In my last post on business locations, I only focused on customer considerations in deciding on where to locate a business. Even as crucial as the consumer factor is, there are quite a number of other factors to put into consideration. It thus follows that even where an area is considered as a consumer hot spot, other equally important factors might make the choice of that particular location, a big error.
One very other very important factor to consider is the availability basic infrastructure such as power, roads, communication, transportation, water and much more. I do not see a business doing very well in a location where power supply is non-existent or very unreliable. Power supply, whether hydro, gas or solar, is like blood to a business. Its absence causes a lot of problems to businesses since most business equipment need power to function. You can imagine what businesses that actually need power to render their services or sell their products, would do where there is no public power supply, or where it is unreliable. They would definitely need to generate their own power, usually at a higher cost. This would eventually have multiple chain consequences on the business – meeting up with other business expenses might be hampered, especially salaries, asking for a raise might be an “abomination,” re-stocking might be affected which can lead to stock-outs, stock-outs deals a bad blow on sales, low sales means low profits; dwindling profits, if it persists, leads to stagnation and eventually, collapse, in severe cases. A number of businesses have packed up because of this singular factor – power!!!
The state of transportation and roads and their networking, play very vital roles in the life of businesses. Businesses that are into manufacturing and buying and selling cannot but give serious thoughts about it. This is obviously because of their frequent movement of goods, in and out of the business premises. No doubt, roads also have impact on the life span of motor vehicles and their maintenance cost. Again, these also have chain consequences on the business.
The way businesses are being run today, communication is almost as important as money in business. Technology has changed the way communication is being carried out. The level of development is not the same everywhere. In some areas, communication services, in particular, the internet is far from being developed or reliable. This kind of situation will not speed up business growth. This kind of situation would also prevent the business from meeting up with global trends.
Security is another crucial issue. Insecurity is a very is a big enemy to anybody, let alone a businesses that needs people to come around for deals to be struck. Insecurity restricts movement, creates a general feeling of fear and anxiety; and in extreme cases, reduces the number of current and potential customers through deaths, particularly in areas experiencing wars and terrorist attacks.
Another vital factor to consider is the cost of labour. Labour costs seems to take a huge chunk of running expenses. A smart way out of this is to consider areas where labour cost is cheaper. Apart from having access to more eligible workers, running cost is greatly checked.
Government policies also affect businesses. Ignoring them might make the business to be at the mercies of the government later. Policies on taxes and fees, what is legal and what are not, personnel issues, business records, business hours and much more, have effects on business. Experience has shown that the “friendliness “of these policies defers from place to place. So, if you want to start up a business or you want to relocate, you might want to find out which location would have greater friendly government policies.
A business whose daily turnover is usually on a very high side would have to be security-conscious. One smart way of doing this is to look for a location that is close to banking facilities. This enables frequent movement of cash away from the office to the banks, which is considered safer.
In addition to these, businesses that see their employees as key to the success of the businesses, would be see it very necessary to consider easy access to health facilities when making location decisions. Employees give in their best when they have a feeling of care and concern coming from their employees.
Another important factor to consider is the cleanliness of the chosen location. A dirty location poses health hazards to everyone that has something to do with the business. If the business is into food processing, a clean environment would be their best best. A dirty environment therefore keeps people away. Such businesses also run the risk of constantly having problems with government health officials.
Finally, it might also be very important to consider competitors in making location decisions. The world of business, as we have it today, is a very competitive one. Some businesses merely exist. Some have intimidating profiles and stature. Some will attract customers which eventually strike deals with rival businesses. Some are serious threats to competing businesses that make the mistake of coming so close to locate their businesses next to it. A serious appraisal must be made of these realities.
In all, together with the first part of this post, it is obvious that businesses that are very successful today have actually done their homework very well.
I sure hope this post was worth your time.
Thanks for your time.