A “great location” can mean different things to different people. There are may things to consider but we will bring out a few that matter more. Before acquiring or renting a property for your business, please keep the following factors in mind.
Great Location Can Be Central or Remote
Cities that are highly developed like Lagos will certainly have higher prices for property than the likes of Kano, Maiduguri and others with large swathes of undeveloped land. Central areas will always have better mobile network, better roads, more police attention, and better water supply. Depending on the business you need a property for, it could be wise you choose a central area or a suburb. If it is a brick and mortar store, go for central areas where you have denser populations. But if you can do without those amenities provided in central areas, you can go for the remote suburbs.
Take Mkpat Enin and Ikot Abasi, for example; these places have known better power supply than many parts of the Akwa Ibom State capital city of Uyo. But they do not have great mobile network, so they cannot be great location for an eCommerce business. You can run a commercial farm here, though, using the electricity to power your water pumps and storage units.
A great neighbourhood should have great accessibility, social amenities and a relatively class appearance. Howbeit, you are not likely to find large unoccupied property in such neighbourhoods. At least not easily. But even if you head for the suburbs your property must be easy to access for anyone who needs to visit and even for you who resides/or works there. In terms of appearance, an environment consultant or development company rather than a fast food would love bushy areas with trees.
You do not only have existing infrastructure to deal with; the coming ones also matter. Will there be roads passing through the area in future? Are there any nearby Government land? They could use it for whatever in future, are you aware? If they use it for a military barrack in future, be aware that barracks tend to attract a lot of criminal activities that local security can do nothing about. As far as your business is concerned, always consider how a future addition could affect your business when choosing an area to move to.
Take a case in Port Harcourt, for example. Before 2003, would the residents of GRA have realized that there would be a fast growing church that would buy up entire streets? Hardly. But Salvation Ministries arrived and bought up entire neighbourhoods, swallowing up even smaller churches and little businesses. They could have prepared better using professional advise.
In organized society, every neighbourhood is designed in such a way that future development have parking lots before building. When buying, have it in mind that the Government has a plan that you have to comply with. That plan certainly includes parking lot. So if you are building an events centre, ask about the Government’s plan. You could be compelled to buy more property for parking in future, if you do not. An example is this mobile phone sales and repair business in Uyo that had to buy about 800sqm for parking space at N10 Million. In Uyo, this amount is LARGE, while for a similar business in Lagos, it could be considered great price.
The Town Around
Is the town around this area of your interest one that can accommodate your business partners and markets? If not, do you have the budget to make arrangement for them? Someone may say ‘my business doesn’t need a physical visit’. This could be true, but, if it’ll grow, at some point, it will be visited. Even if you run it like Kylie Jenner’s cosmetics business, with less than 7 staff and most services outsourced, hopefully you will be successful and will grow. Even if you don’t, your staff will need to live nearby. Can they live in the town around, or will need to travel like from Badagry to Ojodu Berger in Lagos? A great location may be remote but will certainly need a town around it where your suppliers, staff, buyers, staff can stay in.
This article was inspired by another on Investopedia