Whether you are looking for a place out of which to base your new company or choosing a new location for a regional hub, location is key. Even for retail merchandising companies that use remote sales reps, having a deep understanding of the base locations for both their merchandising company and their remote sales reps can help increase sales productivity. Finding the right location for your merchandising company will one day be an integral part of your success story. Many factors will come into play when setting up in a new city, but the following these three important steps are crucial in setting up a new hub of operation.
Knowing your market plays a significant role in finding the right city for your retail merchandising business. The Internet is home to a wealth of government-produced market and demographic information on large and small cities across the country (including Business.gov's Business Data and Statistics Guide, the U.S. Census Burea's American FactFinder, and FedStats.gov). These databases include statistics about local market trends, demographics, and small business lending, among other things. Field sales managers who understand their customer market will be able to use this data to select a city that will be best suited not only for their product, but also for their field sales strategy.
Once you have a clear understanding of how your target demographic fits into the atmosphere of the city in which you plan to establish a presence for your merchandising company, it is time to consider more logistical factors. One such consideration is making sure the location is consistent with the brand image that the field sales manager is maintaining for the merchandising company. Another is the element of competition in the area. Evaluate whether nearby businesses are competing with your business for the market or if they are complimentary. Also, consider the future of your company. If you anticipate future growth, be sure that there is room for it in your new location, both physical room and room in the market.
Finally, be sure to evaluate your company's finances, keeping in mind varying local costs. When deciding what is affordable, be sure to keep in mind hidden costs, such as renovation, decoration, IT upgrades, etc. Also, be sure to know the tax situation for your state. While this may not come to mind when choosing a physical location for a business, it will certainly be a factor further on down the road. In addition, the area you are considering may offer government economic business programs. Look to see if your retail merchandising company could qualify for these small business loans or other financial incentives.
Frank Brogie is the Product Marketing Manager at Repsly. When he’s not thinking about how to position and sell Repsly’s products, Frank loves to explore Boston by bike and hunt for vintage cars through a camera lens. On weekends you can count on Frank to organize a pickup basketball game or play disc golf. An avid podcast listener, Frank recommends Philosophize This, 99% Invisible, and Radiolab.