Looking to change locations or add a new one? There’s a lot of work to be done! There’s the balancing of anticipated costs and income. There are demographic considerations. These are mandatory to think about when you’re dealing with a location change. How can you make sure that you transition without all the headaches? Here are some ideas to help you:
Do a zip code check: Tell your customers you are thinking about adding a location and ask them what their zip code is. Grab a sample of zip codes from an average month. In fact, if you are able, ask every customer that month. Get a map of the city and mark all the zip codes and count how many customers reside in each zip code. You may find that you’re not in the best location right now, even if you’re on a busy street. Once you know where your potential clientele lives, narrow down your search to just a few major streets in that zip code area and see how busy they are. This isn’t the only way to find a new location, but it is helpful. This will also help you predict what customers you could potentially lose by moving. For example, if you move closer to a busy zip code, you could lure some customers away from your original location. Although you may break even income-wise, your expenses will be higher because those customers are no longer supporting your old store.
Check bus routes and rush hour: What factors could influence customers to come in or avoid your store? If you are right on a major bus route, check to see where those bus routes go. That’s a great place to start advertising. Be aware of the impact that morning, noon, and evening rush hour could have on your business. For example, people won’t want to turn left through traffic if it’s busy.
Try out the location: Although it won’t give you a definitive answer, why not consider a special event at several locations around the city? You may have to hire and train temporary staff, but it could give you a good indication of local interest. Depending on your products, you could rent an RV, tent, box truck, or trailer and have a big sale. Advertise it in each section of the city and see what local reaction you receive. You may take a loss on some of the sales but it could generate good local interest. Try it again shortly and see if your measurement is similar.
Partner: If you are worried that a move might mean that you will lose some customers who may be sensitive to location, consider partnering with several local retailers. Have them sell your products in their store for a small percentage of the profits and let your customers know that the same great product and service is still conveniently close to them, just in a different store.