If you are a retailer looking to find a potential physical location for your business, you may quickly discover that it is a far more difficult undertaking than simply finding and choosing the first available high street location. There are numerous factors to consider that will each have a significant effect on your potential custom and overheads in the long run, making it important to make the correct initial decision.
Before you begin your search, it is crucial that you identify and note your business’ profile as well as its potential needs. This involves clarifying questions, such as what is your target demographic? and how much space will you require? It is also important to consider how your specific brand may encounter issues with certain locations, those that stem from your business needs. For instance, if you intend to open a peaceful bookshop, it may be detrimental to open alongside a loud and busy hospitality venue.
Here are the top tips to help ensure you choose the right retail site for your business.
Fully Understand the Area
Your business will not only be affected by the limits and possibilities of the physical site but those of the street and town too. Long-term construction projects or seasonal markets can steer footfall away from your door. Be sure to check with the local authority, as well as agencies like The Highway Agency, who will be able to inform you of any significant works that will take place nearby in the near future.
Planned developments may also work in your business’ favour. You may be able to find relatively low-cost rental space in an area with lower footfall, knowing that there will soon be a major business to open nearby, drawing customers away from the high street and right by your door. Or, it could happen on the opposite side of town, drawing customers even further away. So, be sure to research the area fully.
Establish a Cost Profile
It is fundamental to exactly what type of space your stock and operation will require. This means understanding how much space you will need and the type of structure. Landlords are seldom inclined to make significant structural or aesthetic changes based upon a potential retailer’s needs, so these extra costs should either be considered or used as a reason to find an alternative location. Assets, such as shelving and timber fire doors, may already be available at the location, meaning that you can save on the cost of their purchase and installation, promising they work for your business.
Additionally, a new retailer should be conscious of overspending or establishing themselves with expensive initial costs. Choosing a site that is slightly larger than you may need will result in expenses that cannot later be mitigated and your business will find itself paying for unnecessary space.
Imagine Your Product
Before you begin negotiating your site, be sure to spend time travelling around the area as a customer of your product. This will allow you to imagine the potential demand for your services and stock, as well as highlight any competition that may occur from nearby.
Understanding the type of product you offer will also reveal any issues with a particular site. For example, if you are selling a large product, such as furniture, you will need a site that allows for nearby parking. Without such parking, customers will be less inclined to shop or find themselves frustrated with the inaccessibility.