As a small business owner, the ability to locate your venture in a sensible location goes a long in determining the output of your business, particularly in terms of revenue generation.
However, before you start shopping for business space, it is important to have a clear picture of the things you must have, as well as those you will not tolerate.
The entrepreneur must also determine how much he is able to pay for a facility in his location of choice. Experts say for your business, a good location is just as important as your product, employees or marketing. They note that ultimately, the place you choose to situate your company could determine whether or not your business makes it.
The Technical Director, Geocardinal Engineering Services Limited, Adeyemo Titilope, who is a registered mining engineer and runs a consulting firm in mining and solid minerals development, tells our correspondent in Abuja that it is important for small business entrepreneurs to understand why they must choose a sensible location when establishing their outfits.
He says entrepreneurs in the small and medium enterprises space should ensure that the location of their business is consistent with their style and image. For a retail business, the entrepreneur should be able to decide whether to establish a traditional store or to operate from a kiosk in a mall or a cart that can be moved to various locations.
The population demographics of the area which the entrepreneur seeks to establish his venture should be taken into consideration. It is important for the entrepreneur to find out if the majority of the human traffic in the area falls under his targeted consumer base. The entrepreneur should consider demographics such as age, the kind of profession and household income of residents in his area of the target.
By figuring out the nearby demographics, you will be able to know how well your product will sell in that vicinity.
Experts advice entrepreneurs to consider who their customers are and how important their proximity to the business location is. They note that for a retailer and some service providers, this is critical, while for other types of businesses, it might not be as important.
The entrepreneur has to find out whether the customer profile in his chosen area is sufficient enough to support his business.
Experts say entrepreneurs should be cautious when considering communities that are largely dependent on a particular industry for their economy, as a downturn could be bad for business.
A shrewd entrepreneur must take cognisance of the competition in his line of business. Experts note that by knowing where your competitors are located, you will have a good grasp about the feasibility of doing business in the chosen area. When this is sorted out, it is now left for the entrepreneur to build his business to garner more customers to his venture.
Although this may require some level of funding, small business owners should strive to make their outfits visible.
The entrepreneur needs to ensure that his shop is visible enough from major roads and can be easily located.
This, however, does not mean that you need to be right in the heart of the activity. Rather the entrepreneur should try and take advantage of the human traffic generated by any facility that is close to his business outfit.
Another vital thing to consider is the accessibility of the business outfit by customers. The business of an entrepreneur may be visible and offering a great product, but it is important that his customers have easy access to it.
As you try to situate your business in the best area, it is necessary to understand that aside from the base rent, you should consider all the costs involved when choosing the location.
Experts say entrepreneurs should try and consider the cost of building maintenance, utilities and security. For remote locations, the entrepreneur may also want to factor in the additional marketing costs it would take to enable customers to find his outfit.
Another simple way to get help in determining how much rent to pay for a shop or store in the location is to find out what similar businesses in the area are paying.
Electricity is vital for the survival of most businesses. So, it is advisable that the location you choose has electricity to meet your business needs, as the running of generators may lead to increased cost on the business.
For a business that may require the running of machinery or heavy equipment that consume electricity, the entrepreneur needs to find out how much the circuits can handle and whether a generator is available in the case of a power outage.
For an entrepreneur who plans to work in his store, he needs to think about the time it will take to get there from home.
This is because if he spends much time travelling to and from work, the time he spends on road may overshadow the excitement of being the boss of the venture.
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