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Tips for Choosing Your Business Location
Choosing a business location is perhaps the most important decision a small business owner or startup 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,
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.
Proximity to Suppliers – They need to be able to find you easily as well.
Safety – Consider the crime rate. Will employees feel safe alone in the building or walking to their vehicles?
City of Calgary Resources
Zoning Regulations – These determine whether you can conduct your type of business in certain properties or locations. We can help to find out how property is zoned.
VISTA- (View Information Specific To your Application) Operated by the City of Calgary, the VISTA service focuses on delivering application-specific information to customers of Development & Building Approvals. Anyone who has submitted an application for a permit is able to log on to the VISTA website using their Job Access Code (JAC). This online service allows a customer to view a report on the status of their application.
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.
Government Economic Incentives – Your business location can determine whether you qualify for government economic business programs, such as province-specific small business loans and other financial incentives.
Is the Area Business Friendly?
Understanding laws and regulations imposed on businesses in a particular location is essential. As you look to grow your business, it can be advantageous to work with a small business specialist or counselor. Check what programs and support your federal and provincial government and local community offer to small businesses. Many provinces offer online tools to help small business owners start up and succeed. Local community resources such as Small Business Assistance (SBA) Offices, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and other government-funded programs specifically support small businesses.
Securing and protecting your ownership
Buying and owning real estate may be a wise investment and a significant achievement, but there's no denying it comes with inherent risks. Common issues can delay or scuttle your deal, make it difficult to secure financing, and add unexpected costs to purchasing and owning real estate. They can put your ownership into question – even years later – and threaten your ability to sell in the future. Fortunately,FCT title insurance takes care of the risks, letting you buy and own real property with confidence.
The Bottom Line
Do your research. Talk to other business owners and potential co-tenants. Consult the small business community and utilize available resources, such as free government-provided demographic data, to help in your efforts.