Although a great location may not guarantee success, a bad
location will almost always guarantee failure. A new retail
business needs to be where the customers are. You want a
location with a reasonable degree of security, access to
public transportation for your customers and employees,
adequate parking for commercial as well as personal vehicles,
room for an office, and that all-important sales space.
Where you locate will determine the hours you keep, who
your clientele is, and what types of promotions you do.
Also, where you set up shop will impact how long it will
take you to grow. Luckily, you have lots of options.
Despite the benefits of running a business from home--low
overhead, no commute, and technology options that make it
easy to project a professional image--a retail business
is one of the few businesses that is difficult to run from
home. This is largely due to a conflict between needing
customers to come to your place of business and the penalties
of having a stream of clients visiting your home. Most residential
zoning excludes retail, so your neighbors can report you
to city or county officials if your business creates noticeable
traffic, noise or parking problems. Some communities prohibit
commercial vehicles or cars and trucks with signs on them
from parking on the street.
option for retailers who want to work out of their living
room is to sell their goods and services from booths or
tables at craft fairs, in cooperative booth space at emporiums
or expositions, by mail order, or at flea markets. You can
also sell retail on the internet.
The best retail location combines visibility, affordability
and lease terms you can live with. Brick-and-mortar retailers
need to be where the action is, so deciding where to put
your business is every bit as important as the business
you decide to go into.
the time to analyze the areas that appeal to you. There
are three phases of choosing a location for your retail
business: selection of a city, choice of an area or type
of location within a city, and identification of a specific
a city, investigate these main factors:
Directly related to the appearance of a retail location
is the reputation of the landlord. Unfortunately, some retail
landlords actually hinder the operation of their tenants'
businesses. In fact, the landlord may be largely responsible
for the demise of the premises and retailers' failure. For
instance, some landlords restrict the placement and size
of signs, forego or ignore needed maintenance and repairs,
or rent adjacent retail spaces to incompatible or directly
landlords lack the funds to maintain their properties. Rather
than continuing to invest in their holdings and support
their tenants, they try to squeeze out whatever they can
to speaking with current tenants, talk to previous tenants
of the location you have in mind. They can give you helpful
information. Find out what businesses they were in and why
they left. Did they fail or just move? What support or hindrances
did the landlord provide? Would they rent from this landlord
Your town's zoning commission can give you the latest mapping
of the retail location and surrounding areas that you are
considering. Here are some questions to think about: