Small Business: Location, IT And Equipment Needs
Once a business concept has been developed and the core management team has been chosen, there are a few more steps to complete before a business should open its doors. Among these steps are: finding the right site location, additional site needs, possibilities for an online business, IT and equipment solutions. There are, of course, many other steps to complete, but knowing this information prior to writing your business plan will help to determine financing needs.
Finding the Right Site Location
First, determine the type of location that will be needed. The areas looked at for locations will be partially determined by the type of location needed.
If an office space is needed, the most desirable area will likely be in a business district. Most business districts rent office space where the core business can be conducted and also have clients visit when needed. Business districts are very useful for businesses that offer services, such as attorneys. Customers can come to the office for meetings while offering the business accommodations needed.
A store front will require a location in a heavy retail area. These locations will vary in size, accessibility and visibility of customers, and price. Most business owners will want to look at what the anchor store is, the other retailers in the shopping center, and where the store front is located within the center.
Manufacturing companies need large warehouses to manufacture the product. Some have offices at the front of the main building or the front of the property that allow for office space for the office staff and so customers can visit. Depending on the size of the business, the roster of clientele, and the type of product being manufactured, the location may need only one warehouse, or it may require several. For example if a gasket manufacturing company is being developed, multiple manufacturing warehouses on one property will likely be needed to keep up with consumer demand.
In almost every single instance of looking for the right location for a business, the price of renting or buying the property and buildings will help determine the area in which the business looks for, and ultimately rents or buys. Typically, the owner will look at the allowable funds for the property and determine whether an area or specific location is within that allowable fund limit. In many cases, small businesses will rent a smaller location in an area that is not as desirable to save money while building the business, and then upgrade as the business grows.
Additional Site Needs
That allowable fund limit we were just talking about includes the funds for additional site needs. Many businesses need additional storage space, equipment, separate offices from manufacturing warehouses, a guard house, etc. The list could go on as there are an enormous number of needs based on industry and even specific businesses.
However, there are some areas that require additional housing for external electrical equipment, agriculture or mining equipment, or piping that is at risk of exposure to the natural elements on the property. These areas have extreme weather conditions (i.e. extreme heat or extreme cold) that could destroy electrical or other equipment, or could burst water pipes, which is another structure type to think about. For example, telecom companies are often in need of telecom shelters to protect critical business equipment. Fortunately, there are companies that provide additional options for enclosing these types of units. Building necessary coverings to protect from the elements can provide extensive cost savings in the long run.
Possibilities of an Online Business
Many businesses don’t have a need for a physical business space. With the emerging online business segment, many consumers are doing much more online shopping than ever before. Consumers, in many cases, are willing to forego the instant gratification for a lower price or higher quality product. Many small businesses are more likely to launch online and provide shipping to consumers rather than in a physical location that creates more overhead to pay.
Some businesses, such as an online kratom business, will offer their product both online and in retail locations. However, these businesses will typically sell their product in other businesses, such as mom-and-pop locations that offer a little of everything, Walmart, grocery stores, etc. This eliminates the overhead of operating a physical location, but still allows the product to produce an instant gratification option for consumers who don’t mind paying a little more.
IT and Equipment Solutions
All businesses have some type of IT and equipment needs. Those needs will vary based on the type of business. For example, a retail business will need computers, a POS system, cash registers, computers, the right-sized IT solution, and likely cell phones for the executive and/or sales team.
A services business that works out of an office will likely need computers, cell phones, landline phones, the right-sized IT solution, copiers/printers, and fax machines.
A manufacturing business will need specific equipment to build or make the product. Whereas, an agriculture business will need specific yard equipment. Both types of businesses will need computers, cell phone, copiers/printers, and the right-sized IT solution.
All of these businesses have one thing in common – the right-sized IT solutions. In all cases there will be office personnel, managers and executives that will need to conduct business over the phone, send emails, create and deliver presentations both in-office and on the go, and save and manage documents. In order to do this, a superior IT support company, can be hired to help understand the needs of the business and develop a solution that meets the needs of the business without adding unnecessary bells and whistles.
Understanding the specific needs of the business will greatly aid in the decisions that must be made about location, any additional site needs, whether the business should start out as an online business, and the IT and equipment solutions needed for the business. This is a great starting point of determining how much funding, both personal cash and financing, will be needed to start the business, and keep it running for the next year.