Imagine waking up one morning and having to travel 10 Kilometers just to buy breakfast. Is this convenient or acceptable to you? The answer is no. All customers want to access goods and services in the most convenient and fast ways possible.
This is the message am spreading today that business location matters. To explain this, let us look at the factors to consider when choosing a business location in Kenya.
Location is as important to a business just as pricing. Don’t give customers a reason to not come to the business. Your goal as a business person is to ensure that customers can access your business in the fastest and most convenient way possible.
Some of the factors to consider when choosing a business location in Kenya include;
Leading this pack is ensuring the business location is accessible. Accessibility is determined by the nature of business and customers. Normally, successful businesses are located in areas where customers can easily access them no matter the mode of transport.
A business that is accessible should be located in an area with good road access. Other key elements to factor include available parking space if most of your customers use cars to visit the business. Lack of such service could keep these customers away.
Such a business is best suited in a location that has access to parking spaces. Mostly, they are found outside the town centers. An example of these businesses’ heavy parking includes shopping malls and hotels.
If most of your customers are foot customers, target having the business in busy streets as this is where most customers are. Other key locations include near institutions such as schools.
Competition is part of the business world with almost every business having competitors. When choosing your business location, you should ensure to factor in this critical element.
You should target to locate the business in an area with less competition to gain a good market share. Setting up a business in an area with a saturation of competing goods and services only results in fewer customers and unnecessary price wars.
To identify these areas, you should do prior market research in various ways such as doing physical visits in an area to investigate.
3. Availability of Labor
Businesses require a different set of skills to run. Hence, labor is among the key factors to consider when choosing a business location. Some of the elements to evaluate in labor is both the skills, availability, and cost.
Skills apply mostly to advanced businesses such as finance, technology, and medicine. As an example, if you want to start a software development business, you require people that have these skills. Mostly, you will find such skills in big towns making it necessary to locate the business as such.
The cost of labor is also critical to the business’s sustainability and profitability. If the labor is costly, the costs of running the business will be high. The cost of labour has a relationship with its availability. If it’s scarce, the costs will be relatively high. The turnovers will remain high as well.
However, for those businesses that mostly require unskilled labour, there is less limitation on where to locate the business. This is because this type of labour is available in almost all parts of the country.
4. Government regulations
The government has several laws that determine the location of a business. This is driven by various issues such as planning and suitability.
In Kenya, most of the towns have certain regulations on where you can locate your business. This is guided by county government laws and national government regulations.
As an example, some laws guide the area to set up commercial real estate. There are also special zones such as game parks and along rivers and lakes that require special permits to set up a business.
Regulations also come in the form of licenses and permits necessary to start a business. The cost to acquire these permits depends on the business location. A business in Nairobi pays more permit fees compared to one in Isiolo.
Hence, you need to do all this research in deciding the right business location for your business.