Finding the right space for your business can make all the difference. You need to find a location that’s right for you and your customers. Before you begin to look for a new location, you’ll want to take your space, customer, and budget needs into consideration. Knowing the answers to these three questions can help you find the perfect place for your business.
How Much Space Do You Need?
One of the things you’ll want to determine is how much space you actually need. Is your current location bursting at the seams or is it too big for your business? Do you need room for cubicles or will you have an open layout? You can ask members of your staff for their opinions on how your current space works. Knowing what parts of your layout function well and what parts do not will help you find a location that works best for you.
Rent is calculated at a price per square foot. Use a benchmark, such as 200 square feet per person, to estimate how much space you need. If you are working with a smaller budget, try estimating 125 square feet per person. Using a smaller benchmark may be better for planning an open office layout. Once you have an idea of the amount of space you need, you’ll be able to narrow your search.
Sharing how much space you need with a real estate broker can make your search easier. Real estate brokers who specialize in retail and office locations know details about what is currently on the market. Once they know your needs, they can compile information on spaces that are most relevant to you.
Who Is Your Customer?
Your customers are the most important part of your business. If you are a new business, you’ll want to invest your time in identifying who your customers will be. You can determine which locations will attract your customers by identifying the demographics and the competition in each area.
Know Your Customer
With help from a commercial real estate broker, you will be able to obtain the same information that national chains have about their customers. Real estate brokers have access to subscription services that can provide in-depth information about your target market. They can identify the age, sex, and level of education of your customers, as well as how much your target households are spending on your products each year. You’ll need this information if you plan to apply for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan.
A broker will be able to help you identify your target market area, using either the ring method or a drive time calculation. The ring method identifies your customers within one, three, and five-mile rings around a potential location. With a drive time map, a broker can show you the households within drive times of five to 15 minutes from your location. This can tell you how far your customers are willing to travel for your product or service. From there, you can determine if people in the area are your customers and compare the information to other areas.
Know Your Competition
Real estate brokers can also help you find information about your competitors. You’ll be able to find out what the gross sales of your competitors are, as well as what other products their customers are likely to purchase. Sales leave an area when there is more demand for products or services than an area’s existing businesses can supply. If the sales potential of an area outweighs the total sales made, there is a demand gap in which your business could fill.
This type of information will help you find gaps in the market where your business may thrive. If a location you are considering matches your target market and has a demand gap, it might be a good place for your business. Once you know who your customers and competition are, you’ll be better prepared to find a location that suits your needs.
Do You Have A Budget?
It’s important to have a budget in mind before you look for new locations. Your budget will determine your price range and help you narrow your search. As you create your budget, you may want to ask yourself if your product is a convenience purchase or if visiting your business will be a destination for customers. Answering this question will help you estimate how much traffic your location will receive. This will determine what portion of your budget you should reserve for expenses such as advertising.
Depending on your product or service, you should be able to spend anywhere from 5% to 10% of your gross sales per square foot for rent. If you determine you’ll have less to spend on things like advertising, you may want to look for a location on the lower end of your price range. That way, you can put more of your money into generating traffic to your business.
Are you ready to open a business in Branson, MO?
At Commercial One Brokers, we can help you narrow down commercial real estate listings based on your needs. Contact our experts to learn more about bringing your business to Branson, MO.