Location is perhaps the most important decision you make concerning a business start-up. Surprisingly or unsurprisingly it is also one of the decisions that people give least attention to. Its importance lies in a number of factors and is a decision that needs to be taken after much careful planning and consideration. The nature of the location will to an extent depend on the type of business and premises that you need in order to start up your business.

Any business would to an extent want to brand itself, and one of the first questions you need to ask is whether the location is suitable to the image of the brand you want to portray both as a company and on company letterheads, business cards etc. The idea of having a brand may not be one that you are particularly interested in, but it is fact that people will associate areas in different ways and if your business is located in an area that is deemed unsuitable or odd in any way then that will affect the nature of your business

It is important to know whether the locality in which you intend to run your business has competition that is either a threat you or is complimentary to your business. If the competition is likely to attract people to the area who were subsequently to find your business attractive then it is useful. If the competition is likely to alienate people or put them off the area or be a direct threat to you then a different location might be advisable.

If you are thinking of employing people in the future or even at the start-up of the business then you need to know whether there is a local supply of labour that would be appropriate for your business. This requires anticipation of what type of labour force you want, whether you want part-time, freelance or permanent staff and what sort of age or gender demographic you're looking for.

Equally the size of the premises is an issue. It is difficult to estimate how much space you will need, what is important is to know that you can acquire extra space if you need it, either in the same building or nearby at a reasonable location.

If as a business you are dependent or to some extent dependent on prompt and efficient suppliers it is worth considering locating your business near to where the suppliers are. At a very practical level you are more likely to have less problems with the supplier if they are physically located near to you. This minimises the risk of delays, returns and general problems.

The issue of safety arises as well both yourself and any employees or customers who revisit the business. This is not an area you want to be politically correct about. You will know what areas are considered okay and what areas are considered a bit rough or areas that you would not want to spend a lot of time in. What ever the potential benefits may be economically, if safety is an issue it's a no go area. It simply won't work if people you really want to visit the premises are afraid of the area, and will not go there.

The other thing you want to consider in terms of location are what are known as zoning regulations. Most areas or districts will have quite specific regulations about what businesses can be run and what businesses cannot be run and from where. There are also likely to be incentives or disincentives in certain areas for businesses to start up or run and knowing what these are important.

As a business start-up you need to know that the area you're going to be operating in is to your advantage. Attitudes to helping business start-ups do vary considerably, and whilst most authorities or governments will advocate how much they want help for businesses, in practice this help can vary hugely. Research what the options are by way of what areas are available and what zoning regulations are in place and then make a decision on what is economically best and most viable for your business.

Author's Bio: 

Peter Main is freelance writer who has spent almost twenty years in the insurance industry, working at Lloyd's of London. He writes extensively about small business insurance and in particular about how understanding the various factors that make up the different liabilities that small business's may have to deal with, such as liability insurance