Recent years have seen significant growth in the demand for office spaces in the US. Thankfully, there has been a rise in the availability of office spaces as well. In the third quarter of 2017, Manhattan had the highest absorption rate for office spaces amongst select metro areas in the US, according to data published by Statista.
When selecting a location for your business, most tend to opt for a place they are familiar with and where people know them well. While, this may come as a great networking opportunity amongst locals, it also limits your connection to a specific geographical location, while restricting your growth.
Similarly, there are some major factors that need to be considered when selecting the right location for your business. Here’s a look at some such key factors.
Consider your Customers
With the evolution of e-commerce, a large number of businesses are going online. This gives them the liberty to operate from anywhere and takes away the their attention from the physical location of the business. According to Forrester’s new Online Retail Forecast as cited by Digital Commerce 360, online sales will account for 17% of all US retail sales by 2022, up from a projected 12.7% in 2017. However, regardless of ecommerce growth, the need for a physical location will persist, more so if you intend to run both online and offline outlets.
When you select a location, you not only do it for yourself but your customers too. The location should be easily accessible for your target customer base, such that they don’t need to spend too much or travel too far to reach you. Not doing so could impact your business’ appeal. There are high chances that you might lose your business to a competitor with an office in much closer proximity, says an expert at Tenants Choice.
Customer behavior can be highly tricky. If they are convinced about certain products, they will happily make long trips to acquire those products. Even if you choose a remote or out-of- town office, ensure that you have proper advertising and offer online services. The key is to assure the customer that your product is worth their while.
Other than clients, if it takes you or your staff 30-60 minutes each day to reach office, you need to rethink your decision regarding your business location. According to a study by the University of the West of England, published by Inc, adding extra time to commuting affects job satisfaction levels of employees and significantly affects their productivity, especially if they are travelling by bus or train.
Opening a brick and mortar store close to your competition may seem like a weird idea, but it works miraculously. There are many examples of businesses that are more concentrated in one area than anywhere else. Firstly, when you choose a location to open your office where the customer already shops, it gives them easy access to your store as well. Highly concentrated business areas are termed safe, encouraging customers to visit you even late at night. Being close to your competition will give your sales goals, while leveraging on their existing popularity.
In the US, not all areas allow you to legally open a business or an office anywhere you like. So, how do you determine which area is suitable? Through the zoning codes. These codes tell you what activity can be conducted in a specific area, such as retail, commercial or simply residential.
Needless to say, location can make or break a business. Crime rates, use of certain chemicals and waste management are also some of the major factors that should be considered when you are setting up your workspace. The best course of action is to consult an experienced realtor, who is familiar with all the zoning codes, regulations and more.