The advent of technology and remote work has led many to believe that location does not matter anymore in business. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has persisted for over a year now, has further strengthened this belief. Business transactions are sealed daily without the participants meeting one another. Most businesses are actively online. If your business is not online, you are probably losing out on a lot of opportunities.
Still, the question persists. Does your location really matter if you are running an online business?
The answer is yes…and no.
For businesses where delivery of physical products are involved, location is everything. Even if you can get hundreds of orders online, you must fulfil your orders. So proximity to your customers will help you save on logistics costs. It does not matter if your products are the best in the market; the cost of shipping/delivery may discourage potential customers from patronising you.
But even if what you offer is a service, your location would still matter.
How Location Affects your Business
If you are a start-up and not a big name brand, people want to see proof of your business’s existence offline. That’s why you must locate your business in a strategic spot where everyone can easily see your logo and link it to the online business. Humans are generally distrustful of anything they cannot experience with any of the five senses. People may be more open to trusting you online if they have seen your logo or general presence offline.
Also, you will need to hire people to run your online business. If your location is hard to access, it will be more expensive to attract the best talent. Will your employees find fair housing provisions in the right price range around this location? Do they have to live in a completely different part of town? Will they be stuck in endless hours of traffic, to and fro work? Remember that this may affect their productivity in the workplace. So, poor access may mean a limited pool of talents. And your little talent pool will most likely lower the quality of your service.
Location and Brand Image
Your location will also reflect on your brand image and give you an edge over the competition. If your business is in the highbrow area of town, your high-end prices will be more likely justified. Your location should reflect the image you want to create in people’s minds whenever they mention your brand.
Also, customers may need to return or pick up items. If they have a hard time locating you, they may be discouraged from future patronage.
Your client base will be reduced if your business operation is in a notorious area or somewhere with a terrible reputation. It may affect how much people can trust your brand.
Additionally, the market will more likely leave you behind if your competitors run their businesses from a popular and well-known area, while you are somewhere remote and unrecognisable. This is why you have companies, like banks, in clusters.
Target a Specific Market
Even when your business is strictly online and your service can be offered remotely, your location can still make you lose out on business. For example, it would be harder for a service provider from Nigeria to win a bid to run a US-based small business’s social media. The time difference would play a huge role. As would the perceived ability to speak English as a first language.
But, you can use your location, any location, to an advantage. Depending on your offering, you may be missing out on the market in your vicinity because of poor advert targeting. Let Slvr Wlf Digitale Ltd help you reach the right market for your business location. Ask for a free consultation today.