You will make a lot of important decisions once you decide to go in business. If one of them is opening up a storefront location you will find that where you put your store will be the most important decision you will make. I believe it will make you succeed or make you fail. You cannot make a mistake here. You must get this right.
Before you choose your location ask yourself the following questions:
How much space do you need?
How much storage do you need?
If it is an office, how big?
What are you selling or what service are you offering?
Small town or big city?
The answer to these questions will determine whether you go on a busy retail strip, office building, retail mall or in an industrial area.
SO WHERE DO YOU WANT TO LOCATE?
I cannot stress enough how important this question is. Your answer will determine if you succeed or fail. Before you choose you need to look at where you are now in your business growth, and what you want your business to become. You need to answer the following questions: Who are your customers? What do you want your store to look like? What are you going to sell? How big do you want your store to be?
Retail locations in your town or city could dictate where you locate your business. Many small towns have a downtown area that is littered with old buildings that are falling apart. Some downtown areas are very vibrant and have been well-kept up over the years. Downtown locations also have fewer rules and allow more freedom to diversify your business in the future if you so wish. Most communities will have a downtown business improvement committee to promote and organize downtown activities to draw people to the downtown core. Many small specialty shops tend to thrive in downtown locations
Some small towns have had major developments built-in their communities and as a result, have drawn all customers away from the downtown core.
You may want to go to a retail mall depending on your business. Typically, retail malls will have a few anchor tenants and many smaller shops. Ensure the type of business you plan on operating fits in the setting of a retail mall. Although there are at times retail services in a mall, most malls cater to retail goods, versus retail services.
How about free-standing buildings. Can you afford to build your own? If not are you willing and able to be located away from the main shopping areas? Certainly, if you are like most small businesses, you would be leasing a stand-alone building. The cost of leasing is certainly less costly than a mall or shopping center, which would free up cash flow to put into your marketing budget. There is usually lots of available parking spaces in such locations.
Are you offering retail services versus retail goods? If so, you could be looking at office buildings or possibly building a home office, depending on your services. Office building tenants tend to share maintenance cost in such an environment. You would want to look at the services and office equipment available in the building.