We cannot deny that online shopping is becoming increasingly more popular among customers, however retail stores remain responsible for the majority of purchases.
Retail space entails any physical locations where people sell products or services, such as shopping centres or smaller individual shops on high streets. Your retail space will differ, depending on your needs, although it should be big enough for you to keep your inventory and easily accessible by customers.
Finding the perfect retail space is crucial for your business to flourish, as it will determine how accessible your space is, and how many consumers visit your store. In this article, we will discuss how to find retail space to fit your needs.
Pinpoint your needs
When you make the decision to bring your business into retail, finding a great place is vital for the success of your business. Every retail place will be different and every business will have different requirements, therefore it is important that first of all, you reflect on what your needs are and exactly what specific criteria you are looking for the retail place. Having a clear idea of what you want, will help you narrow your search for the perfect place. Some of the factors you should consider in order to achieve this are:
The area where you choose to set up your business will have a significant impact on how well your business does and on your sales. Analyze your target audience, and look for a location where you are likely to target this cohort. For example, if you have a sweet shop, the ideal location would be in a park or near schools, where there are children.
The ideal retail space should be easily accessible by potential customers, either by public transport or by car, and parking is an important factor as well. People are less likely to come to your shop if they have nowhere to park or if it is difficult to come to, for any reason.
Think about how much space you need, realistically and how much you can afford. Bigger spaces will evidently be more expensive than smaller ones, and you do not want to be wasting money on space that you do not necessarily need. You can conduct your own research on the cost per square foot of retail places that you like and consider how much inventory you have. If you know the location you want and there are other stores in the area, do not be shy to ask questions to your potential fellow sellers.
When you have an idea of the size of the property you require, make a budget and stick to this. The budget will entail much more than just your mortgage or rent, and you still need to be turning a profit, as that is the whole purpose of having a business.
Identify Ideal Locations
After you have considered exactly what you require your ideal retail space to be, you need to start identifying locations that you admire and are willing to set up your business in. Finding a location is not always straightforward as there are a few factors that you should be taking into consideration, before making a final decision:
As discussed previously, you will have to consider who your target audience is and ensure that the location of your retail space targets these groups. Ideally, you will want to set up your business where there is a higher concentration of the cohort you aim to market to.
Unfortunately criminality against businesses is a serious issue, and in some areas, quite frequent. The damage and potential financial loss caused by this can be very detrimental for your business, as not only you will lose money, you may also lose potential customers due to fear of crime. Aim to check crime rates in a specific location to prevent this and to ensure that your business does not have to suffer because of this.
Small Business Community
Other businesses are not always competition, oftentimes you can actually support each other and refer customers. This is an effective way to develop partnerships and grow your business. Check the area to see what the location you aim for already offers in terms of other businesses.
Similarly to what was discussed above, it is important to also check the area for potential competitors. You do not want the area of your business to be filled with similar businesses to yours, already offering what you offer, unless there is a high demand for the market that the existing retail places are unable to meet. If you set up shop next to a similar business who is already meeting the demand, it can be difficult for you to approach and gain new customers without having something new to offer.
Find a Real Estate Broker
Evidently, looking and finding your ideal retail place on your own is an option, but this can be a difficult and overwhelming process, particularly if you are not familiar with the process. You can consider hiring a commercial real estate broker, who is qualified and has the required experience not only to help you find your dream retail place, but also to negotiate a favourable rate and lease terms on your behalf. The experts behind phillipsedison.com suggest finding a broker who can provide support to customers around in-house leasing, property management, accounting, acquisitions, dispositions, development and financing teams. Obtaining expert support may not seem required but it can make a significant difference in how well your business succeeds.
Inspect Each Potential Retail Space
Once you have narrowed your search and found a few retail places you like and that fit your needs and budget, you must visit each place so you can ask questions and so that you can carefully investigate it and look for anything that does not match your requirements. When you inspect a retail place, there are specific factors you must consider:
As discussed above, parking should be available as it would make it more accessible for customers. This does not necessarily have to be on-site, a nearby car park would be enough.
Consider the retail space’s visibility and whether people can easily see it. You are more likely to attract customers if they can see your place rather than if it is hidden away.
Look around carefully to check the condition of the place. If it is an old building requiring a lot of work, it may put an unexpected strain on the budget.
Having a dressing room, bathroom, or back office are some of the additional amenities you may want your retail to have. You will likely have employees working for you and these are some of the basic requirements to have in the workplace.
The retail place could be equipped with shelving and merchandising displays, and if not, you may have to build and install these yourself.
Having your own business is a very important step and having the retail space you need will be the biggest contributing factor to your success. Follow some of the tips discussed above and you will surely find the retail space of your dreams.