An Eight-Step Plan for Finding the Perfect Location

One of life’s most painful moments comes when we must admit that we didn’t do our homework, that we are not prepared.
Merlin Olsen, former football star

When helping clients choose a great location I often find that they get stuck on a particular place. It’s not always the best place, but for whatever reason they develop an emotional attachment to it very quickly. Rather than going straight for your first choice, here is an eight-step plan of action I suggest that you follow:

1. Buy a city map and drive to every shopping center in the area. Real estate agents very often only show you what they want to show you. Plus, by doing it yourself you will get a better feel for the area.

2. Write down the phone numbers of all the rentals in shopping centers that seem to meet your basic criteria for size, location, and visibility and circle them on your map. Give each a number and note one other key store in the center for reference. (After driving in circles for a few hours it’s easy to forget which is which.)

3. Always find at least three or four options before calling and getting prices. Remember to call centers you like that have no vacancies; they may well have a tenant on the way out. I have gotten many of my best locations from this simple tip.

4. Drive to each location at different times of the day and on weekends and note how busy the center is at each time. Some centers are day centers, some centers are night centers, some are weekend centers, and some are always busy. Which type is best suited for your particular business?

5. Watch the traffic flow of both people and cars. On more than one occasion I have seen business owners jump at a location because of a major anchor at one end of the shopping center, only to find people parking in front of the anchor and never even glancing at the far end of the center. Also important to consider, especially in a bigger center, is how the traffic flows. A store located right at the entrance to the parking lot will get far more attention and traffic. Best of all there is rarely a premium put on this space.

6. Perhaps the best test of all is to visit several individual businesses. Ask them how business is, how the landlord is, and whether traffic in the center is growing or shrinking. Ask how long the space has been for rent. This can be a big help in your negotiations with the landlord, especially if it’s been around a while. Empty space generates no money.

Always take what they have to say with a pinch of salt but listen to what they tell you. Often you will uncover information that will help you in making a decision. Is the anchor tenant about to leave? Is the city about to tear up the road? Or is the shopping center about to be sold?

7. Look at who your neighbors would be in the specific space. If they attract your types of customers, it’s a big plus. If they attract teenage boys, it may be a minus.

8. Finally gather all the data, pick the best one with a second as a backup and enter into the negotiation stage. Remember that you don’t have to accept anything currently on the market if they are not winners. Maybe you can sublease space in an existing store while you wait for the perfect place. This also reduces your costs.

Don’t get emotionally attached to a particular location. Follow this eight-step plan and you will choose a superior location.

For more great sales, marketing and business growth advice read

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Always Act Decisively!

I try to learn from the past, but I plan for the future by focusing exclusively on the present. That’s where the fun is. - Donald Trump

Once a series of solutions has been generated, the next step is to prioritize each possible solution based on vital factors, such as time, money, effort required, and resources available. Cunningly Clever Entrepreneurs have a unique ability to identify which idea will make the greatest possible difference, in the shortest possible time, using the least amount of resources, both financial and human.

Before making a final decision, ask the question “What’s the worst thing that can happen if I make this decision?” Once satisfied that the rewards of your decision outweigh the risks, take ACTION! Do not procrastinate on making a decision; procrastination is very often the enemy. Few problems grow better with time, most grow in size and complexity.

Eight Universal Qualities to Look for in a Great Employee

“If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.” – David Ogilvy

Obviously, the right qualities for different jobs vary tremendously, but here are eight qualities that should be regarded as universal:

In Search of Prime

They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I wasn’t on that particular job. - Brian Clough

In every business, there is an optimum place to make money. Go beyond that place, and there is a big gap between where you are now and your next growth in net profits. It’s often best to stay where you are successful rather than expanding, diversifying, buying competitors, etc.

You will most likely ignore this advice, as the majority of entrepreneurs confuse growth with profits, but let’s give it a shot anyway.

Play the What-If Game

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it." - Pablo Picasso

When you are faced with a difficult problem to solve, it is important for you not to allow yourself to be governed by rigid or straight-line thinking. Most people think rigidly because that is what they have been taught to do. You must allow your mind to wander in all directions and throw out any kind of wild and crazy solution that it cares to. You can then write down each idea as it comes. (This is like brainstorming without the group.)

When faced with a particular problem, take out a blank sheet of paper and write the problem at the top of the page. Then write down all the ways in which this problem could be solved. Do not think over your answers; just write all your thoughts and ideas down, no matter how silly or unlikely they seem. You can go back later and rate each on its particular merits.

Uncover The Prospects Desires!

“Knowledge is the only instrument of production that is not subject to diminishing returns.” - J. M. Clark

In order to become a cunningly clever salesperson, it is necessary to truly understand why people buy a particular product or service. You must also determine what it is they think they are buying, for it’s not always the same thing.

People buy only two things. They don’t buy cars, computers, or golf lessons.