Even though more businesses have an online presence, many companies still require a brick-and-mortar location, whether it is to serve customers, house support staff, or store stock in a secure warehouse. Whether setting up a location for the first time or looking to expand into different areas, there are many factors business owners need to consider. Here are ten tips for choosing the best business location.
1. Location Type
How you plan to use the business location is going to drive a lot of your choices. Are you a retail business that relies on foot traffic or a manufacturer that needs to be closer to major transportation routes? On the other hand, an office space is more flexible but might need to be close to amenities or certain cities to serve occasional clients.
2. Geographic Location
As with most things in real estate, your geographic location will be at the top of the list. Before you browse business locations, make sure you have a current market analysis that outlines your largest consumer base. If you have customers that come into your business, your location should be within 20 minutes of this market.
3. Operational Needs
You also need to find a location that matches your operational needs. (Note: you can sometimes renovate a space to achieve this goal). For example, do you need a kitchen or office space? Do you require storage space and loading docks or manufacturing space?
Obviously, one of your priorities will be to find a business location that fits within your established budget. For many businesses, rent will be one of the largest monthly expenses, so you want to make sure you are getting exceptional value for what you’re paying. As you compare properties, make sure you ask about lease terms, utility costs, parking options, and any energy-saving features included.
5. State and Local Taxes
Don’t forget to factor in state and local taxes when searching for a business location. Some areas are more attractive for businesses than others with low or no income taxes. You may also be able to lower your tax burden by choosing a location in an enterprise zone or hiring employees who live in an enterprise zone.
Some areas are safer than others. Research crime rates in the areas you plan to locate your business. Depending on your type of business, you might also want to choose a location that offers a high-tech security system or the option to upgrade to one.
Next, research the competition. Would being next door to your competitors be a benefit or a hindrance to your business? This varies depending on the industry. If you’re offering something the competition isn’t, there’s no reason you should worry about setting up shop where there is established traffic.
Will your business location be easy to access for your customers or delivery drivers? You’ll want to consider things like major roadways, public transportation, and parking spaces. Don’t forget that the business also needs to be easily accessible by your employees.
Most businesses have growth as one of their goals. As you look at locations, consider whether they will be able to accommodate a certain amount of expansion.
10. Site History
Finally, see if you can dig up any history on the site, provided it isn’t a new build. For example, if three former restaurants have opened and failed at this site, this might be a clue that it isn’t an ideal location.
Find the Best Business Location With Caldwell Commercial
If you’re looking for the ideal business location in the Charleston, SC area, you need a commercial real estate partner you can trust. With over 80 years of combined experience, the team at Caldwell Commercial is a leader in South Carolina commercial real estate. We specialize in helping clients buy, sell, and manage properties throughout the region. Contact us today to learn more.