A place customers and suppliers can easily find it. A place that is attractive. A place that the company can expand when business starts booming. These location considerations and more are all important to take into account when finding the ideal environment to start your new business.
Finding an ideal environment for your business is one of the first decisions made that can help your business succeed or fizzle. From the right neighborhood for your business, to the right street, to the right storefront, location makes a difference. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers some advice on how to choose that ideal environment for your business.
- Competition and Contribution- Consider how neighboring businesses may compete with your products or if they may compliment your products. Many successful downtowns have found that clustering trendy stores near each other creates a nice flow for customers to walk up and down the street, popping into and out of interesting and unique shops with ease.
- Room to Grow- While enjoying some success among other thriving businesses, keep in mind that your business may take off even more than you imagined. If you anticipate any future major growth, you may situate your business in a building that has space upstairs, downstairs, or extra rooms. Some businesses that anticipate major expansions may find perimeters with extra land adjacent to the business an ideal location.
- Easy Accessibility- In a split second a customer may decide that it is just too difficult to pull into your business parking space or navigate the traffic, and they drive on. It might be too difficult to see from the road or hidden by other landmarks, and they keep going. Finding a location with adequate parking and a place that can be seen easily from the road is important to gain new customers. For some small businesses, busy streets may bring them a lot of exposure. For other small businesses, quiet streets, off the beaten path, may draw in their customers. Analyze your product and customer market to reveal your best location.
Your location should also be easily accessed by your suppliers. The supply chain will move more smoothly if the supplier has a nice clear shot to your backdoor from the interstate or from just across town.
- Costs- Property taxes, zoning regulations, and other future costs for renovation or expansion should be considered. Small businesses should also investigate local economic incentive programs offered in their city.
Small businesses in St. Joseph benefit from many of these location issues. Interstate highways, the railroad, and the river all move alongside the city, while airplanes at KCI airport fly goods in and out of the region only 30 minutes away. Local universities offer a fresh employee pool, and a commute across town is no more than 20 minutes. The downtown offers different location advantages than the Belt Highway, and each business finds its profitable niche working in St. Joseph.