Location – Location – Location
By Week 21 your Business Plan will reflect who you are, what you want to create, how you’ll create it, and now it’s time for where you’ll locate it and what kind of business model will you have.
There are basically two types of business models – lifestyle and legacy. A lifestyle business is based on you and usually starts from your home. You might create:
- Cosmetics or perfume sales and service
- Child Care
- Music Lessons
- Your Hobby
- Landscaping Services
- Yard Maintenance
- And many more, including Jana’s Journals.
Many owners utilize social media and/or a website to connect. Some use their local Chamber of Commerce or belong to the Lions Club or Rotary International.
Some food vendors sell their goods to other local businesses or have a food truck and/or a catering business.
Your “store Front” can be a hundred different places, but it must be in a location that fits your business and your market, even online. Even though Amazon carries hand-made and used books, most buyers expect the product to be commercially manufactured, new and packaged accordingly with free shipping.
On Etsy, I expect the product to be hand crafted. I’m sure there will be several manufacturers, and shipping won’t be free. But you must watch, they now allow commercially produced items and you may have your heart set on buying from the crafter.
An “In-Store” experience will include a personal greeting, a sufficient supply of merchandise to spark my continuing interest, and great customer service. Some cities allow “Home Businesses”. Zoning ordinances and business permits will dictate whether you can start from your garage.
As you achieve greater success your business will outgrow your home and will require you make several decisions.
- Is the business providing you the income and satisfaction you had planned?
- Can it grow enough to cover the expenses of its’ own location?
- Do you have the reserves in place to cover expenses while it grows?
- If you don’t care about growth, can you sustain it in your current location?
- Is it time to modify your operation to a legacy business?
A Legacy Business is one that is designed to outlive the founder. It may or may not have their name, but it has a set of operating procedures, goals, guidelines, standards, mission, focus, and values that will keep it running long into the future.
Many times the business is started in the garage or home office. Examples would be:
- Les Schwab
- Taco Time, and many others.
What company did a local family in your town start that still exists and went from Lifestyle to Legacy?
Here in Cedar City, Utah, top of mind for Legacy Businesses is the Leavitt Group. A locally owned and operated Insurance Brokerage that has clear values, goals, and mission. Founders Dixie and Anne Leavitt have created this 70 year old, as a privately held corporation.
Dixie Leavitt started his insurance business in 1952 in the family basement apartment. Within a short time he outgrew the desk where he started and went on to create the Leavitt Group with his brother Bert. Now in 24 states, the Leavitt Group is an anchor for our community and one of the finest examples of creating a legacy business.
Their Corporate location in downtown Cedar City shows their commitment to their community and provides stability for a vibrant downtown. Other professionals have taken up residence in the downtown core and more business office space will be created in the coming years. Several of his sons have followed him in the business and serve on the board and in various positions within the group.
Cell phones make it easier than ever before to have a home-based business.
Pick a business and website name that is simple. Don’t get clever. You want customers (new and old) to remember you. Make it easy for them.
Make your location relatable. If it is tucked away in some obscure location you won’t be seen often enough to be “Top of Mind”. That also means you don’t want a website address that sends your customers to another business location that you have your name at the very end.
If you’re trying for your business name on Etsy or other national site, don’t be surprised if it’s not available. Yes, you’ve registered your business in your home state, but there are 50 states. Before you file for your legal business name spend some time researching what other business in another location may have it.
I once helped a client research her hoped for business name and found it was being used for sexually oriented materials for sale. She changed the business name.
If you’re starting at home, find out what business signage is legal in your city. There are several printing businesses online that do lawn signs. Buy a couple.
Years ago the prime retail business locations were in malls. Over time, the square footage prices were so high it wasn’t possible to be profitable. Today we have more options than ever.
As the Real Estate industry touts, it’s Location, Location, Location. Choose wisely.