Location can determine the future success of your business. However, companies often base their location choices on intuition.
According to a wise old saying, the most important elements of a retail space are location, location and location. This applies to retailers, but also to other kinds of businesses.
However, companies tend to base their location choices on intuition, as demonstrated, for example, by Timo Myllynen’s recent thesis for Aalto University.
According to a recent survey on the choice of office premises by the Central Chamber of Commerce, companies base their choice of location on public transport connections, proximity to the market, surrounding growth culture and the cosiness and safety of the environment. The availability of workforce is also important, even though this criterion has lost some of its importance in recent years due to trends such as remote work, robotisation and digitalisation.
How should companies choose their location in order to make it support their business? Lasse Mitronen, Professor at Aalto University, shares five tips for finding the best location.
1. The best retail space is located in a busy environment.
People prefer shopping in places they can stop by on their way to or from the office. Even 50 metres can be too long sometimes. People no longer see their job as a separate element from the rest of their lives, but instead, they want to find the services and products they need during their daily commute.
Busy retail hubs also attract new offices. The proximity of popular shops can boost the sales of other shops and businesses by up to tens of per cent.
2. Public transport services help you succeed.
When selecting the location, make sure that it is accessible to your customers and employees. Customers tend to come to retail spaces and businesses that are accessible by railway, be it on a train, metro or tram. Public transport is more important than private cars, because it is becoming more popular even as we speak.
Cycling is also a growing trend. The covered bike racks that are typically found near railway and metro stations in Denmark will probably arrive in Finland soon enough.
3. Universities and growth centres attract crowds.
The academic world attracts innovative companies and start-ups that want to tap into the skills of students. Services and trade also tend to focus around such growth centres.
4. Utilise the appeal of shopping centres.
Shopping centres will become service centres that house even public services. Usually, services in the same field are located near each other, creating clusters. This benefits the customer who receives all the services from one place.
5. The brand of the area affects your success.
The location is also part of the company’s brand, and other areas are more appealing than others. The location can support branding and style of the company, be it traditional or luxurious. Services and products can be tweaked accordingly.