For decades, real estate agents have used the slogan "location, location, location" to remind people of what is important for both residential and business. But it's not just the address that is important. In Fact here are a number of things that you need to consider when choosing the location for your business.
Physical Location - The first thing that you need to consider is the type of clientele that you will serve. The elderly and children often do not have transportation so choosing an office in a newer area may hinder them. I have clients, for example who use the city bus and others who walk to the office for their appointments. Consider if these possibilities are available. Are there good bus schedules or walking paths? What about sidewalks and safe crossings? Is there good signage to help the client find your office the first time? What about confusing traffic rings or multi-lane highways that will have to be navigated? Would you office be situated in or near residential housing? No matter how prosperous or popular an area will be in a couple of years, it might not be suitable at this time and your bottom line may suffer. Consider convenience for your client when you choose an office. Also, consider your needs. If the office is far from your residence, you will experience additional time and travel costs.
You may want to put a map and clear directions on your website to help the client to find your office. Make sure you have a bus schedule and an accurate idea of the driving time from a central location to help the client ensure they will arrive on time for the appointment.
Parking - It is so frustrating to drive around and around and around the block hoping to find a parking place. Both street and parking lots usually have costs that will add on to your client's fees. You will likely be better to find a convenient location than a high profile address for your office.
Perhaps offering parking passes or giving the client clear directions to free parking will help them to eliminate what might otherwise might lead them to book with your competition.
Stairs and Handicapped Access - Many clients will not be able to book with you unless you have a barrier-free design that accommodates their physical limitations. This includes elevators, wider doorways, lower counters and accessible bathroom facilities. I do not do well climbing upstairs and know that if possible, I would definitely book an appointment with someone on the ground floor or with an elevator than face a long flight of stairs.
Safety and Security - Clients will not be eager to go to an office where they think they might be at risk. Before you commit to a location, visit it during the day and at night to see if there are any things that might be dangerous. Construction, poor lighting, or gangs might present dangers. Also, you will want to have a plan in place to protect you from any risk associated with a disgruntled or ill client. You might want to ask an employee to be within hearing distance during your session or have a safety buzzer hooked up to alert someone else in case of problems. Also, if you are seeing children, it is wise to have a plan that would prevent or reduce the chances of your being accused of inappropriate behaviours towards the child.
You will be in your office for many of your waking hours and therefore need to ensure that it offers convenience and safety for you and your clients. You want this adventure to be a wonderful one for everyone!