Considering two key areas of a new start up business

Location of your Business

If you think putting a retail business or service where your customers have to come to your premises, then this point of location becomes paramount and you should ask questions like:
• What businesses to rent will be close?
• What is the pedestrian and automobile traffic like?
• Is there enough parking?
• Are there are any restrictions or incentive by the city for that area?
• What future developments are expected in that place?
• What about competition in that place?

An important point to emphasise, is that before you sign any contract to purchase or rent a room, you should check with local authorities in that city if there are any restrictions for your business in that specific location. Sometimes, even if you are acquiring an existing business with all equipment installed and running, when they ask for your business license, it is denied, as the city has changed its development plans and no longer wants that kind of business there. So it is very important to research first to avoid problems in the future.

Your business competition

As mentioned in the previous part, competition can be a source of information to determine the size of the market. You should study it and follow it closely, because it will serve you to know your strengths and weaknesses relative to the competition. This will help win a competitive advantage that differentiates you from them and plan your promotions and advertising.

How can you go about investigating the competition to learn from them though? There are several techniques that can be employed: You may review their ads on TV, radio, newspapers, flyers, directories, the Internet, etc. You can go about their business and talk to their employees. You can also ask their customers or send someone to buy or purchase their services; and sometimes, through chambers of commerce, associations or journals you can get information.

After this analysis, you should have enough information to know where they are located, size of their business, product lines or services, prices, number of employees , marketing media they use and get an idea of how much they invest in advertising and promotions, and know who their key suppliers are, etc. This will help your own business hugely in the long run.

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