How does location affect a startup business?
When you’re a startup business, there’s plenty to consider.
One of the most exciting and significant points on the agenda is your brand new business location.
Where do you ‘set up shop?’
How will this affect the way you move forward and progress as a business?
It’s not always an easy decision to make – and if you find yourself at this early stage of your journey as a startup, it might be worth asking yourself the following questions…
Why is location important for a business?
First of all – if you don’t think location is an important part of running a successful business, you may want to think twice.
Here’s a few reasons why location is key:
- Your location becomes an integral part of your business’s DNA. It’s your home!
- Your location speaks volumes about what type of business you are. For example, it arguably makes sense for a tech startup to live in an area where businesses of that nature tend to thrive.
- Your location has the power to make you an attractive proposition to suppliers, customers and local talent who might come and work for you one day.
So, when it comes to deciding on a location – what types of things do you need to consider?
What is the competition like?
Is the competition in your desired area high?
It’s wise to try and figure this out when scoping out different areas. Check online, check the local business directory, or even take the time to wander around if you have the time to do so.
You need to get an understanding as to whether your company will be lost within too many similar businesses – or be able to ‘hold your own’ and compete.
There’s also a lot to be said for being the only business of your type in the area. Especially when it comes to hiring local staff.
Is there access to a range of employees?
People generally don’t want to travel too far to get to work.
That’s why it’s important to consider the local population of your desired area. Are you likely to find a wide range of potential employees living in the local area?
If so – are you likely to find the right type?
If you’re in an area saturated with similar businesses, how do you stand out from the crowd and attract them to come and work for you?
These are all questions you need to answer – especially if recruitment is a big part of the strategy as you launch your business into a brand new area.
Is there enough available space to choose from?
In business, it’s always sensible to have options.
Instead of setting your heart on one office within your chosen location (as easy and as tempting as that can be), you might want to draw up a shortlist including a few choices – just to be on the safe side.
You’ll still be disappointed if your first choice fell through (for whatever reason) – but at least you’ll still have options in your preferred area.
What sort of financial costs will you have to consider?
As with any strategic decision you make as a business – it will usually come at a cost.
When location hunting, you need to work within your long-term budget. Your overheads will typically be one of the most expensive regular outgoings that comes out of the business – so you need to take the rental cost seriously.
Do you opt for a traditional lease or a serviced office?
Either way, you need to make an informed decision based on what you can afford.
Besides from size of office and length of contract – location is one of the key factors that affects the cost of a serviced office, so it’s also important to bear in mind the fact that some areas will be more expensive than others.
Will this location increase your brand visibility?
Brand visibility can describe a number of different things – from the way in which your location enables you to display your brand’s logo in public, to the word-of-mouth spread of information throughout the area once you ‘move in’.
These things are difficult to influence by choosing the correct location as such, but it’s something to keep in mind – especially if you spot any opportunities where your brand could get the push it needs.
If you move into a quiet area for instance, you might not get the same exposure that you would by moving into a more populated part of town.
Have you considered your suppliers?
Besides from thinking about your own business address, you need to consider your where your suppliers are based, too.
They don’t necessarily need to be around the corner, but it helps if they’re within close proximity.
When you run a business, you’ll try anything you can to avoid complexity where possible – and keeping your suppliers close by is just one way you can make your life much easier.
Is the area easily accessible?
Again, this goes back to tempting the best people to come and work for you.
If the area is difficult to get to and from on a daily basis, your chances of attracting new recruits are reduced.
The same applies to your existing employees. If you want to retain staff for a long period, you’ll want to ensure that the area works for them, too.
It’s an important part of ensuring staff remain happy and motivated to come to work everyday.
What are the benefits of this location?
Are there any additional benefits to this location that you could exploit?
Does it have a range of nearby amenities for staff?
Restaurants? Pubs? Shops?
It might have excellent transport links – or access to a wide base of local customers.
These things all make a massive impact, so if these advantages become apparent when you’re looking around for a location – you’ll want to take them seriously.
Is there an opportunity for growth?
If you predict a high rate of growth straight away, you’ll need to make sure this is reflected in your location.
This might be a case of getting a slightly bigger office that you could grow into over time.
Of course, you’ll pay more at the time – but if you do meet the rate of growth as anticipated, it will probably turn out to be a smart move in the long-run.
Choose your location
If you ever need further guidance on choosing the best location for your business – we’re more than happy to help.
We have serviced office space in a variety of locations – suitable for a wide range of different businesses.
Feel free to get in touch today – or view our serviced office locations.