by Ray Hayes

Starting a business can be a daunting task. You have to make sure that you develop a solid foundation to build upon in order to flourish throughout the first year. One of the most important things about setting up your business is demographics. Being in the right place will either make or break you. In an effort to educate entrepreneurs about the importance of demographics, the Houston Chronicle sat down with Jacqueline Taylor, deputy director of the Texas Gulf Coast Small Business Development Center Network. Taylor provided several gems that could help many newbies and season vets. Check below for a snippet of the interview:

Q: What’s your advice on finding the best location for my new business?

Taylor: Being in the right spot can make or break your business. Even if you own a manufacturing business that ships products to customers rather than serving customers who walk in off the street, you need to be in a location where you can find good employees, where it’s easy for suppliers to make deliveries, where there’s ample parking and/or access to public transportation, and where there might be a restaurant or two nearby to take clients to lunch.

For an office or a retail or restaurant business that relies on customers being able to easily find you, or to see your shop as they’re driving down the street, it’s even more important to find a prime location.

Your first consideration might be cost, and working with a real estate agent can help you narrow down the parts of town you’re able to afford. Keep in mind that even if you can afford a higher-end location, there’s a “trickle-down” effect. Will you have to charge higher prices to your customers to compensate? Will parking be more expensive? What about taxes?

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