Which is more important: the ideal office layout or the perfect location? Of course, you want both — but, as with so many things, relocating your small business may force you to compromise.
So, how do you make sure your new business location checks all the most important boxes on your list? Here’s where to focus your attention as you scope out a new home for your business.
What Are Your Priorities?
Should business location be your top priority? Size? Amenities? There isn’t one correct answer. A dentist’s office will need a good-sized parking lot for staff and clients. A law office may need fewer parking spaces, but clients will expect the space to look like a law office — which may mean it makes sense to focus on amenities.
To keep reading, click here: How Important Is Your Business Location?
3 thoughts on “How Important Is Your Business Location?”
Location is a huge factor. Our office — the regional executive HQ for a large government agency — recently moved from a relatively centrally-located urban location, well served by public transit, restaurants, etc., to a much more-remote, suburban, location on the extreme edge of a large metropolitan area. The purpose of the move was — purportedly — to move from leased, inner-city, space to quieter, space in a building to be purchased; thus, no more rent. While there were many available buildings we could have bought that would have been relatively centrally-located — since employees commute from all over the metropolitan area — the building selected was, suspiciously, close to the homes of the 2 highest-ranking executives making the selection decision. The commutes of half of our approximately 200 employees were worsened, some by as much as 24 additional miles. Furthermore, the new location is not served by public transit and the shortest — and fastest — drives to the site all require expensive toll roads. In addition, the announcement of the selection — describing the move as being partly motivated by wanting to get out of an urban environment and into a “safer” one — was replete with language frequently considered to be racist dog-whistles, which was extremely offensive to the many in our racially-diverse staff. That announcement was also delivered in a clueless, heavy-handed, manner, by a peevish chief executive clearly more concerned about the fact that news of the move had prematurely “leaked” — this only 6 weeks before the actual moving date — than of the disastrous effect it would have on a lot of his employees. The effect was: “if you don’t like it, tough nuts!” Most people sat there in stunned silence, quite a few visibly crying. The staff consists — largely — of older employees, close to retirement, at the height of their careers, meaning that few would be likely — or, even able — to readily change jobs or employers. Nevertheless, some did retire, earlier than they had originally planned. A few were able to find other jobs, usually by transferring to other government agencies. Some were able to locate alternate workspace — “on the down low” — in other agency offices closer to their homes, or began working more from home, perhaps surreptitiously. Some — like I — had to drastically change our schedules, to partly lessen a nightmare commute. Pre-move, I spent an hour or less per day, total, commuting, without even having to use a freeway. If worse came to worst, I could use public transit to go to work. Now, I work from 6 a.m. – 2 p.m., in order to avoid the worst rush-hour traffic, and, still, might spend as much as 3 hours, total, commuting, in a worst-case scenario, even on the freeways that are now required. We won’t even talk about the increased commuting expense and wear-and-tear on our vehicles and psyches. At any rate, the effect on office morale has been terrible. If any of us previously thought that management had our backs and would look out for our best interests, we’ve pretty much been disabused of that mistaken notion. I wish they had engaged outside professionals to find our new location. I’m confident the results would have been much better. Instead, by keeping the process in-house, the results couldn’t have been much worse.
I think you have hit upon the difference between what’s more important than what, and what is critically important.
Location may (or may not) be the *most* important factor, but it is *always* a critically important one. Make the wrong choice, and it’s disastrous, even if there’s some other (also, probably, critical) factor that’s more important.
One consideration I did not see addressed was the cost of rent. This can be especially true for companies that are struggling financially. One company I have worked for moved more than once due to the cost of rent. It is better to have to drive a few more miles than not to have a job at all.
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