Make Or Mar Ability Of Business Locations : The Consumer Factor

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residential-areaThe world of business is one with many rules. Those who know how to play by the rules or know how to manipulate the rules are those who are doing very well – making so much money and building very strong brands for themselves.

In this post, I have decided to address one of such “rules.” The simple “rule” is that: consumers MUST be given serious consideration in business location decisions as a condition for business success !!!

I have witnessed many businesses actually groan over poor sales/patronage, apparently, for failing to appreciate the power of the consumers in business success. One big mistake therefore, is to ignore them in business location decisions. Those businesses did not ask themselves some crucial questions : how close are we to our target market? Are we where our customers are? Can our target market easily find us here? Does our target market know how to find us? Is our business located where our products are needed? Did we do a customer-based analysis of the location we chose?

The are no general rules guiding business location decisions. What is simply required is a product-customer and business-customer analysis, where the key factors considered are the product, the business and their target market, before a decision is finally taken as to where the business would be located. Where these analyses are not done, the business is most likely to experience very low sales or stagnated sales. This is because the target market, which is the source of the sales were simply played down at the point of deciding where the business would be located.

So what happens where a business is “badly” located? Two of the businesses that inspired me to do this post have already relocated. One is a very low standard laundry business located in a high-brow serene residential area, which only sits and waits for customers to find them; the other is a recording house within the same area, which also wants the customers to come looking for them. Two, which are yet to move, are really complaining of very poor sales. One is a drug store and the other an electrical appliance store – all in a serene residential area where you see an average of one person per hour walking or driving by on the street.

Apart from relocating, a business experiencing low turnover as a result of location problems can invest in promotional activities – advertising, sales promotion, personal selling and public relations. The fact that customers MUST be reached out to is a non-negotiable and COMPULSORY aspect of business. Everything has to be done to attract customers !!! No business opens shop to display its exquisite interior and well dressed staff. Businesses depend on customers to survive. So, going the extra mile to reach them is not a display of business acumen, but a “mission to safe a boat from sinking!” This becomes even more challenging and necessary where the business is “badly” located.

So, are you planning on starting a business, avoid “crying over spilled milk” – take location decisions very serious !

Thanks for your time.

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Michael M.

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