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Starting a Business in the Greater Hickory Metro Area of North Carolina

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Choosing A Location For Your Business

Recently, the project team developing the Online Women's Business Center was discussing information to help women entrepreneurs through the process of selecting a new location for their business. Research was completed, ideas were discussed, material drafted, etc. As we reached the point where we were ready to publish the article in the Online Women's Business Center, Teri asked "what section does this article belong in?"

"That's an excellent question," Becky replied, "where do you think it belongs?". "Selecting your location is a marketing issue, so it belongs in the Marketing Mall," said Julie. "We have material about leases in the Finance Center and cost is certainly part of the decision," Paula noted. "Well, I'd never choose a location that didn't have the latest in technology, both for the building and communications. Since this is such an important factor these days, let's put it in the Technology Tower," commented Jerry. "Clearly, location, just like organization structure, is an essential business strategy ... let's place this material in the Management Institute," said Joanne.

And on and on we went, enjoying the discussion and all the related business issues that this topic raised... we talked about our office, what location and type of office would be "ideal" if we moved... and while we were talking, Dionne published this article, right here in Charted Courses so that you could consider these questions when its time for you to select the location for your business...

When its time to select the location for your new business, or you're ready to expand or move into a new location, be sure and consider the following questions.

When selecting the general area:

  • Is the site located near potential customers?
  • Where is the competition?
  • How long have the competitors been in this area, and how strong are they?
  • Are there potential employees nearby?
  • Is the area convenient for you?
  • Is the location convenient and accessible to traffic? Near public transportation? Accessible by pedestrians?
  • What are the occupancy rates in the area?
  • What is the business climate in the area?
  • Is the area growing or declining?
  • What are market rents for the type of space desired?
  • What services does the town or city provide?
  • Are there zoning regulations or signage restrictions that will affect your business?
  • How safe is the area?
  • Are there adequate support services nearby, such as suppliers, printers, distribution centers, etc.?
  • Are there conveniences for you and your staff, such as restaurants, cleaners, shops, etc.?

Once you've narrowed down the area, evaluate the location:

  • Is there adequate parking for employees, customers, delivery vehicles?
  • Will you have to pay extra for parking?
  • Is the rent affordable?
  • Is there room for expansion?
  • Can you get insurance at a reasonable cost at this location?
  • Are there any building or health codes that would affect your business?
  • Are there adequate storage facilities on site?
  • Will you be able to have good visibility? signage?
  • Will people be able to find you?
  • Does the building or location have the amenities that you need?
  • Have you considered your finish out requirements?
  • Does the location have adequate wiring, including for voice and data communications?

Finally, once you narrow your selection down to 1 or 2 locations, its time to begin lease negotiations.

Courtesy of Online Women's Business Center and The Busy Woman's Guide to successful Self-Employment by Women Incorporated, 7/97

Disclaimer: The information presented here is intended as a public service. Although efforts have been made to assure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, the user assumes all responsibility for the use of information provided. The sponsors of this web site expressly disclaim any liability for the information provided herein.

©Greater Hickory Metro Business Development Network, 2006