When it comes to deciding whether to start your business online or invest in a brick and mortar location, the decision can often seem overwhelming.
It is estimated that more than 70 percent of customers still prefer in-store shopping over online shopping, but that trend could change at any moment.
Having a combination of the two options is your best bet. Whether you are scouting out a new location for the first time, or just relocating your existing store from your former location, here are a few things that you should check for that you might not have thought of.
5 Things You Need to Check Before Purchasing a Brick and Mortar Business
1. What Businesses Thrive Nearby
We’ll get into location later, but what is the neighborhood like? What are the demographics of the surrounding community, foot traffic, and car traffic?
A good way to feel out the surroundings of the business is which local companies nearby do well. These don’t have to be competitors, but could be similar niche based small businesses like food businesses, salons, workout places, etc.
You can tell a lot about what a community is willing to spend their money on locally based on what shops thrive in the area.
2. Do Your Research On The Landlord
Depending on the deal you are signing, there is a chance you will end up with a landlord for the first several years of your purchase. Knowing what level of manager that person will be for you is crucial. Will repairs be fixed quickly? Will the shopping center, area or plaza you are located in be kept clean or improved over time?
Countless businesses end up in strip malls or plazas that are completely run down or uncared for by its ownership group which can torpedo a great business because no new customers will give it a chance based on its outward appearance, often out of the total control of the actual business owner.
3. Always Check for Outlets
One of the worst things that could happen is moving into your prime brick and mortar location only to find that there aren’t enough outlets or plugins for things like computers, printers, and displays.
Luckily, in today’s modern world, it’s possible to purchase countertop electrical outlets to ensure you have as many slots as you need to operate your business and still not have them be glaringly obvious.
It’s also important to have an inspector come out and check the wiring in the business as well, because no number of outlets will help if your breakers are tripping every time you plug something in.
4. Location, Location and Location
Even if thus far, you have never run anything but an online store, you have heard the refrain of location, location, location before.
Finding the right location for a brick and mortar store is paramount to the success of your business. For example, you don’t want to put up a teen fashion retail store in a location that caters mainly to the older crowd or open up a grocery store in a place that sees maybe three cars go by in three hours.
Location is extremely important so be careful when you’re planning where you want your store to reside. It’s also a good idea to speak with a realtor if you’re opening a business in an area in which you’re not entirely familiar.
5. Enough Space
When walking through the brick and mortar location you are considering, try to picture your inventory, displays, and essentials in that space.
Look at the blueprints, map it out in your head. Do you have enough space that it won’t be cramped? Is there enough storage in the back to store all of your inventory and unused displays?
Can you rearrange displays and products easily in the allotted space, while still giving your customers enough room to move while they walk through the store? These are questions that you should ask yourself and find the answers to before you sign on the dotted line to rent or purchase your retail store.
These are just a few of the things you should look for when choosing to open or move your brick and mortar store. From outlets to wiring and from location to space, following these tips will help you make your brick and mortar location the success you are hoping it will be and more.
Author: Anne Davis