Choosing the right site

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Last updated on June 23, 2015
Location is critical to the success of many businesses, particularly those in the retail industry.

When choosing an appropriate location for your business, consider the following questions before making your decision.

Basics

  • Are you clear about your requirements, e.g. size, street frontage, services?
  • Do you want to lease or buy?
  • Have you found out about the advantages and disadvantages of the site by talking to previous tenants or owners?
  • Is the site suitably zoned?
  • Have you looked at the site in terms of the sales potential of the area, economic and demographic factors, and competition?

Customers

  • Is the site suitably located in relation to your target market?
  • How visible and accessible is your location to both foot and vehicle traffic and car parking facilities?
  • How many people and vehicles pass your planned location each day and how important is each to your business?
  • If location on a particular side of the street is important, is the site you’re looking at on the best side?
  • Does the site project the right image about your business?

Transport

  • Is the availability of nearby public transport important for access to your business?
  • Will the cost of shipping goods to and from the site be a major issue?


Neighbourhood

  • Do neighbouring businesses complement yours and do they appear to be doing well?
  • Are there any vacant premises nearby? Why? How long has this been the case?
  • How have similar businesses fared in this location?
  • Are there any major changes contemplated in the area?
  • Are there any restrictions on signage in the area?


Financial

  • Can you afford the premises? Have you looked at alternatives?
  • If the site is for lease, are the terms on offer suitable?
  • Have you identified and costed all outgoings for which you will be responsible?
  • Do you know what amount of security deposit or bank guarantee is required?
  • Have you determined what insurances you are obliged to have in place?
  • Are you aware of any indemnities you must give to the landlord?
  • Do you know what will happen if you breach the terms of the lease?
  • If you are a company, do you understand fully what providing directors’ guarantees means?


Long-term plans

  • Do the premises offer scope for expansion?
  • Will zoning restrictions conflict with your future needs?


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