Choosing an office location is possibly the most crucial decision a startup or small business operator will make. Basically, it will involve looking at various things such as understanding state taxes and laws, staying on budget, scoping the competition, assessing the supply chain, looking at the demographics and so forth. The following are important guidelines that will help you select the right office venue.
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Know Your Needs
A large number of business owners will pick a location that will provide them with the highest possible exposure to consumers. Additionally, there are other needs that must be considered. These will include several important factors. The zoning regulations of the area are important, as this will determine whether your business can be conducted in certain locations or properties. Contacting your local planning agency is the best way to find out how property is zoned. Consider the rate of crime and the safety of the place. Will employees and consumers feel safe alone in the building or as they are walking to and from their vehicles?
Similarly, suppliers should be able to locate you easily. If you hope to expand your premise in the future, then you should search for venue with a lot of space. Check the local labor market. Does the region have potential employees? How will they commute to your business location? Competition is also worth noting when picking out a good spot. Are the businesses in the area competing or complementary? Choose a good brand image. Does the image you want to maintain complement the location you are choosing?
Master Your Finances
Apart from finding out what else you can pay for, you should also take into consideration other financial obligations. Some of the obligations people are more easily forgettable than others. For instance, remember to ask about the government economic incentives available in area. This will determine whether or not your business qualifies for a number of government-based economic programs like business loans, which are state-specific, and other financial incentives.
Don’t forget about inspecting the minimum wage. Even though the federal minimum wage currently stands at about $7.25 an hour, a number of states have a higher wage. It is therefore important to check out the labor’s department minimum wage rates by state, so that you can find out the minimum wage of any prospective location you are interested in. Additionally, find out the sales and income tax rates for your state. Do not forget to research property taxes. You should also learn if you could pay less in taxes by finding an office location near a state line. Investigate any hidden costs. Very few office spaces are completely ready for business. You should include various costs, such as IT system upgrades, interior decoration, renovation and so forth.
Understanding regulations and laws imposed on business in a specific location is crucial. As you are planning to expand your business, it can be beneficial to work closely with business counselors or specialists. Find out the support and programs your local community and your state government offer to small businesses. A large number of states provide online tools that help small business owners start their business and succeed.
Do your research by talking to potential co-tenants and other business owners. Make consultations with the small business community and use all resources available, which will assist you in your efforts.