Your website has been shifting product like hot cakes, you’re staring at the big bucks and it doesn’t seem as though demand is tapering any time soon – but you’ll need a business property if you want this success to continue.
Indeed, while the web can help you reach a global audience, your market reach will always be tempered by giants like Amazon or Play. Small web companies are destined to become little more than boutique enterprises without some presence in the real world.
But finding a shop to let can help you reach a local audience and give your service a greater level of respect than a lone wolf operating from their bedroom can command.
There are, however, an almost endless number of perils and pitfalls when searching for a property. So when you’re taking on such a major outgoing, what should you consider?
Location is everything
Imagine a vintage clothing shop in an industrial park, or a funeral parlour in the nightlife district. They’re about as likely to succeed as a unicorn is likely to appear in your local branch of Morrisons.
Before you sign a lease, consider how much of your demographic will actually appear in your chosen location. More than this, know your nearest competition. Is it really worth investing in a prime city centre location when a similar, better established shop is just around the corner?
While your website will appeal to anyone making the right Google search, your business has to be able to reel in casual browser off the street. So make sure you choose the perfect location.
As the internet comes to dominate the mind of shoppers, high street stores have been closing their doors in increasingly large numbers. Store closures trebled last year, with the retailers most severely hit being usurped by their web-based counterparts.
But some savvy businesses have figured out that they need to team up if they want to survive, by offering a service that the net can’t compete against.
Take Waterstone’s as the perfect example. Learning that their customers favour a fresh cup of coffee with their purchases, they teamed up with caffeine experts Costa to share their retail space – and their strategy is keeping customers in-store for longer.
Take a leaf out of their book and join forces with a business to complement your own. It’s almost guaranteed to boost business.
An atmosphere that sells
Ambience is everything in a property. Do you want the cold clinical air of a chain supermarket? Or the kind of warm style that could make customers mistake your company for a sultan’s palace?
Look at your demographic to find the answer. Are they hip and happening, suited VIPs or blue-haired grannies? If you already know, you’ll be able to mould their values to your shop’s design.