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A Guide to Choosing a New Business Location

A Guide to Choosing a New Business Location

Choosing a new business location can be an exciting process. Whether you want to open a new restaurant in a nearby town or you plan to open your own boutique in a shopping center, choosing the best location can make or break the success of your brand.

When learning how to choose a location for your business, there are a few factors to consider. From small businesses to larger companies or chains, picking the location for your facility can play a more significant role in the success and longevity of the company. Here are six questions to ask yourself when choosing a location.

What Type of Business Is It?

Consider what type of business you plan to offer to the community. Depending on the business type, a specific location may be more beneficial than others. Here are five business types to keep in mind.

1. Home-Based Business

Finding a perfect space to create a booming business is essential for those working from home or selling products and services outside their home. It is recommended that individuals check with their local municipality for the best resources on codes and zoning allowances for at-home businesses. Consider finding a smaller office space separated from your home when looking for a new location.

If you prefer to relocate your home altogether and move your products and personal belongings all at once, find a new home in the right area, where you can potentially add to the existing office space or expand rooms inside the home. You could even re-work a small shed or barn and create a home-based “warehouse” where you make and sell your products.

2. Retail Business

Retail businesses can also be found in storefronts and strip malls. However, you can also relocate to unique locations that may better increase your profits and business growth. Consider setting up a shop in one of our many downtown shopping districts throughout the county, you can also consider your own free-standing building to make your shop stand out from other companies.

3. Mobile Business

Businesses that work online can still make use of in-person locations. For example, you can consider adding a food truck location or creating a pop-up shop in an area with high foot traffic.

4. Commercial Business

Commercial businesses require flexibility long-term as they attempt to increase their growth and sell their products and services. For example, a restaurant or furniture store may want to choose a location where they don’t rely on heavy consumer traffic and instead create a positive reputation.

5. Industrial Business

An industrial business or those in the manufacturing and distribution industry may require a particular location to fit their needs. Central Pennsylvania has one of the leading markets in industrial development and sites due to its access to transportation and major hubs. You’ll need a good space to accommodate a warehouse and offices while taking into account access to transportation routes. For undeveloped land, you will want to consider proximity to utilities, water, and waste.

Is It Within Your Budget?

Is It Within Your Budget?

Consider whether or not the new location will be in your budget. You’ll have to prioritize certain costs over others and determine whether or not you can pay for the building long-term. For example, buying or renting a new facility may come with additional costs including — purchase price, taxes, rent, renovations, wage requirements, incentives, and utilities.

Even if you have a mobile business, you must consider the cost of business permits or your vehicle licensing if you plan to deliver products to nearby stores or locations.

A good rule of thumb when figuring out how much the new building will cost is to speak to other business owners in the community. You can also research to ensure the facility is within your budget. Remember that rent and utilities will likely make up most of your costs. At the same time, some businesses may need to consider unique costs like security deposits, janitorial services, insurance rates, and parking payments.

Does It Fit Your Brand?

Your brand is integral to your business and often contributes to long-term growth. Consider whether or not the new location fits your brand well. For example, an office supply location doesn’t quite fit within a high-end shopping district. A fancy restaurant might struggle in a college town or rural community where customers cannot afford your food. The location must fit your brand for customers to feel comfortable visiting your storefront.

Consider what words might describe your business. Is your brand elegant or casual? Are you a laid-back business or a formal restaurant? Answering these questions can help you stay consistent with your company’s image, style, and brand.

Is It a Safe Location?

A safe and protected location is essential to your business’s long-term growth. You’ll also want to feel that you and your employees are safe when selling products or providing services to the community. If you have inventory that is expensive or at high risk of theft, or you run your business at night, consider choosing a location with a variety of companies around you and in an area you know is safer. Do your research to find places affected by crime, as serious crime could influence insurance premiums. Know the risks before you invest in a new location that might not be right for you.

Is There a Demand For Your Business?

Consider whether or not your new location will create demand for your business. For example, if the area is full of other similar competition, it might not be worth it to set up shop. You’ll want to find a place where your business is in high demand and competition is low. While comparison shopping may sometimes be beneficial, too much competition could drive customers away from your business.

Are There Parking Options?

If your company relies on deliveries or wants a location close to transport routes, main roads, or motorways, consider the new location’s parking options. Ask yourself how accessible the business will be, depending on how easy it can find parking or how large the parking lot is. Can customers, employees, and suppliers access your business? Can those with disabilities access your business?

If the new location has convenient parking, ask yourself if the lot is maintained and well-lit. Do you have to pay for parking, or do customers have to pay? It would be best if you also considered where employees would park.

Grow Your Business With Help From CAEDC

Grow Your Business With Help From CAEDC

The Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC) is a non-profit agency (5019(c)3) assisting in the promotion and leveraging of tourism and economic development within the Cumberland County, Pennsylvania area. Our corporation wants to help you grow your business in Cumberland County, through jobs, life improvements, and natural growth.

The CAEDC is a resource for various municipalities, non-profits, residents, and businesses who want to attract new visitors, establish themselves as a travel destination and enhance their overall tourist experience. Whether you are a new restaurant wanting to make the most of your new location or a hotel or boutique wanting to encourage overnight stays in the area, our corporation can help you.

Our services include funding solutions, development services, tourism asset and program development, financing, incentives, community planning, consulting and project development, destination marketing, sales, and public relations support. Contact us today to speak to a representative or call us at 717-240-7180.

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