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Whether you’re buying an existing business or starting one up, location is key to brick and mortar retail, such as restaurants and boutiques. Yet, many entrepreneurs only have a vague idea of what makes a good location, assuming that being located in a busy shopping center off the main highway or a nearby school is enough to bring in customers. This formula often fails leaving them scratching their the heads wondering what they did wrong.
According to Keenan Baldwin, co-founder and CEO of SiteZeus, the biggest mistakes small business owners make is not having a clear idea of how and when customers will visit their shop. This includes focusing on traffic, parking and signage.
SiteZeus uses data analytics and provides insights into the impact of a variety of location factors, including traffic patterns, demographic information and the presence of bus stops an schools.
Baldwin also adds its also important to understand the threshold of rent you can pay based on your business model. So, be prepared to negotiate, and get the assistance of an expert to review the lease so you won’t be taken advantage of.
Moreover, the U.S. Small Business Administration recommends that small business owners consider that the location be consistent with the image they want to maintain, as well as whether or not neighboring businesses are complementary or competitors. Financial considerations, such as expenses for renovations, decorating and IT systems should also be considered.
Overall, your best bet is to conduct a thorough due diligence, get advice from other owners and tenants, and consult with experts from your local small business community.