In finding the right location for your business, there are three things that you should study closely as these will directly affect the success of your business.
Whether you are negotiating with the malls or independent landlords, be prepared with your research. For example, when scouting for prospective sites, make it a point to visit the location several times. Go the place at various times of the day. Do not visit the place only on “strong” days like Monday and Friday; go also on traditionally lean days, such as Tuesday and Thursday. This will give you a clearer picture of the amount (whether pedestrian or motorist), and kind of foot traffic in that area.
Visiting the site at different times of the day, on different days, will allow you to determine the sustainability of the location in terms of foot or motorist traffic. If your product or service is directed to the mass market, look for a site that is heavy in foot traffic. For more upscale establishments, look for a location with high motorist traffic. In this case, you have to have a location where parking is available.
Other businesses in the area
You must also observe the other commercial establishments in your desired location.While most people look at traditional indicators—like competitors in the area as well as the presence of offices, hospitals, churches, and other places where people tend to congregate—there are other more subtle indicators one should look at. For example, it would not be wise to locate a high-end restaurant in an area where there are pawnshops. Instead, the restaurateur must put his business in a site near banks.
A pawnshop in the area indicates that people there are probably not spending so much, while in an area where there is a bank, people usually have money to spend.
People who frequent the place
A final thing you must do before approaching the landlord is to talk to the people around the area. Talking to cigarette vendors, street sweepers, traffic aides, basically anyone who is in the area all the time. Ask whether the area is prone to flooding, about the people who usually patronize the other establishments in the general vicinity, the peace and order situation, and anything that would give you more information about the place.
These details could give you leverage when negotiating the rent with the landlord. For example, if the property is situated in an area that gets flooded during the rainy season, you can request the landlord to raise the floors at his expense. Or you can negotiate to take on the task, with the cost deducted from your rent.