A Practical Guide to Choosing an Office Location

One of the first rules that any good businessperson learns is that the location of their business’ office is essential to its success.

Office Building
Image: saraceninteriors.com

This is obviously true for business-to-consumer operations, which simply have to be in areas that are easily accessible to shoppers. But it is also true for business-to-business enterprises. Like any other business, they need to be an area that is convenient to their clientele, conducive to their overall operation, and in keeping with their particular brand. And for those reasons, it is essential that the people in charge of such businesses are careful about selecting the location of their offices.

If you have never been in the position of selecting a new office space before, it can be confusing to narrow down your options and key in on the essential variables in your search. So to assist you in search, we have put together a quick run-down of the most essential considerations when finding a new office space.

  1. Does Your Business Depend on Shoppers or Diners?

This is the first, and in many ways easiest, question to figure out. If your business depends on shoppers or, in the case of restaurants, diners, then you must choose a location where the shoppers and diners who would frequent your business are located. No other criterion can come before this. If another location is easier for your suppliers, or more convenient for your employees, it unfortunately doesn’t matter. Your success depends on going where the customers are, and so you have to figure out what those locations are, and then choose among them.

Fortunately, it is usually quite straightforward to find a good location if you are in retail or the restaurant business. But for those operating outside of the retail and restaurant realms, the question of finding the right office space can become much murkier and more complicated.

  1. Where Are Your Clients?

If you are not in retail or restaurants, then you probably work with a small group of clients whose accounts make up your entire business. And in many cases, the best office for you will simply be the one that puts you in closest proximity to these people. For example, if you run an advertising business, it will make sense to locate your firm in a business district, close to many large businesses with the budget to advertise. By choosing a location close to them, you make it easy for them to find you, convenient to make sales calls at their office, and you maximize the number of networking opportunities when you are in the neighbourhood outside of your office.

Or consider the example of a nursery school. Many nursery schools choose to locate themselves in close proximity to large residential areas. This makes it convenient for families who live in those areas to drop off their children at the nursery school, no matter where they are going. In fact, this is the reason many successful nursery schools are run out of homes within residential areas. It is also the reason that nursery schools are one of the only businesses that are legal to operate in residential areas. Customers want nurseries near their homes, and so governments have agreed to allow that, even though it is illegal to run other businesses out of private homes.

  1. What Location Is Best for Your Operations?

For some businesses, their customers and clients will be flexible enough that they don’t need to be located any one particular place. An example of this is an Internet business, which has customers all over the world. Because the company doesn’t need a physical storefront, it can choose its location based on maximizing the efficiency of its internal operations.

A great example of a location that is conducive to operations is a warehouse right beside a major interstate. Being close to an interstate makes it easy for shipping trucks to get to and from your business, and can substantially reduce your overall transportation costs. Depending on the scale of your business, it might be even more advantageous to be close to a major air shipping hub or seaport.

If you need help finding the right location for your operation, talk to real estate expert, like one of the Saracen commercial agents in London. These people are experts at helping you scout locations, evaluating your logistical needs with regard to location, and identifying available spaces that would work best for your company.

  1. What Is Best for Your Brand?

Not all locations are equal. Some get more foot traffic, some are more convenient for your suppliers, and some are more prestigious in the eyes of those who patronise your company. And if your company’s prestige or reputation is important to its success, then you want to choose a location that is in keeping with that reputation.

The most obvious examples of this are high-end boutiques. These stores are often located in malls or shopping areas that get less foot traffic than the very busiest parts of the city. Paradoxically, these high-end businesses can usually comfortably afford spaces in the higher traffic areas. But instead, they opt for space in more upscale, calm surroundings. Why? Because those places reinforce the exclusive, aspirational nature of their brands. Putting a high-end boutique in the most popular, high traffic part of the city subtly communicates that it is a shop for everybody, which is the opposite of the exclusivity that the business owner wants to project.

In other cases, businesses may choose to disregard their location and instead opt for the most striking office or facility for their operation. For example, many restaurants and hotels choose distinctive yet out-of-the-way locations. Some restaurants will be situated by lakes or rivers that are far off the beaten path, and not especially convenient for most restaurant goers. And although this seems counterintuitive, it can actually be a very successful strategy. If the alternative location is distinctive and memorable, people may actually prefer it to a more convenient or conventional location. So if your company is in the business of providing an “experience” like dining or vacation, you may want to look for the most memorable or interesting location you can find.

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