Does location really matter in today’s business world?

A few years ago a client posed this question and we took a little journey to discover the answer.  Like most entrepreneurs, when they were looking for a location for their business they heard the mantra “location, location, location” over and over. Most businesses count on drive-by traffic from cars, pedestrian, or other forms of transportation to drive their business.  The real estate agent found them this great location on a major thoroughfare with great visibility and at a great price. Every business’  dream right?

After several months of struggles, they finally asked another very important question. Why isn’t my business growing in the “perfect location”?  The answer was simple.  The location was totally wrong for their business.  More on that in a moment.

For most businesses, that location would have been amazing. A retail spot like that would have been perfect for a salon, spa, health food store, art studio, clothing or jewelry store or even a doctor/dental office. It would have provided great exposure with signage on the building so vehicle traffic would be capitalized for marketing. It would have had enough parking for customers. Of course, that is exactly why they rented it, because every business needs all of those things, right?

Not so for this particular business.  Once this business relocated to another location that was more private and remote, their business actually picked up and thrived. Why would a more remote location have had such a profound result?

The answer lies in the type of business and the customer base. Can you imagine a necessary service where a customer wouldn’t want to be seen walking in the front door? Or perhaps the business doesn’t need frontage or exposure to drive-by traffic for marketing- an eCommerce business, call center, lab, or other business not directly serving consumers?

Now back to the question. Why did this amazing location turn out not to be not so amazing? Their customers desired privacy and a discrete location. These desires were not factored in when they were looking for their perfect location. The business? A head lice removal company (I apologize if your head is now itching). Of course, their customers would want a remote, discrete location.

Every business must do a complete market analysis and get in the mind of their consumer as they select their location and develop their marketing strategies. Winging it, as many businesses do, can be very costly and ultimately cause the demise of the business.

Would your business benefit from vehicle traffic? Bicycle or pedestrian traffic? All of the above? Choosing your business location is critical to the success of your business. Choose wisely.