Pequenos negócios 75

Retail locations are particularly sensitive to specific characteristics of the surrounding area. As there are different kinds of retail stores catering to different clienteles, it is important that the local criteria match your needs. You will need information on the following:
  • Size of the city's trading area
  • Population and population trends in the trading area
  • Total purchasing power and the distribution of purchasing power
  • Total retail trade potential for different lines of trade
  • Number, size, and quality of competition
  • Progressiveness of competition

Once you have determined which city you are going to open in, you must then evaluate a number of factors concerning the area or the type of location you want. These factors include:

  • Customer attraction power of the particular store and the shopping district
  • Quantitative and qualitative nature of competitive stores
  • Availability of access routes to the stores
  • Nature of zoning regulations
  • Direction of the area expansion
  • General appearance of the area

One final set of criteria should be examined concerning the specific site--or property--on which you wish to open your business. If you plan to open a large discount store, for example, you will want a site that is visible to and accessible by a high volume of drive-by traffic. A smaller store, however, may be appropirately located in a neighborhood where the store attracts local resident. In either case, the following criteria should be kept in mind:

  • Adequacy and potential of traffic passing the site
  • Ability of the site to intercept traffic en route from one place to another
  • Complimentary nature of adjacent stores
  • Parking facilities or space
  • Vulnerability of the site to unfriendly competition
  • Cost of the site

You will want to weigh all the criteria with respect to the type of retail operation you plan to operate. For example, if yours is a discount store, you will be looking for an entirely different population than a store selling exclusive, high-price merchandise. Again, depending upon your chosen clientele, you might consider such extreme site choices as a stand-alone structure (or one in a small block of stores) or a regional mall. The former location might house a small convenience store, the latter a high-end specialty goods retail establishment. Although you have evaluated what you earnestly believe to be all-inclusive criteria, you might want to consider the following:

  • How much retail, office, storage, or workroom space do you need?
  • Is parking space available and adequate?
  • Do you require special lighting, heating or cooling, or other installations?
  • Will your advertising expenses be much higher if you choose a relatively remote location?
  • Is the area served by public transportation? Is it necessary for your business that it is?
  • Can the area serve as a source of supply of employees?
  • Is there adequate fire and police protection?
  • Will sanitation or utility supply be a problem?
  • Is exterior lighting in the area adequate to attract evening shoppers and make them feel safe?
  • Are customer restroom facilities available?
  • Does the store have awnings or decks to provide shelter during bad weather?
  • Will crime insurance be prohibitively expensive?
  • Do you plan to provide pickup or delivery?
  • Is the trade area heavily dependent on seasonal business?
  • Is the location convenient to where you live?
  • Do the people you want for customers live nearby?
  • Is the population density of the area sufficient?
Fonte: Corman, J., Lussier, R.; Pennel, L. (2005) Small Business Management: A Planning Approach, 2nd ed., Cincinnati, OH: Atomic dog Publishing, p. 178-180.
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