- Plan a Business
- Start a Business
- Manage a Business
- Grow a Business
Finding a great location for your business is a critical step to set your business up for success. Do your research on the area and think about the needs of your customers and employees. You can also save time and money down the line by learning about zoning and building permits in addition to getting smart about how to negotiate a commercial lease.
If you've developed your business plan you should have a good sense of who your target customers are, who is the most likely to purchase your products or services, and who you want to market to. Use this information to your advantage and consider how you can locate your business to most effectively serve your target customer base.
Consider factors such as age, ethnicity, gender, income, buying habits, occupations, and household composition. For instance, if your target customers are mothers with small children, you may want to think about neighborhoods that are family-friendly or areas that are located close to other family amenities.
There are several online tools that you can use to conduct a demographic analysis. PolicyMap, Esri Atlas, and LocateLA are all examples of free websites that aggregate demographic information and can help you research potential locations for your business.
Before you start looking at potential locations you should identify a few parameters that will make it easier for you to set up your business. Zoning is an important element that specifies what types of business activities are allowed on a property. Research and understand the allowable zoning for your business and if there are any additional city requirements, such as the number of parking spaces you will need to provide, that could influence which building is right for you.
Generally, the easiest way to get set up is to find a location that was formerly the same type of business as yours. For instance, if you're opening a restaurant, you might try to find a space that used to be a restaurant. This usually means that the property already has the correct zoning and permits for your business, although you should always verify with the City to be sure.
The terms of commercial leases can vary greatly from the length of the lease to the number of tenant improvements. A little research can help you negotiate a deal that works best for your business, and it's always a good idea to consult with a professional or an experienced mentor who can help make sure you're considering all of the angles. A few things to keep in mind as you're doing your research: