Business location is one of the most important decisions that someone launching or expanding a brick-and-mortar business will make. Here are five tips for choosing the right business location that can help you zero in on the best one for your business.

5 Ways to Determine Whether a Potential Business Location is Right for You

Location, location, location! For brick and mortar businesses, few decisions will have more of an impact on the ultimate success and sustainability of their business than the location where they choose to open their doors. Here are five things to consider if you are going to open a new business or expand your business to a new location any time soon.

Few decisions will impact a new business’s ability to be profitable and sustainable more than that of where to locate the business. We came up with this five-point checklist to help those who are looking for help in deciding whether a potential location would be good for their business in the short term as well as over the long haul.

5-Point Checklist for Choosing the Right Business Location for a Brick and Mortar Store

1. The Proximity of Ideal Client Types (Target Audiences) to the Business Location

Put me in an interesting location with good people – and I’m there.” – Jane Curtin

The proximity of a proposed new business location to individuals that would be a close match to the organization’s “Ideal buyer types” as well as general target audiences is the first consideration that must be satisfied. If a brick-and-mortar business location is not convenient to an adequate number of target audience members relative to where they live, work or play, it’s not likely to be successful or sustainable.

One obvious way to determine whether a location would be suitable for starting a new business or expanding an existing business into a new location is to spend some time at the site, watching to see what type of clientele is patronizing the other existing businesses in the area. Census data and trends can also provide important insight. And free tools like Claritas 360 Zip Code Look Up (formerly Nielsen’s Prizm) can provide you with an overview of the demographics and lifestyle characteristics of zip codes immediately surrounding a proposed site.

2. Business Location Price (Compared to Projections)

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” – Winston Churchill

The cost of a business location is not just a dollar amount. This Excel spreadsheet profit and loss template can help you lay out a three year projection that puts a location’s rent (or lease or mortgage amount) plus property taxes, insurance and other costs into perspective.

profit and loss statement template

Besides the actual dollar amount you would pay to lease, rent or buy in order to get into a prospective new business location, you should also take a look at whether the landlord is willing to make concessions or allowances for any of the following:

  • When does the agreement kick in? You do not want to be paying rent during the weeks or months it takes to make the upgrades, repairs, renovations or remodeling that need to be completed before your doors even open.
  • Who is responsible for the cost of renovations and upgrades needed to open your business?
  • How long are you going to be locked in, how much notice do you need to give in order to vacate, and are there any ‘kick out’ clauses that give you the right to leave if your business can’t make it there?
  • Are rent increases automatic or tied to a percentage of business growth? How often has the landlord typically raised rent for tenants, and how large have the increases been?
  • Who is responsible for facility repairs and maintenance for your square footage? How about for common areas?
  • Will you have the ability to sublease the space or re-assign the lease to another business should your business need to move somewhere else (or close?)
  • Can you add co-tenancy agreements, so that if a tenant leaves that typically helps bring traffic to your store, you can relocate as well?
  • Can you negotiate for an exclusivity clause that prohibits the landlord from renting other nearby properties to competing businesses?
  • Do you have to make personal guarantees or provide any personal collateral that would be at risk if your business could not fulfill the terms of the lease?

Before signing onto a long term lease or rental agreement, it would be well worth your time to speak to other tenants or the owners of nearby businesses for insights on the quality of property management that the landlord generally provides. It could also be beneficial to work with a broker in order to negotiate through the terms of the agreement in order to protect your business, your own personal assets or achieve concessions which effectively reduce the real cost of the property.

3. The Business Location’s Amenities

Location is all about the efficiency of work for me.” – Michelle Grabner

Some of the location’s amenities may be reflected in the lease or rental agreement as noted above in terms of costs; however, that’s not all. For instance, a location’s proximity to key vendors and suppliers could also make it a more attractive alternative than others.

A location that provides an easy commute and also offers great options for employees to eat, shop, workout, and so on, that could also make it more attractive to quality hires, as would enhanced security and safety, low crime and an overall good reputation.

When considering amenities, think about the non-direct benefits that a location has to offer. If these characteristics make it more attractive for your customers or your employees, they should be considered.

4. The Location’s Alignment with Your Brand

Location is the key to most businesses, and entrepreneurs typically build their reputation at a particular spot.” – Phyllis Schlafly

The location you choose for your business should align well with your brand. If the appearance, décor, ambiance and other characteristics that impact customer’s perception of your brand do not align with your brand’s reputation (or the brand reputation you want to build), then the location may not be right.

You may be able to upgrade or renovate to turn a location’s square footage into one worthy of your brand reputation; however, if other businesses in the area or common areas contradict that image, then – again – it might not be the best place for your organization.

5. Projected Location Changes

The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” – Michael Porter

Here today, gone tomorrow? When choosing a location for your startup business or choosing a place to add a new franchise or branch of your business, you can’t just consider what the location has to offer today, especially if you will be committing to a long term lease or you will be investing significantly in order to bring the space up to par.

Project into the future three years, five years, ten years or even twenty years down the road. How will your business change? Will the site still be adequate to your needs? Is there room to expand? Will the location continue to be convenient to where members of your target markets are expected to live or work?


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The number of U.S. full and part time independent workers soared over 42 million in 2018. Businesses who find ways to serve and sell to independent workers have a lot to gain.

6 Ways to Sell More to Independent Workers

The number of U.S. full and part time independent workers rose astronomically from 2011 to 2018, going from 16 million to just over 42 million people over the 8 year span, according to MBO Partners State of Independence in America survey. During the same time period, the number of high-earning independents (earning over $100,000 annually) went from 12.5 percent of indies to over 20 percent – more than 3 million workers. By 2023, over half of American workers will have worked as an independent worker at some point during their career.

What is an Independent Worker?

Independent workers are people 21 years old and older who are self-employed as freelancers, contractors, consultants, temporary and on-call workers or who are working on fixed-term employment contracts expected to last less than one year. In addition to adding numbers to their ranks, the study found that independent workers:

  • Generate more than $1.3 trillion to the economy
  • Are multi-generational – Full-Time Indies are comprised of 37% Millennials, 28% Gen X and 35% Boomers/Matures
  • 79% are happier working on their own than at a traditional job
  • Love having the ability to control their own schedules, with 76% of women and 58% of men saying that flexibility was the key reason for choosing the independent route, and 71% of women saying they wanted to control their own schedule
  • Love being their own boss, with 67% of men and 58% of women citing this as their top reason for choosing independent work
  • Know no borders – 1 in 5 have customers outside the U.S.

Since the post-recession economic recovery has been described as a jobless recovery, it’s not really surprising that entrepreneurial-minded and professionally ambitious workers turned to independent work as a primary or secondary source of income during recent years. Given the rate at which this segment is expected to continue to grow, businesses who find ways to serve and sell to independent workers have a lot to gain.

6 Ways to Win the Hearts, Minds, and Purchases of US Solopreneurs

Scale Offers and Options

If it were easy, everyone would do it. The truth is, it’s not always easy to scale offers to the size, scope and price a solo-preneur would find affordable and attractive that will also still be profitable for a business to sell; but the long term benefits could be well worth it. As independent workers become small business owners and continue to grow, these early partners – businesses that cared enough to tailor programs to help independent workers – stand to win.

Find Common Ground

Independent workers might not be able to meet you during a 9-5 workday or come to a downtown office location. In fact, meeting at a large corporate site might be intimidating or even be a turn off to independent workers, who might feel like they don’t belong or who don’t want to be part of a big organization.

Meet independents on their own ground, a coffee shop or another neutral site, or connect online (virtual ground) and be prepared to accommodate their schedules.

Invest in Gathering Places

Sponsor events or extend meeting space to local indies who might have difficulty finding locations suitable for customer events. Consider advertising with co-working office spaces. Host solo-preneur networking events and workshops.

All of these entrepreneur-friendly actions position your business to be able to sell to independent workers now, help you establish brand awareness and trust that brings them back to you when they need your services or products at a later time, or help you win with referrals as they tell other small business owners about your presentation or brand.

Give Away Expertise

Providing your expertise as an event speaker, coach or mentor might cost you little more than a few hours each month, but might be invaluable to the independent workers who benefit from your experience and advice. Starting a regular podcast or hosting webinars gives you a low-cost entrepreneur marketing tactic that can generate a wide following and leads among Indies.

Scale this type of give-away by building email contact databases segmented so that you can keep your brand in front of independent workers by providing them advice and content via email on a regular basis.

Support Indies with Online Content

As with any other vertical, starting the conversation with independent workers and educating them along the buying journey is critical. Publish white papers, reports, statistics and apps that can help independent workers and small business owners find – and trust – your business. Dedicate web landing pages and blog articles to topics that are likely to interest and engage indies. Use social media to engage and dialogue with them.

Demonstrate the Long-Term Value of Partnership

One size does not fit all, especially when it comes to independent workers. Although frugality and caution can be found in buyers of any-size organization, it’s even more imperative for independent workers to maximize the return on investment for each and every dollar they invest in improving their business.

You might also like: What Small Business Owners Wish They Knew at the Start-Up

Put the value of your partnership into language and numbers they can understand, and show them how your business works to ensure they get the best results from the services or products they buy from you. Success shouldn’t be measured only by whether your business achieved its goals, but also by the extent to which your business helped its clients achieve theirs.

It is this type of mindset that can help you win the hearts, minds and purchases of independent workers, and it is this type of mindset that will receive the most gratification when your clients leverage your products or services to grow.

Infographic - 8 Years of Insight on the Growth of the Independent Workforce