Maybe you’ve been running your pet-oriented business from your kitchen table, spare bedroom, or garage, but now you are finally ready for an official business address. Your business has grown to the point where it is time to move. You’ve got a budget and a plan, but as you start to explore location options, what are some of the important things you should consider? Here are five+ tips to help you make the move successfully.
You most likely have a specific geographic area in mind for your business. Probably a location that is an easy commuting distance from your home and/or in a business district you like. But is it a good location for your specific business? Your location is only as good as the potential pool of customers. To gain a clearer understanding, you should consider conducting a marketing demographic study. This can provide detailed information about the potential audience who lives, works, and plays in your targeted area. This information can help you answer key questions:
And much, much more. Before looking at individual properties, you need to know if the regional market can support your business plans.
The area’s demographics look good and you have your eye on some potential properties. So how about the zoning for that block? Zoning is always important to check regardless of the type of business, but even more so if your business includes having pets onsite, such as a grooming spa or boarding business. You’ll need to check with your local zoning board to see if your business plans can move forward or if you will need to reassess.
As you start identifying specific property options, you’ll want to determine if the infrastructure is a good fit for the business. It may be a fabulous location and a cool building, but if the floor layout and infrastructure are not conducive to your business activities, you may need to spend a lot of time and money to try to adapt it – or a lot of time and energy working in a space that doesn’t truly work for you.
In addition to good infrastructure, you’ll need to get all the permits and licenses appropriate for your type of business at that location.
Accessing your potential business location is more than just about providing a dedicated parking space. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), your business location must be accessible to those who have physical limitations or challenges. And it’s more than just having a ramp or wide enough aisles for mobility assistance devices. You also want to consider what might help a visually-impaired customer successfully navigate your business. Being more accessible and inclusive is good for your customers and your business.
We’ve all been there when looking at a new home – we fall in love with a place before we uncover all its flaws. The same thing can happen when looking for a place for your business. Don’t fall in love with a location before you get all the facts. Do your due diligence to determine if the market, the infrastructure, and the other elements will meet your specific business needs.
Running a business requires a variety of skills and expertise. As you add the responsibilities of a physical location, you’ll need more help. Look at building a team of trusted advisors with those additional skills to augment your experience: real estate, construction, taxes, marketing, law, and finance. They can help you make the best decisions based on facts, expertise, and experience.