Elliott Associates: Four Tips on Setting up a Viable Small Business
Elliott Associates is a leading company in commercial property management. It provides a full-service assistance to asset owners who need assistance in building wealth through the commercial use of their asset. Elliott shares the following tips in putting up a small business that will maximize the use of a commercial location:
1. Location, Location, Location: We have all heard of the mantra for choosing a property intended for commercial development. Location matters in business. It determines the proximity of the property to its target market, accessibility to its raw materials or supply of basic goods and it potential as a flexible or versatile venture in terms of expansion or diversification into other related ventures. For instance, putting up a small restaurant near a large restaurant that caters a similar fare will not work as the area might dictate high-prized quality food. Putting up one in a row of similar small restaurants, however, might work as people can choose from a collection of similar shops with comparable prices, especially in such crowded areas as tourist locations or low-budget shopping districts.
2. Price, Price, Price: One's ability to purchase or lease a property stands secondary to the location, in general. You may acquire a low priced property; but if its location has no commercial potential, the investment will suffer. However, having a well-located property that is reasonably priced (although that is almost next to impossible nowadays) provides many advantages. There are always property owners who, now and then, opt to put their property on the market at sacrifice-sale prices for several unavoidable reasons, such as, rush sales due to forced relocation, to avoid mortgaged default, to pay off matured debts, to finance medical or other emergency expenses or to avoid other legal or financial sanctions.
3. Satisfying a Demand: Often, many people put up a business out of a sense of personal satisfaction and not for customer-satisfaction, which should be the main motivation for any business. No matter how much one likes to cook, putting up a small restaurant or selling a special native delicacy is not just satisfying your own taste for the food, although that is the start of a good idea and business. Business is all about knowing first why people like something and what else they need to make their desire surpass that of your personal satisfaction. To put it in another way, what will you do for others that you are willing to forgo for yourself? This seems asking too much of anyone; however, there is no better way of satisfying yourself than satisfying your customers first who, in the first place, outnumber you. Making one delicious cake to sell to one person is easy to do; but to make so many delicious cakes to so many people who happen to have different tastes is much harder and one has to have the love for those people first that goes above your love for making cakes. If you don't, your business and personal satisfaction, ultimately, will not prosper as much as it should.
4. Historical Background: Not many people appreciate the value of a property's history or its connection to some historical event or figure. It could be so obscure an event or historic personality; but for one who has the creativity to exploit great moments in the past, it can be an asset which is worth having as much as the property itself. More often though, only the government has the motivation and interest to develop or promote a site's historical heritage. But that does not mean private individuals cannot or should not assist in that policy. In fact, those who have the initiative to perpetuate historical treasures (material or immaterial) can establish a clientele that is often discriminating and well-endowed. But that does not discount the mass of people who also appreciate the value of patronizing businesses based on commemoration of historical events and personalities. Fiestas, which are cultural and financial extravaganzas in developing countries, are essentially based on this taken-for-granted concept of the value of shared historical experiences. Forgetting is never profitable; but remembering can be.
5. Cultural Color: The cultural setting of a property may not often come as a valid reason for choosing a property, especially within the modern setting of a crowded urban area where business is the major concern. Nevertheless, taking into account the cultural environment of a property can add and, likewise, even detract from its value. When you visit capital cities in predominantly-Catholic countries, the area surrounding cathedrals and major churches are basically commercial areas bustling with vendors, tourists and other enterprising people. Local businesses surrounding these tradition-bound areas are often linked to a certain cultural facets which small entrepreneurs can get into while providing fresh creative ideas. Sometimes, tradition may only be a symbolic feature of a new business in the area while catering modern-based or high-tech products or services. Small shops selling t-shirts or books about the recent innovative and alternative non-religious festivals in many countries are examples of these businesses.
Investing in a small business does require a lot of creativity. The value of considering these often unrecognized factors that affect the potential economic worth of a property or location can only be verified by taking a close look at the cases of existing successful small businesses that have unconsciously applied the principles listed above.