Determining the right location
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best location to establish and grow your business. The right location can impact your potential to attract a quality workforce, improve efficiency and increase sales and profits, all of which will translate to business success. At the same time you need to control fixed costs to avoid putting your new operation at risk, especially during the early start-up period.
As you work through your site-selection process, carefully consider the following location factors as they relate to your business.
Access to clients, markets, resources and workers
- Clients – You can offer a high quality product or service at the best price possible but your business will not succeed if your client or customer is unable to find or get to you. Do you need to be visible? Will you benefit from a high-traffic, store- front location? Can you offer convenient parking and accessible access?
- Markets – Are you able to reach your markets conveniently and cost-effectively? How efficient or reliable is your shipping network? Is it a year-round or seasonal network? Will you transport goods using a ground, marine or air-cargo system? Will you need to be able to offer your customer rapid (one-day) delivery?
- Resources – What sort of raw material or support services will you need to operate your company? Can you get your supplies quickly and conveniently? Will you have enough storage? Do you need access to specialized maintenance, professional or training services?
- Workers – What will your work site be able to offer to potential employees? Is it a suitable workplace with appealing amenities? Can your staff live within a reasonable distance from work? Will you be able to attract workers with the right qualifications and skills?
Associated Capital Costs
The basic formula for business success is to minimize cost and maximize revenue in order to generate profits. While a location may offer everything you need to operate your business according to your vision, the costs associated with your ideal space may be out of scale with the revenue you can generate. Alternatively, the cost to renovate space so that it meets your specifications may be excessive. What is the cost-benefit analysis of leasing versus purchasing? If the site meets the needs of your long-term plan, can your business afford to carry the cost through the unpredictable start-up period? What are the expected costs for insurance, parking or utilities?
Requirements for infrastructure will vary according to the type of business you are considering. An IT company will require a facility equipped with the latest connectivity technology; a chemical company may need a large warehouse in a remote non-residential area with access to emergency services. Do you have space for parking? Is future expansion possible? Would it be an advantage to your company if infrastructure already exists to support your industry such as a business or research park, technology centre or commercial/retail facility? See more information in Business Infrastructure.
Would you benefit from having similar companies in the vicinity? Are competing companies in the area going to impact your success? Will near-by activities clash with your operation? Are you close to services that will support your business?
Regulations and Restrictions
Are there regulations or zoning restrictions in place in your proposed area that might prohibit or impact your operation? Is there a merchant/tenant agreement that will affect your day-to-day operation? Are there restrictions related to business hours or the type of product you are offering? For more information go to Regulations, Permits and Licencing.