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Real estate is the key cost of physical retailers.  That’s why there’s the old saw: location, location, location.  Jeff Bezos

We have all heard the creed ‘location matters’ and it does for our home and our business.  Selecting the best location within your budget is key to launching a successful business.


Businesses have a wealth of location options in today’s marketplace.  Where a site is selected depends upon budget, type of business, and availability.  Here are some choices to consider when selecting a business location.

Location is Everything

Home Business

A home business is an ideal choice if the business does not need a store front (such as a toy store).  Many business professionals have businesses located in their homes; either a room dedicated to an office, another building on the property for business purposes, or some other space devoted to business.

elle decor pretty office

Elle Décor — Beautiful Office Space

Great Option if:
  • You can concentrate on work, not home tasks
  • Quite space to work and use the phone
  • Flexible work environment
  • Comfortable having clients & employees in the space

Sample businesses using the home model:

  • consultants
  • web-based businesses
  • artists
  • online retailers
  • therapists
  • lawyers
  • accountants / CPA

 Retail space

Retail space is a rented store front space.  We typically think of clothing stores, coffee shops, shoe stores, etc. as retail spaces.  Often other types of businesses use retail space such as yogurt / ice cream shops, floral shops, dentists, etc.  A retail space is perfect if the business is selling a product or service that requires visibility.  These spaces are more expensive than a home office, however, some businesses must be in a retail space to succeed.  Consider the neighborhood, traffic flow, neighboring businesses, schools, and other businesses surrounding the area.  Just as you do not want to buy a house near the city treatment plant nor do you want your business located in a seedy area of town.  Costs to consider are signage, fire inspections, city inspections (if required), lighting, product displays, technology systems, alarm systems, and POS systems to name a few.


Pretty Retail Space via Retail Design Blog

great option if:
  • Business needs visibility
  • Business needs space
  • Appeal to potential customers
  • Parking and other amenities

Sample businesses using retail space:

  • store (toy, jewelry, clothing)
  • wine tasting rooms (it is a huge option in my area)
  • hair and nail salons
  • coffee shops
  • book stores
  • dentists, lawyers, accountants, etc.

Office space

This is the traditional option for businesses that provide professional services.  Office space is leased or rented building space, usually by square footage, that is open and ready for office furniture.  The same holds true with office space as retail space; consider parking, neighboring offices, traffic flow, is it easy for employees to access, are there parking fees for employees, is the building stairways and elevators secure, and consider the building neighborhood and amenities.  Sample costs to consider are fire inspections, insurance, alarm systems, furniture, signage, locksmith, fire protection, city inspection (in some areas), and in some cases parking fees.

Plum Pretty Sugar via Atlanta Home & Lifestyle

Plum Pretty Sugar – Office Space – via Atlanta Home & Lifestyle

Great option if:
  • Business requires a professional location
  • You work better in an office away from home and distraction
  • The business has many employees
  • A central location in a business area is optimal

Sample businesses choosing this option:

  • Physicians
  • Specialists
  • Insurance
  • Financial
  • Therapists, Psychiatrists
  • Lawyers
  • Accounting

It is helpful to take time and consider the proper and best location for a business.  It is not necessary to rush into a decision only to regret it later.  Consider the business type, target market (clients), what the business does, what message it conveys to the marketplace, and above all the budget.  A fantastic retail space may appear but if it is way over the budget it will surely become a burden rather than a blessing down the road.  Always anticipate additional, unforeseen costs when selecting a space — even a home office — and be prepared to manage those challenges as they arise.

Good luck on finding your perfect business space!