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  • Choosing the best location for your small business

    When you open a small business, there is a lot to think about.

     What kind of space will your daily business activities require?Your daily thoughts will likely be focused on how you'll get funding, promote the opening and attract customers. Among this to-do list, one of the more important points to address early on is where your business will be located. It may seem like a simple thing, but choosing a spot can make or break your endeavor.

    Of course, in certain situations, your selection may be limited. Commercial real estate is more expensive in some cities than others, and your bank account may only allow for a small pool of options. Whether you have free reign over what the area offers or are working with a pretty short list, there are a few things you should consider when shopping for the location of your small business.  

    • Business needs: Think about how your business operates. For instance, if it involves selling a large supply of goods, you'll probably need a warehouse to store them. Such a big space would need to be located in a more open area rather than the middle of a city. On the other hand, maybe your business relies on walk-in customers. In that case, you would benefit from being on the ground floor of a building in the middle of all the action in your town.
    • Competition: Take a look around each possible location and see if you'd be surrounded by complementary or competing businesses. Complimentary neighbors is an ideal situation because you will attract a similar kind of customer to the area without taking away business from each other. A little competition never hurts, either, but since the company is just starting out, make sure you're not putting yourself in a risky situation.
    • Potential growth: How likely is it that your company will grow soon? While a small space may be cheapest right now, if you need to expand within the next year, it would be better to already have the room to do so. Of course, if you do end up with a more economical starting space, you can always add a clause to your lease that gives you first dibs on any adjacent space that becomes available.
    • Zoning ordinances: One fairly simple but very important part of the equation is zoning ordinances. Every piece of real estate is governed by a zoning ordinance that restricts its use to residential or commercial. If you try to set up your business in a residentially-zoned area, you could get in big trouble.