Mortar businesses are quickly disappearing as more and more companies migrate online. Thanks to digitalization, becoming an entrepreneur has never been so accessible. But, like everything that was popular in the nineties, physical stores are making a comeback. And for good reason.
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Independent businesses operating from physical locations can help breathe new life into high streets. You’re afforded opportunities for face-to-face interactions that deepen customer loyalty while being able to offer services not available online.
Are you taking the leap from online to offline? Here’s your practical guide to finding the perfect mortar location.
Know Your Demographic Targets
For any business to thrive, its success requires understanding who it’s marketing to. And that’s true whether you’re working virtually or physically. So just like you wouldn’t flog your wares in spaces your demographic doesn’t frequent online, don’t attempt the same with your brick-and-mortar store.
Knowing your demographics means understanding who’s shopping for your goods, how they’re shopping, where they’re shopping, and how they like to shop. This’ll help you nail down a location that works. That includes thinking about where your store is, who you’re closest to, and what opening times you might display on your website. Understanding these factors means you’ll have more success when you open.
Consider The Foot Traffic
Foot traffic will is the be and end-all for brick-and-mortar businesses. Locating where you’ll get higher footfall can be the difference between success and failure. Even if all those people don’t buy, they’re still potential customers who could buy. And if they don’t buy, they can spread the word about your store.
You can assess foot traffic before agreeing on a potential location. But maximizing that footfall comes after. Once you’re in the shop. From there, you can use data to inform your decisions on opening hours, staffing levels, and where to concentrate your marketing efforts. This optimizes everything you do from the get-go.
Evaluate Its Accessibility
The goal of having a physical location is to get people through the door. And to do that, you need to be inclusive and accessible. So when looking for a place to open your offline store, take time to assess every aspect of the building.
Are there stairs in the location? Will you need to invest money to improve access? Do you need to make adjustments to ensure health and safety? Considering all this before settling on a place means you can decide whether it’s somewhere you can afford. Because getting a physical store means doing it right the first time.
Analyze The Local Competition
There’s competition everywhere. All businesses are vying for the attention of the same customer pool. It’s no different with brick-and-mortar locations. Researching and evaluating the competition in commercial property for rent lets you know what you’re getting into.
If you’re well-established online, going against the big guns because the location is prime might just be worth your while. But if you’re still new to the game, you might want to steer clear of highly competitive areas.
Competition data can help you inform so many aspects of your fledgling physical business. It can help you decide on prices, marketing strategies, and product offerings. Using data to your advantage means you can place yourself in an area where you fill a niche that isn’t currently being served. So you can maximize your profits.
Determine Your Budget Early
Jumping into renting a mortar location won’t get you anywhere. Without proper research, you could end up in a place with no customer footfall that costs you way more than you can afford. So before you get going, sit down and set a budget.
Figure out what you can afford, and then dial it back. It’s better to have some cash spare than it is pushing your purse strings to the absolute limit. And remember to include a fund for renovations you’ll need to make. Because you’ll inevitably have to spend more money on the structure before you start making it.
Brick-and-mortar stores might feel like a thing of the past. But, like everything, they’re making a comeback. Before you take the leap and purchase a physical location, make sure you’ve done your research. Your flagship store should be located where customers will easily be able to find it while remaining accessible for all walks of life.
And never forget the power marketing online has in helping build success for a business. Always nurture strong online visibility. Are you expanding your online business into the real world? Tell us how it’s going in the comments below.