Even though eCommerce is taking over the African continent, it is still estimated that over 95% of buying decisions still takes place offline. Locating and accessibility of your business has become very important in today’s modern world even though nontraditional means of communication such as social media, emails and call still remains. Many customer or prospects would always want to have a face behind every business.
Having a brick and mortal business location entails a lot and should be a carefully made decision. While there are certainly many things to consider in running a successful business, having the right and most business focused location can make or break you. Always remember that you are in business because of your customers and that should be your primary driving force.
So how do you get the perfect location that would help drive traffic to your business? Entrepreneurs are always advised to plan and do a comprehensive research. Intuition do not really provide results most times, we have listed major point to consider when locating your business:
There is hardly no business without direct or indirect competition. It helps smother and strengthen a business.
analyzing your competitor by knowing its strength, weakness, opportunity and treat would help arrive at the best way to suitably locate your business close to your competitor.
It is generally believed that it’s never too good to be close with your competitor while some scholar believes that being close helps business performance. Sometimes being located in the flux of business helps its grow due to complementary products purchase and economics of scale. Customer would visit such location because they believe if the goods they are in search for is not available in shop 1 it would be available in shop 2. Most customers might not visit if all shops are far apart as there would be no opportunity to compare price and quality.
This is all about understanding your customer strata. Their age, location, buying behavior, purchasing power and other important attribute that would help you classify them. It might be your plan to target people within 25-45yrs during work hours at your coffee shop. You can also decide to sell to pregnant mum by locating your store close to antenatal facility of an hospital. This is variably understanding your target market and how you can best acquire them.
Having discovered a perfect space for your business, accessibility of your target market must be kept in the loop. Easily accessible business would always win in the end.
When accessible, you can easily close deals, have meeting with prospective customers and become the first touch point for new leads.
The right space does not always mean you would win, the surrounding place around you goes a long way to say something about your business. Is there a landmark to make people easily locate you, is it close to a bus- stop, is the place numbered, location must be inviting and easy to locate and remember. As much as you are providing space inside you should also think about customers parking space
Even if you have the best office in the global space you must be very conscious of your environment. The surrounding space goes a long way in showing what kind of company you are trying to build. If you have a good space in a littered filled street, unorganized parking space, hoodlums filled, its a bad impression for customers. Even though potential customers would like to visit and make inquiries the surrounding space would be a high point turnoff for them.
Also,how has other businesses fared in this same environment over time? what kind of business did they put up and how related is it to current events happening in the environment in which you have find yourself.
How do people perceive the safety of the area you are located? is it an area constantly being paroled by the policemen? what kind of atmosphere is it and how often do events that shows lack of adequate security happens there. We expect that all this assessment should have been made before deciding to locate your business in such environment.