Whether you’re an established business looking to move or you’re a new entrepreneur looking for your first location, it can be a stressful process. Therefore, it’s important to adequately plan in order to alleviate the impact of such a stress factor.
If you’re stressed over a move, you’re not alone.
One of my longtime salient vendors lost his lease and must relocate. We’ve been doing business for a long time, and this is his fourth location. Despite his experience in picking a site, it’s still a challenge for his unique business with high-tech equipment. His struggle to find the best business location serves as a catalyst for this topic.
Here are seven tips to keep in mind:
1. Know your needs.
Conduct a needs analysis of what you’ll require for efficiency and productivity.
Develop a vision plan for an ideal situation.
If you’ll receive visitors like a retailer, your location should be 100 percent visible – from all street views – no impediments such as billboards, trees or even telephone poles.
It should have ample parking with two or more entrances/exits.
Your location should be compatible with other retailers – so you can capitalize on their marketing to draw their customers.
From an interview I did for The News York Times, Advice on Taking an Entrepreneurial Leap, here’s an excerpt:
A pancake restaurant, for example, needs to be on the side of the street that has the easiest access for morning commuters.
Neighboring businesses should be clean, attractive and bustling. After all, many of their customers could become yours. Additionally, their products should complement yours. If you’re going to open a pizza shop, having a multiplex cinema nearby would be a boon for you.
If you’re selling food, space for outdoor tables can attract customers in the warm months.
2. Make sure you have an adequate cash flow.
Anticipate your cash needs, and be aware of all ordinances and permit requirements, and other details.
Again referring to The New York Times article:
He could go on, Mr. Corbell said, but the most important rule for all beginning entrepreneurs to follow is to find the money. “You should prepare for a year surviving in an entrepreneurial jungle against all predators,” he said. “Before heading out on your capitalist safari, arm yourself with enough cash to cover all living expenses and anticipated business overhead for 12 months.”
3. Don’t take shortcuts in packing.
Make sure you’re organized. Pack and label your boxes logically. For example, desk incidentals like calculators and pens don’t go with screw drivers and hammers.
4. Contact local economic-development officials and politicians.
Every locale is scraping to find good businesses for job creation and tax revenue, so take advantage. They can help you financially and make your transition much easier.
5. Consider whether to get a real estate pro.
If you would benefit from a realtor, budget for it and carefully explain what you need to save you both time and money. Otherwise, drive around in your search and pick the most logical site.
Depending on your locale, commercial real estate is either readily available or hard to find. Either way, it requires due diligence and skills to negotiate the best commercial real-estate lease. See: 11 Tips to Negotiate Your Commercial Real Estate Lease.
6. Determine if you need an attorney.
Chances are you will, if you need to understand the fine print in contracts and city ordinances. Get an agreement upfront on the attorney’s fee and payment schedule. (Here are the 10 legal basics for new entrepreneurs.)
7. Make sure to communicate well with your stakeholders – customers and employees.
Good customers will appreciate knowing your plans. You’ll need to be on the same page with your employees for maximum teamwork and efficiency to facilitate the move.
So follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to a successful new location.
From the Coach’s Corner, here are editor’s picks for related reading:
9 Dos and Don’ts for Best Decision-making – The dos and don’ts for best decision-making are applicable in three ways: Whether you have difficulty making the best decisions, engage in self doubt after making one, or are gun shy because some of your decisions have failed you.
Cutting Costs — 9 Best Practices to Avoid Making Reactionary Decisions – In chaotic times, it’s common for businesspeople to be fearful and reactionary when they feel they must cut expenses. But entrepreneurs need to be unemotional so that they make decisions that will bolster their objectives. They can take the emotion out of their decision-making — by eliminating stress factors – if their priorities are clearly defined with values.
Strategies, Precautions When Expanding into a New Market – So you see opportunities by expanding into a new market. Whether you’re expanding across town or into a different region, there are risks to anticipate in alleviating any uncertainty. Even it doesn’t seem risky, due diligence is required and certain precautions are imperative for success.
“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.”