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Tips for Choosing Your New Location
Choosing a new location is perhaps the most important decision a business owner will make, so it requires precise planning and research. It involves looking at demographics, assessing your supply chain, scoping the competition, staying on budget, understanding municipal and provincial laws and taxes, and much more.
Here are some tips to help you choose the right business location:
Determine Your Needs
Most businesses choose a location that provides exposure to customers. Additionally, there are less obvious factors and needs to consider, for example:
Brand Image – Is the location consistent with the image you want to maintain?
Competition – Are the businesses around you complementary or competing?
Local Labor Market – Does the area have potential employees? What will their commute be like?
Plan for Future Growth – If you anticipate further growth, look for a building that has extra space should you need it, or potential to be relocated with ease.
Proximity to Suppliers – They need to be able to find you easily as well.
Safety – Consider the crime rate. Will employees feel safe while alone in the building or walking to their vehicles?
Evaluate Your Finances
Besides determining what you can afford, you will need to be aware of other financial considerations:
- Hidden Costs– Very few spaces are business ready. Include costs like operating costs, renovation, decorating, IT upgrades, and so on.
- Taxes– What are the business and sales tax rates for your province? What about property taxes?
- Minimum Wage– While the minimum wage in Alberta is approximately $15 per hour, other provinces may vary. View the Department of Labor’s list of minimum wage rates by province.
- Government Economic Incentives– Your business location can determine whether you qualify for government economic business programs, such as province-specific small business loans, non-profit tax breaks, and other financial incentives.
The Bottom Line
Do your research. Talk to other business owners and potential co-tenants. Consult your business community and utilize available resources, such as free government-provided demographic data, to help in your efforts.
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NAI Commercial Real Estate