Top Tips For Determining What Space Is Right For Your Retail Business



Whether you’re relocating your business or looking for the perfect place to establish it, you’ve probably heard the importance of location, location, location. There are numerous aspects of location that play a part in finding the right home for your business, such as considering your clientele, logistics of rent and expenses, and more.

Here are five ways to help you decide which location is best so your business can flourish.

Choose a Neighborhood

Many factors play a role in determining the neighborhood or site you should choose for your business. First, consider who needs to access your location. If your business requires little customer contact, then cater to the convenience of you and your employees. If customers need to frequent your physical location, there are a few more factors to keep in mind.

Next, assess your desired customers’ demographic. For example,

  • Are they single men/women or families?
  • What is their age range?
  • Do they have expendable income? If so, how much?
  • And more

Based on this demographic information and your product or service, estimate how far people are willing to travel to obtain it. For example, customers or clients are more willing to travel farther for specific medical providers and specialty shops or services than they are for groceries or convenience items. This can give you a broader radius of where you can establish your business.

Know Your Neighbors

In most cases, you will also want to identify neighboring businesses that could be direct competitors. For instance, it may not be the best idea to open your boutique or specialty store next to a popular discount retailer. The common customer may prefer this retailer because of its more affordable and abundant options.

Similarly, seek neighboring businesses that provide opportunity for you — such as a tailor or dry cleaner next to retail, or a bakery or bagel shop next to an existing coffee shop.

Pedestrian vs. Automotive Traffic

Based on your target demographic, a key location factor will be determining how potential customers discover your business. For restaurants, coffee shops and small business retailers, areas with lots of pedestrian traffic are crucial to attract the business of local, wandering interest. For somewhere like a car wash or repair shop, a highly visible, easily accessible spot by vehicle is best.

Evaluate and Renovate the Space

An essential aspect when choosing a location is how it accommodates your needs. Does your restaurant or catering business require multiple kitchens and ample space? Do you need individual offices, conference rooms or consultation spaces? Take all of these facets into consideration when looking at buildings and properties.

If the location doesn’t have what you need, don’t cross it off the list right away. See if renovations are an option and if you have the space to implement all the elements you want. It may involve some imagination, but envision all the moving parts of your business in the space and evaluate if they could be a reality.

Accessibility and Other Logistics

For myriad business establishments, it’s important to be near public transportation or parking so that customers and clients are able to easily get to your location. For others, such as offices or call centers, public accessibility is not a priority. Employees also need easy access to your office or building. Whether it’s private secured parking or public lots, assure the location has sufficient space for vehicle commuting.

Another obvious determinant for where to move your business is cost. Do your homework. Calculate rent and other operating expenses before delving too deep into a location that may not be reasonable financially. Factor in expenses such as electricity costs for appliances, Internet and anything else that is crucial to running your business.

Everything that contributes to a great location will play a role in your business’s outcome. From customer demographic to cost and convenience, all these details should be accounted for in your decision. As long as you do your research and think critically about all aspects of your business, you just might find a location that brings you success.

Author bio: Tom Smith is co-Chief Executive Officer for Truss Holdings, Inc., the largest commercial real estate marketplace. He has more than 20 years of experience in the commercial real estate and technology industries — specifically in finance, sales and marketing.