Location, Location, Location

When you are buying or selling a house only three things count.  Location, Location, and Location.

Is location a factor if you are starting a business?

Location Factor #1 – Mindset:  Your location may make a difference in terms of what you think and know about small businesses.  I have only lived in Massachusetts, so I will mainly use my state as an example.  In the medium –sized cities, especially in the central area of the state,  I see few examples of small businesses; a few small restaurants usually owned by immigrants, insurance agencies, psychologists and counselors.  In the smaller the cities and towns  I see more examples or small businesses and seasonal businesses, especially in western Massachusetts, on  the North Shore and on Cape Cod .

In Worcester, my current hometown, my resume clients want jobs, even those well over 60 years who have been out of work for several years. If I suggest that they start their own business – I get a response of  “NO…. never heard of anyone doing such a thing successfully.”    They don’t even notice the examples that do exist – solitary massage therapists,  yoga studios, in which one owner began slowly ant then  hired additional instructors.  In the small towns to the west, my older clients are more likely to look around and see people who have started a “Boomer” business – Photographer, Handyman,  Mideastern pastries, computer repair.

Gallery

Gallery

Last week I was on vacation on Cape Cod.  Small businesses

Gift Store -consignment

Gift Store -consignment

are everywhere.   Mini art galleries, gift stores,  gift stores that sell gifts and crafts on a consignment basis, (fairy doors and accessories, any one?) photographers, wood carvings,  all kinds of jewelry businesses,  massage therapists working out of colonial homes,  and many homes that apparently convinced their owners to start bed and breakfasts.   On the Hyannis waterfront, fishing shacks have become the artist’s

Artist Shanty

Artist Shanty

shanties.

Fairy Door

Fairy Door

 

Location Factor #2 –  Working from Home:  If you are just beginning it is convenient and you can’t beat the  low price.  For some part time businesses, it is ideal: an internet business, landscaping, dog walking, coaching, some types of crafts.  Since no customers visit your business, all you need is some space, a telephone number, and your lap top.

Your home may not be suitable for businesses in which you will be having face-to-face contact with your clients, unless you have a separate space for your business.   I run my resume business,   halfpreneur.com, and my college teaching profession from what used to be our dining room.  I can easily  block off the room from the rest of the house, if clients enter through  my front door.  Unused In-law apartments can become a business space, a friend ran her Reiki and hypnosis business from the “apartment” that no relative needed.

If you plan on seeing customers, you also need to check on the zoning requirements of your city/town.

Location Factor # 3 – Choosing a Location:  If you cannot work from home for some reason, you will have to rent, lease, or share space.   Subletting an office or using a space that specializes in new businesses (sometimes referred to as incubators) may give you some instant visibility, and the price will be lower than renting a place on your own, which as a part-time entrepreneur you probably do not  even need.

If you are making a food item, you may need to rent time in a commercial kitchen.  Check the laws in your area, if you a producing a version of your family’s famous salsa or fudge.   Before renting or leasing a store for you craft items, check the market by starting at craft fairs or specialty consignment shops.  Look at trends in your area, you may want to run your craft business only during the summer in an area that has tourist traffic and use the internet and craft fairs the rest of the year.

For any small business, especially for one serving actual customers in real time, you first must determine that there is a need for your product or service.  Location will make a difference in terms of attracting business and what you can charge.  If my resume service were located in Boston or New York, I could be charging much higher prices for my services!   www.career-development-services.com

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