Back to list May 14, 2019Opening a Brick-and-Mortar Business LocationWhile many consumers now rely on e-commerce platforms for much of their shopping, there are still plenty of opportunities for brick-and-mortar operations to thrive. A physical location is attractive to customers who wish to interact with the merchandise before purchasing and receive personalized assistance during the buying process. As a business owner, having a physical presence can help to increase your brand awareness and foster long-term customer relationships that lead to repeat sales.What to Consider When Starting a Brick-and-Mortar OperationIf you’re looking to open a brick-and-mortar business location, you should consider several factors before taking the plunge:Determining the need for a physical location: You’ll have to decide whether it’s necessary to establish a storefront. For instance, if you’re selling products that people don’t need to touch or try out before buying, or if your company is more of a service-oriented company, selling online will probably deliver better results. If you already have an online business, you’ll need to determine if and how a storefront will complement your existing operation.Developing a business plan: A business plan is a written document that serves as the blueprint for the progression of your company. It’s also essential if you need to obtain financing to get your enterprise off the ground. Examples of the elements to include in your business plan are a detailed description of your company, the products and services you’re offering, market analysis and financial projections.Creating a budget: You’ll need to know how much money you’ll have to spend on things such as labor, inventory, marketing, insurance, rent, taxes and utilities and budget accordingly.Securing financing: You’ll likely need to obtain financing for things such as a building, inventory, equipment and hiring employees. Banks aren’t always open to the idea of lending money to start-up operations, so you’ll probably have to explore several alternate funding sources.Choosing the ideal physical location: Where should you open your business? Your storefront will need to be accessible to your ideal customers. Other factors to consider include proximity to suppliers, zoning laws and whether to buy or lease the building. Also, if you’re hoping to expand at some point, does the facility allow room for growth, or will you have to look for a bigger building when the time comes?CAEDC Can Provide Valuable Assistance When Opening a Physical Location in the Cumberland ValleyCumberland County, Pennsylvania can be an excellent place to open a brick-and-mortar business location. It’s the fastest-growing county in PA, and it also offers access to a skilled and well-trained labor force. Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation is an authorized agency charged with leveraging and promoting economic development and tourism in the Cumberland Valley to stimulate growth, generate job opportunities and improve the quality of life.By serving as a liaison between business and government, CAEDC can provide a host of valuable services to companies looking to establish a physical location. For example, we offer access to a variety of entrepreneurial and small business resources, such as the Small Business Development Center at Shippensburg University and free training programs for employees at Harrisburg Area Community College. We also offer Site Selection Services to assist you with finding and developing the ideal physical location for your business.Understanding that financing is often the biggest obstacle when launching a small business, CAEDC also offers a multitude of fixed-rate loan programs that can help you acquire the facilities, equipment and machinery you need to get your operation up and running.CAEDC also offers financing programs specifically geared towards tourism-related businesses that can help with machinery and equipment purchases, marketing, signage and more.Contact us to learn more about how we can help you open a brick-and-mortar business location in Cumberland County.