the best questions to ask in order to pick the perfect location to start your business.
Is the landlord hospitable?
Your relationship with your landlord or building owner will be invaluable to your experience at your new location. You’ll want to get a good feel for how reasonably the landlord conducts business. At Boxer Property locations, landlords utilize the latest systems to provide effective property management .
A property management team is assigned to each Boxer Property location and includes the property manager (landlord), maintenance, day cleaners, security guards, HVAC, and the leasing agent. With a team of dedicated specialists, our property managers oversee the entire team’s tasks meaning they no longer have to act as a jack-of-all-trades. No longer having to perform routine tasks, our property managers focus their efforts on providing services that are tailored to your business’ needs.
Is the rent fair?
Rent or building mortgage is one of the biggest fixed costs for any business. It’s inevitable you will have to pay to stay, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do your research on the going rate. There are many online resources available that can provide a listing of rates for comparable buildings or spaces in your area.
You can get instant pricing on our spaces by chatting with an office space coordinator.
Are the demographics suitable to my business?
Demographics are an extremely important point on your checklist. You will want to do a considerable amount of research on the age, income, and education level of consumers in your area. The demographic make-up of the area definitely plays a key role in the success of your business so make this a priority!
Are the utility costs reasonable?
Utilities are another fixed cost you’ll want to consider before committing to a property. Many landlords are beginning to see the value in more efficient heating, lighting, and cooling systems and you’ll want to get the scoop on average utility costs for the building. Many landlords are willing to provide a month-by-month report of this data upon request.
Am I allowed to have signage?
Signage will make your business visible to the community and any highway traffic, but some cities restrict signage in the area. Do your research early on to make sure you can advertise the way you’d like.
Does my space have good visibility?
Foot traffic is a huge factor in sales at your store. If your store is highly visible, you’ll receive a lot more impromptu traffic which can result in more sales. People won’t impulsively pop into your area if they can’t see you, so make sure to pick a highly visible location.
Is my facility accessible?
Accessibility is extremely important for business. You want to make sure the process is as convenient as possible for your customers, so selecting a location that is easily accessible is key. You also want to make sure your building or facility is accessible to any consumer including those with disabilities.
Does my space have adequate parking?
Parking is a huge factor in your customer’s willingness to visit your store. You could lose patrons if your parking is not adequate, so make sure this is a consideration throughout your shopping process.
Am I close enough to suppliers?
Most retail businesses have relationships with large suppliers and are expected to pay part of the shipping and travel costs for getting supplies to the store. There are considerable cost savings when you select a location closer to your supply warehouse so make sure to think about this when you’re moving through your checklist.
Will my business benefit from other services in the area?
You’ll want to ask yourself whether your business can benefit from other retailers and service operations in the area. For example, if you are a cookware retailer and there are three grocery stores within walking distance from your location, your shop could team up with the grocery and mutually benefit from consumers in the same market. It can largely impact your ability to jointly advertise without stealing business.
Is the history of the business location promising?
You will definitely want to ask about the history of the location. Similar to a job interview, you’ll want to know why the space is currently vacant and how well the location served previous tenants. This is a question that should be asked at the very beginning stages of the process. If the space has some concerning history, you’ll want to know right away so you don’t waste your time pursuing a dead-end.
Are my office neighbors friendly?
Office or retail neighbors are also extremely important as they can have a huge impact on customer traffic. You want to make sure the surrounding business owners provide good customer service and care about keeping face with the community. If other tenants in the area are a turn-off to consumers, this could negatively impact your own revenue.
Will ordinances impact my business?
Most cities have very strict zoning requirements for business operations. You will want to invest in someone who can assist with this research and ensure the prospective location will pass all of the city restrictions for your type of business venture.
Are there restrictive wage laws in this area?
Wages take up a large portion of a company’s expenses. You will want to be knowledgeable about wage laws in the area and how they may or may not impact your business. It may be more advantageous to move on to a different location if the laws are too restrictive.
Are there economic incentives in this community?
Many economic development departments will offer incentives to small businesses as a thank you for contributing to the community’s economy. This fact might be the deciding factor in your location selection as any financial help throughout the startup process can make a huge difference. Do your research and familiarize yourself with these benefits.
Will my employees be happy with the space?
If you have a staff, you’ll want to make sure the space meets their needs. For example, are there amenities in the area that will allow them to get things done over their lunch break? Is the commute distance fair? Your employees are definitely something to consider throughout the process as they are the life and blood of your organization.
Will this area continue to grow?
As a business owner, you’ll want to understand how the business landscape in your new community will change in coming years. Look for trends in economic growth in the area. The local library or economic development council should be able to provide you a nice snapshot so you can make an informed decision.
Are there direct competitors close by?
Competition is an important piece of the puzzle. You definitely want to know if your competitors are in close proximity to your new location. From here, you can determine your views on how it will impact business.
Is there room to expand?
If you’ve established a niche market and begin to grow, you may never want to leave the area. Understanding your options if you find success can play a huge role in your location decision and many spaces may not offer agreeable expansion opportunities. You can use an office space calculator to get an idea of how much space your team may need in the future.
Does this location project my company’s image?
Image is everything in business. For example, if you are marketing your business as a family-friendly restaurant you might steer clear of a space that is next to a liquor store. It makes sense to consider your brand and image when selecting a new business location to make sure your selection aligns with your company’s values.
These are a few of the most important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to finding a new location for your business. Selecting a location is one of the biggest financial decisions you can make for your company so take your time, work through this checklist and enjoy your new space!