Throughout this series of blogs we have looked at many factors that can affect and influence your business, product range and success. This week it is all about location, location, location and how a cleverly picked spot can lead customers to your door and products out of it.
It is probably easier to split your surroundings as an influencer into three sections, or key factors to your business.
1) Raw materials
2) Ease of distribution
3) Proximity to target market
For some businesses, their product mix and marketing angle are influenced by where they are located and what product is locally sourced or produced. For example, being based right at source can give more legitimacy to a business and can help with the marketing of a product. Being on the doorstep of a product can also give a huge advantage over competitors.
An example of this would be in the food industry where a product can be made using components sourced from the main place the product originates from. For example, Stornoway black pudding, Arbroath Smokies and Whisky. If you are based in an area known for the product, you can use the whole back story and your location to your advantage in your marketing. Plus people are looking for the genuine article so you will have potential customers already searching for your product.
Staying on customers searching for your product you will need to consider your location from a distribution point of view. It may be a boring one but your location will have an impact on your distribution network and what you can offer. The more remote you are the harder it will be to distribute and you will be able to offer fewer options at a price customers will be willing to pay. Choice is a big deal breaker for the consumers nowadays especially with so much competition from large companies that mass produce; okay the quality might not be there but they can sell it cheaper, deliver it tomorrow and collect it if it’s wrong. The more central or populated the area you are in, the more likely you are to be able to offer greater flexibility, including the ability for your customers to collect and return easily which eliminates the risk from purchasing. Plus, being based in the UK when your competitors are importing from abroad means you can play on the “made in the UK” or “produced in Scotland” tag lines to give your product and marketing an advantage over competitors.
Also with regards to supply of your products, being more remote may mean a longer lead time which could create stock issues and disappoint customers not to mention transportation issues and fuel costs which all need to be factored in to your end price.
When I talk about location though I don’t just mean from a logistic point of view, the on map positioning of your business can have a huge influence on your audience and what you can offer too. The legitimacy and success of you as a business can be enhanced just by location, for example a café may be more reputable due to location, or a hotel due to it’s proximity to a landmark. A restaurant may not see as much passing trade if it is in the middle of nowhere just like a clothes shop may not attract any customers if it is in an industrial estate.
The objective of any business is to be as close to, and service best, their target market. You want to be in the heart of the action. Whether this is geographically (i.e. which part of the country you are in), or the location physically in a town (main street or a side street), in a tourist hotspot, or a main public thoroughfare. Another thing to bear in mind is your proximity to your target market and how this can influence offerings. Let’s take ASOS, for example, their main target market is young people based mostly in populated cities, in particular London. Being based in London themselves, they are able to offer same day delivery, as well as other perks, to their target market, giving them an advantage over other similar online companies.
Now I appreciate that space is limited and rent is at a premium so next week I will stay on this topic but come at it from an online business’s point of view – we’ll be talking cyberspace!