Selecting a perfect business location is a process that should not be taken lightly and needs the attention it deserves. It is not rare to hear stories of businesses shutting down due to poor location choices.
Location has an impact on a company’s net income, profitability prospects and total expenses. It is critical to building relations with customers, suppliers and partners and even attracting the right talents. Additionally, location enables business owners to boost and create a brand image that will set their companies apart. With all these things considered, it is safe to say that location can help make or break a business.
For your business location strategy, a checklist is useful to approach the process more systematically and strategically. Some of these factors are enumerated below to get you started with your checklist and guide you throughout the process.
The operating style is closely associated with brand image. Do you offer products or services for the high-end market or the middle-class households? Business districts or cities are often designed to evoke a certain sense of style or image. In this case, your location should be consistent with your brand. In conjunction with the operating style is to take note of whether the location is a vibrant business district that offers current and future growth opportunities to your enterprise.
As an entrepreneur, you have to know your customers. Do you target professionals, students or heads of the family? Study the demographics of the area you are targeting to help you decide whether it is the right place for your products or services. Take into account key details such as population, income and age. With your customer profile in mind, look for a community whose members fit your target market.
Accessibility and infrastructure
Accessibility and infrastructure are everything. Your customers, employees and suppliers should be able to reach your establishments conveniently. Are there enough parking spaces in the area? Is public transport not an issue? What about foot traffic? Can your suppliers or distributors reach you faster? Your office or establishment should be highly accessible and located in an area with modern infrastructure to sufficiently support your current and future business activities.
On location, proximity to ports, major highways and airports should be factored in. In the UAE, for instance, you can examine whether the area you are interested in are near Ajman and Dubai ports, both of which are considered a significant maritime focal point in the country. The two ports are connected by regular feeder service links to regional hub ports. A business located near Dubai and Sharjah international airports, among the busiest in the region, will also benefit for being near these areas, especially if you are to reflect on your logistics requirements.
When selecting your business location, you have to check that there are enough customers for everyone in the community. Is there a surplus of customers who you can entice into buying your products or services? Stiff market competition may hinder you from building a large customer base.
Ordinances and Governance
As entrepreneurs, you have to be fully knowledgeable of ordinances or zoning restrictions in the area that you are considering that may affect your business. It is also worthwhile to check if the location offers certain incentives, solutions or packages that you can maximize to help lower your expenses.
For some, free zones are the best choice because they have diverse business offerings. In the UAE, Ajman Free Zone is one of the vibrant business hubs with a variety of solutions and services designed to support an investor’s goals and targets. For instance, the free zone has clear and easy-to-understand rules, including full ownership, about renting a warehouse space within its space.
Location can significantly influence the market value of your business. Establishing your business in the right area is an undertaking that is going to be worth your while.