While many small businesses start out of an owner’s garage, there often comes a time when the inventory, orders or the number of employees gets to be too much for an in-home operation. If you’re thinking about moving your business to a storefront or warehouse, then there’s a lot to think about when choosing a location.
Consider the financials.
First things first -it’s important to be realistic about what you can afford to rent (or buy.) Regardless of where you’re looking to settle down, you’ll likely need to make changes or improvements to the space. You’ll also want to consider the income, sales and property taxes of the state and county you’re considering. Another tip, some businesses qualify for government economic business programs, such as state-specific small business loans. These vary greatly by state, so you’ll want to check with your state’s department of revenue.
Is the area business friendly?
Business laws are drastically different throughout the country, and often even within the same state, so be sure to check what applies in your area. Spending a little more on a location one county away could end up saving you a lot in taxes. If you’re new to an area or just starting out, you may want to consider checking with an expert. Your local Small Business Development Center should be able to point you in the right direction.
Hiring the right team.
Take a look at minimum wage; some states have a much higher minimum wage than the current federal rate of $7.25. The Department of Labor offers a valuable website to help you quickly and easily find out.
You’ll also want to consider the available talent pool in the area, especially if you need highly or specially skilled workers, like information technology or medicine.
Check out the neighbors.
This is key. What is the market’s saturation of your industry? Research and get to know your competitors. Also think about any businesses or vendors that supply you with crucial items. How efficiently can they get to you? (And will it cost them any more money to do so?) If you’re a retail store or deal heavily with cash, then you may also want to look at the crime rates in the area.
By doing just a little research, you’ll end up saving yourself a lot of headache down the road! If you’re looking for more advice, then be sure to check out the US Small Business Association’s “Starting & Managing a Business” website. Additionally, TheBalance.com also offers some helpful advice for choosing a location. Happy hunting!