What type of store do you want?
This is a pop-up style business, where you can utilise carts or other equipment to sell your wares and services.
Some people may elect to have a business where they travel to clients’ homes to conduct their services. Mobile hairdressing or dress fitting is an example of this.
Home Based Business
If you’re working from home, you may want to use one room of your dwelling as the business. Most people use a room at the front of their property to ensure privacy for their family and other house guests.
When your business grows, this may not be quite suitable, and options such as building a granny flat or other outer building may be an alternative.
This will keep your business totally separate from your private life and provide a sense of rapport with your clients if required.
Bearing in mind, council approval is required for new buildings on your property.
You will need to employ several professional services, such as builders, electricians and plumbers to be sure the building is up to current regulations and Australian Standards.
The areas for retail spaces are vast. Possibilities can range from the traditional free-standing building to a store inside a shopping centre or plaza to special event kiosks you can hire out.
If you are creating and distributing materials or products on a large scale, then this is possible most suited to you.
Bear in mind, there may be noise restrictions for heavy machinery in certain areas.
You also need to be certain to have loads of parking space and access for larger style vehicles and easy access to main roads and highways as modes of transportation.
Your local council may also need to liaise with you for environmental factors if you are producing or working with chemicals or if your works produce fumes.
Consider your style of business
When choosing the location for your business, look at the other businesses and venues in the area. For example, a dress shop might not be feasible in an industrial area.
A tip is to be sure that the current businesses highlight or complement yours.
A health food shop might look out of place in a hardware area, but a tire fitting establishment may not.
It’s also important to ensure you’re not locating to an area already saturated with the same or similar products.
If you own a bakery and there are already two in the establishment, you may want to reconsider your venue.
Competition can in some instances be good, but if you’re competing with a long-established company, it might be difficult to sway their customers over to you.
Many of the same business creates an oversaturation.
Rules and regulations
Be sure to read the fine print of the rules and regulations of any contract you are intending to sign.
Take note of when rent or any other strata or in-house fees apply.
Some venues may have noise or trade restrictions which may affect how your business runs.
You might also be expected to be open on days you aren’t available and if you’re just starting out, adding the expense of additional staff can be problematic.
If you need to adhere to government bylaws or environmental regulations, be sure you stay abreast of these. They can change and not being aware may result in hefty fines and penalization.
Food services also carry special and specific rules. If you are serving or making food, check all boxes with local and relevant governing authorities.
Really investigate the crime statistics in the area. Is the establishment nor surrounding areas prone to hold ups and break-ins?
Is there adequate lighting and surveillance and security systems in place?
This is vital to consider if you are likely to be working alone or late at night.
Check out the entry points to your property. Are they safe or is there anything that may potentially cause injury to staff or visitors? You have a duty of care to adhere to Occupational Health and Safety Regulations and to rectify any issues or areas of concern promptly.
Parking and ease of access
Is there enough parking in your car park and is this shared with other businesses?
Are car spots allocated or timed?
If there is paid to park, you need to factor that in your overall costs. Paying for parking on a daily basis can quickly add up.
Look at how easy it is to locate and access your business. Is there clear signage prior to the entry for vehicles?
Can your guests enter your facility easily? Are there provisions for prams, wheelchairs or mobility-challenged people?
Is the venue on the main road? If so, can your clients easily enter to gain admission to your goods and services?
High-traffic venues can be cumbersome to access, and customers may get frustrated if they are unable to see your business until they have passed it.
Sit down and be honest with your expenses.
Consider how you are managing your current expenses and what the increase will be.
Budget for additional needs such as council registration and costs, rent, utilities,
Are there other matters to conduct prior to opening, such as retail shop fitouts, painting, carpeting, and signage?
These are big-ticket items and can quickly drain the piggy bank.
Whilst shop fit-outs, painting, and getting your store to how you want it to shine may be an expense, the other factors such as insurance and utilities will be ongoing whether your business runs at a loss or profit for the month.
It can be daunting to take this next step in your business path, but there is a reason you are drawn to it.
Your passion and professionalism have enabled you to get this far and it will allow you to continue to do so.
Keep your passion and drive alive, but be mindful and aware of any potential pitfalls and expenses before they arise.
Be prepared and optimistic.
Read more: How Late is the Closest Grocery Store Open?