Starting a new business can be the thrill of a lifetime. In front of you, you have the possibility of personal and professional achievement. Times, however, have changed dramatically, and some old adages about business don’t necessarily hold true anymore. “Location is everything” is no longer applicable in today’s digital world. Some businesses begin in basements. Others thrive in old industrial warehouses.
The internet is your storefront now, which allows you to focus your energies on more pressing concerns for your new business venture. With the rapid advancement of technology, you need to worry about location much less than you think.
Here are five elements that should be more important to consider than location when starting your business:
Despite the prior two paragraphs, location is still important—just not in a way that you may have considered yet. Certain locations will obviously cost more than others. When you are a fresh, young business, you might decide that your money is better spent elsewhere and pass on that exposed brick property on Main Street for something more affordable.
You also want to consider everything you need in the space you will be renting or buying — shelving, lighting, fixtures, artwork, etc. It’s good to save money when you are looking for office space, but if you go too far, you might wind up missing some of the amenities that you need. It’s a balancing act.
A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to pay the first three months’ rent plus deposit on the space you decide to rent. It is also wise to ask if there are any extra fees or administrative costs, as even small ones can add up, and you’ll be spending more than you wanted before you know it.
It’s a great idea for fledgling business owners to find a space that is already within the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If it isn’t, you will have to make changes to the space to comply with ADA regulations. Installing handicap ramps, handrails in restrooms and widening doorframes isn’t cheap. Or easy.
Of course, accessibility goes beyond considerations for your customers who have disabilities. You want a location that will be easy enough for your employees to get to. If you have distributors, you want to make sure that getting to your business isn’t an absolute nightmare.
3. Your brand
You need to keep your brand top-of-mind because you want your business to be in an area that makes sense. For example, if you are an office supply store, it would make sense to be near offices or schools, as opposed to a high-end shopping district.
If you put your business in an area that makes sense for your brand, you are more likely to have new customers walking in because they will have come to that specific spot for a specific thing.
4. Style and feel
There was a time when people in the business world might have thought that caring about the interior of your office space was simply a frivolity, but that is not the case. Think about it: You and your employees will spend a lot of time in the workplace. The only place they’ll spend more time at is home.
Having a space that you enjoy is crucial for your mental health and the mental health of your employees. If you and your employees like where they work, they are more likely to be more productive.
In the modern era, you need to make sure that the space you rent has the infrastructure to operate with all the technology you need. For example, be sure to double-check that you are in a location that offers reliable high-speed internet.
In 2023 and beyond, location won’t matter as much for a new business as it used to. Pay close attention to the aforementioned elements to set yourself up for as much success as possible.
Contributed to EO by Jason Streiff, president of Streiff Marketing, an Amazon agency that has deep roots in the Amazon seller and vendor space and helps brands succeed on Amazon Retail and Amazon Marketplace.