Your business needs to be positioned well if it is to succeed. Positioning encompasses various factors, from the price point you choose for your products to the tone you take on your website and the specialities you list in your marketing.
All of these things position your business in a certain way and can help it appeal to the right people, and put off the people who aren’t your target customer.
Have you ever considered the effect of your physical location on your business’s position within the market?
Perception of location
A business’s address is an important factor in the way that business is perceived. Consider yourself the impression a business address has given you before.
When a businesses is located in an area where the majority of businesses tend to be in a certain sector, this influences the sector that business is assumed to be part of too. For example, choosing a business address in the City of London will likely change the perception of your business as it would be seen to be part of the finance and high growth culture of the area.
Equally, choosing a location in a creative part of town will have an influence over how creative your business is assumed to be. Much in the same way as we make assumptions about people based on the circles in which they move, our business can also be viewed differently depending on the location we choose.
This is especially important for start up businesses. It’s not uncommon these days for a business to start in the home, but to use a residential address as your listed business address may not give the most professional impression.
While it is possible to register your business with Companies House using a residential address, you may choose not to and to instead use a virtual address service to specify a commercial address with which to list your company. By using a service which provides you a virtual address, you can select a prestigious city centre business address without having to pay the rental costs of such a highly sought after area.
There are also security considerations to your choice of business address. Again, referring specifically to businesses started at home, choosing to list your home address for your business can lead to unsolicited mail to your house or even customers turning up unexpectedly.
Ability to serve
Your location, especially if yours is a business which sells products online or provides services in a specific geographic location.
Imagine your business is a website which sells products (an ecommerce store). As a website owner, you have to register your business with an address and the address you choose may impact the perception potential customers have of your ability to serve them.
If your address is residential or located far away from your target audience, you may find prospects are reluctant to buy from you because they are not sure you can deliver your product or service to them reliably. Conversely, if you had a city centre location or one which is well-regarded as a business centre, your prospects may be more inclined to convert.
Understanding your options
There are various options available to businesses just starting out who are considering their business location choice.
There will be cost implications and practical considerations to every location choice.
If you do choose to rent or buy a premises, factor in monthly mortgage or rent costs as well as any shared services in the building, council bills and so on to ensure you have a full picture of what the space will cost you.
Another option would be to use a shared space, where you take a desk or room in an existing office and share it with the business(es) already in residence. “Hot desking” is a growing trend amongst businesses looking to generate additional income so keep an eye out for those opportunities in the areas that suit your business.
If your budget is smaller and you don’t have a requirement for a physical office location, you can use a virtual office service, which, depending on the company you buy from, should be an official address with which you can register your business and also include mail forwarding, so you can have your mail sent there.
Your business address says so much about the business itself. Take the time to get it right and you could benefit for years to come.