How to find a business location as a Kenyan beginner entrepreneur
A new business owner has got so many challenges one of them including finding a perfect location for their business.
A business location means knowing where your ideal client hangs out and how they are going to locate you in your new business premises.
For your ideal client to know your business location, you need to keep the following tips in mind.
To find a business location, consider the following:
Where is your target market located
To know where your business will be located, you need to know where your target market will be. A target market is a group of people you serve. This group/ideal client needs to know of your existence. To find out about your target market, you need to ask some simple questions, will they find me. Do they know of me and my products/services
A business location isn’t suited anywhere but where the ideal/potential client is. You need to know who your ideal client is.
2. What brand image do you want to convey
Do you know what your brand is? If you don’t know what your brand is all about, read my article on what’s a brand and why branding is important. A brand encompasses all areas of doing business including
Your brand’s name
Your brand’s mission statement
Your brand’s vision statement
What customer service means and what role it plays in your brand
A brand image is your business’s identity and must not be toyed with when finding a business location.
You need to get recognised as a brand that embraces its customers and fully.
3. How do you fit in or stand against competitors
In finding a business location, you need to ask, if, for example, there are other businesses near mine similar to mine, how am I going to stand out from the competition.
Even if you strive to be as different as possible by knowing your niche market and marketing to that niche, there are competitors.
In fact, if you don’t see competitors something is missing from your business.
Your business location means you finding your unique selling proposition.
This means knowing what your business does different, for example, if you are a tour and travel company and there are many around you, how do you stand out from the competition.
What is it that you do differently in your business that makes you unique and hence a customer puller.
For example, is it your customer service that’s excellent, is it your travel packages that are different.
4. How close to suppliers do you need to be at
When looking for a business location, ask yourself how close to my suppliers do I need to be.
Who are my suppliers and is my business location accessible to my suppliers. Meaning, when they are delivering things, how close are you to where your suppliers are.
Do they need to travel and if so is my location in a place where they don’t need further direction?
Having a business located near your distributors means reducing the cost of goods and faster delivery of products to your premises.
5. Put your clients needs first
Your client’s needs to determine your business location.
What are your clients looking for and how are you going to provide for them their needs.
If for example clients are looking for soap making products, and you set business selling cake making supplies, your client’s needs aren’t met and they’ll look for soap making suppliers elsewhere.
6. Think about yourself and where you will find your happiness
What are your personal needs and how do they play a role when looking for a business location.
Where are you happy at and why. For example, I love the comfort of working from home and feel more productive at home but sometimes I feel like having a location-based business helps me get productive.
Don’t choose a business location based on what others say but what makes you happy and where you feel your creativity jumping.
Putting yourself first means finding your happy spot and when you have your happy spot, you have your business goals met.
7. Be at the centre of the action
Be at the centre of the action when finding a business location means, finding the place where there’s traffic. And also where your target market hangs out a
8. If renovations are required, are there restrictions on what you can and cannot do
If renovations are important in your business location, you need to know that some areas don’t require for you to do them.
It’s illegal because of causing further damage to the property or accidents. So, ask yourself if your business location will need renovations.
9. Consider SEO
When finding a business location in 2019 and beyond, use google’s power of location-based search.
This means keying in the words, for example, shop to let in Mombasa.
And google will bring to you all the locations in Mombasa with shops to let. Seo location-based searching is becoming the go-to search preferred by many.
10. Will you have to do renovations
If renovations are a necessary step for you in order to get your business location, you need to consider the cost of the renovations and time.
If time is a factor to consider, well, buy a premise or rent one which doesn’t require a lot of work in them.
11. What kind of neighbourhood is your business?
The kind of neighbourhood matters when finding a business location because of the pricing.
When setting up your business location, your customers need to afford your goods.
If for example, setting up a luxury store in Kawangware are the customers in this location able to afford what you are selling.
12. Do you have access to an engaged community that is eager to help
An engaged community when finding your business location means, finding ready customers.
Customers hungry enough to encourage you to develop products/services that suit what they want.
An engaged community also means customers patronising you throughout because they love and believe in your brand.
13. Can you afford to pay employees minimum wage
There’s nothing as excruciating as starting a business and having it in a great location but not having money to pay minimum salaries.
You need your workers and they play a role in your business getting or losing customers, and not paying your workers makes customers wary of your services/products.
14. Consider ease of being found
Is your business easy to find or is it as hard to locate on Google maps as it is to locate physically?
Your business needs to have clear descriptions of where you are at.
Customers don’t want to spend five lifetimes looking for you even if you have the best products.
They’ll consider another location with poor products and which can be found.
If you are located in a complicated place, for example, in residential building, ensure that you have arrows showing exactly where the customers should be heading.
15. Is your area business-friendly
Have you ever walked around Lavington area and seen how deserted it looks.
Or in one of your business location finds, have you seen how hard it is to find vibandas or they are all closed.
Having your business in an area less frequented by foot traffic if your business is a foot-traffic oriented business means losing business.
For example, in Milimani in Nakuru, someone opened a kiosk in a location where there are rarely people passing but cars. She closed her premises.
The location is great, the area is secured but where are the customers. Knowing where your customers like to shop is also essential.
16. How much are property taxes? How much are income and sales taxes?
If buying property for your business, consider property tax.
In simple terms, property tax means tax charged on a property by the owner to the municipal/local government.
This is the value placed on the whole premise plus all other businesses you own in one property.
It’s important to know about your property tax because you don’t want the Kenya revenue authority arriving at your doorstep for lack of tax payment.
17. Consider zoning laws
Zoning laws in simple terms means situating your business where it’s not allowed.
For example, when finding a business location for a school, a zoning location would be near a bar or a busy road/highway.
Ask your local council what sort of business is acceptable in a certain area means lowering your risk of headaches in the future with the council government.
18. How to find a commercial property ideas
Is it easy to find a commercial property for your business? Yes, with property managers in Kenya, it’s easier to get property.
For example, consulting with a property manager, they advise you according to your budget and also the location and what it’d be suitable to do.
Best property managers include those who listen, have great customer service or gear towards providing excellent service.
Then, they must be willing to take you around to sample all the commercial properties they have in mind.
In conclusion, when finding a business location as a beginner entrepreneur, you can get overwhelmed if not confused on what premise you need for your business.
Don’t fret, do you know your target market very well and what you’ll be selling to them.
If you are aware of your target market, you cannot get confused on what to sell or how to locate your customers.
Beware of the kind of property you want and the property laws put in place by either the municipal council or the property agent.
Also, ensure that customers find your business location easier, make your business location SEO searchable by using google keyword location research.
What strategies as a new business owner in Kenya did you use to find your business location.