A difficult decision that every business owner must overcome is where their business should be located. Choosing a location is important, you’ll be thinking (or should be thinking!) about how the potential area can contribute to the success of your business, or perhaps how it won’t! There are a long list of aspects to consider when choosing the perfect commercial space for your business.
You should be asking yourself how important location is in terms of sales, for example, do you rely on footfall? Do you need to be central to certain amenities? Do you have a limit to the rent you can afford? Is the location a concern for other staff members? Yes, there’s a lot to think about!
Let’s break it down and compare two of the main options you’re likely to be considering, a Business Park and central City/Town location.
- Staff are more able to drive and park their car as opposed to a city location where parking can be expensive and hard to come by.
- The ability to drive makes for an easier and less stressful commute for many. Steering clear of a central location should mean less traffic and time.
- Rent can be cheaper in ‘out of town’ locations so you might find it’s a cost effective alternative.
- Business parks and centres often have handy, shared on-site facilities such as a gym, conference centre and café. Use of these facilities is usually included in the cost of your rent.
- There is often a lack of public transport to, and around business parks. It might be that you introduce a car-sharing scheme to reduce costs for your staff. Staff that do not possess a car could also find this a struggle.
- Business Parks can be potentially isolating for staff, they’re often out of town and therefore not in walking distance of shops and local amenities.
- You can also find it hard attracting the right employees with the correct skill set. Operating from a business park could put off city dwellers who possess the right skills but aren’t willing to move.
- A central town or city location will have plenty of public transport links for staff, but also visitors too.
- You’ll be close to shops, facilities and services for example the post office, handy for when you need to pop out.
- You’ll attract a wider audience of potential employees for the future, a larger pool of skilled individuals are likely to be job-hunting in central areas such as recent graduates.
- Rent is likely to be higher in central locations, you’ll pay a premium price for space that is generally smaller than what you could get in a business park.
- Parking will be limited, in central locations car spaces are few and far between, unless you have the luxury of private parking then it’s usually very expensive too.
- You won’t have access to free facilities such as conference rooms and a café for staff.
Whilst the business park does just outweigh in terms of advantages, this is all very subjective and will vary in terms of your business type and needs. The main factor is how important location is to the daily running and success of your business. A few questions I would recommend contemplating:
- Do you rely on footfall?
- Do customers come on foot?
- Do you regularly have visitors, some of whom may not drive?
- Will the new location help to draw in more business?
- Will you be taking yourself away from potential business?
- Do your staff require nearby public transport?
The key is understanding what it is you want, what you can afford and how you can best achieve this. It’s also important to communicate with your staff too as any major changes could affect their day-to-day lifestyle. Share your concerns and work towards a solution that suits the majority. Good luck!