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The importance of location in business

Key points in this article

  • Consider what your business will need in the future
  • Putting yourself in your customers’ shoes
  • Legal and environmental obligations

When deciding where to operate your business from, take into account the nature of your business and ask yourself these questions:Can you offer high quality service by working from home?

  • Can you run your business successfully as a mobile business?
  • Will your business gain more customers from exposure to passing traffic?
  • Will you focus on overseas trade or local trade?

If you do business predominantly online with a global customer base, you may not need a location. Perhaps that spare room in your home is the most economical way forward.

Decide what your business requires

Many businesses will choose a location that gives them exposure to customers. Depending on your type of business this may not be a factor, but some of the following might be:

  • Competition – Are your neighbouring businesses competitors or complimentary?
  • Proximity – To your suppliers and customer base.
  • Image – Is the area consistent with the image of your brand?
  • Growth – Think about whether you’ll need extra space in the future if your business grows.

Take into consideration factors like potential growth and nearby competitors when you decide on a location

Choose an area that shows promise - study traffic counts

Ideally you want to know the vehicle and foot traffic counts for the busiest parts of your town or city. The vehicle traffic counts should be easily available through your local town, city, or regional council. You can find contact details for state councils at the Australian Government’s site.

Be sure of your finances

Decide early how much money you can afford to allocate for the move, remembering to include:

  • Rent – How much can you afford to pay on your current level of trade over the rental term?
  • Transportation – What’s the cost of moving business equipment to your new premises?
  • Redecoration – Will the new location need repainting or remodelling?

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes

Remind yourself who your main customers are, where they live and work, and how far they’ll travel to buy your products or services. Your location must be practical for your loyal customers as well as attractive to new ones, so consider:

  • Is there convenient and affordable parking?
  • Is the location easily accessible by public transport?
  • Are complementary businesses nearby?
  • Is the area run down with empty premises or is it a thriving hotbed of commercial activity?

Ask the hard questions about what your current customers will be happy to adapt to

Utilities and services

You’ll need reliable services in the area you choose to locate to. Consider asking some local businesses for their advice on the best providers of:

  • Gas or electricity
  • Water
  • Phone – will your business have a landline or mobile?
  • Internet – do you want broadband, digital, or cable? Do you need wireless Internet?

Contemplate how convenient the location is for public transport, foot traffic and suppliers.

Remember your obligations

When choosing the right location, it’s important to be aware of your legal and environmental obligations. Ask yourself:

  • If your business involves making considerable noise, will it affect the local community?
  • If you have a restaurant or a coffee shop, will the smell bother your neighbours?
  • Your new premises and its surroundings will be the public face of your business and should create a great first impression on your customers.

Look into all the legal and environmental responsibilities you’ll have to meet

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