When it comes to choosing a location for your business premises, the chances are that you focus primarily on your business and its needs. This is completely understandable and necessary, and if you find a location that suits your company, your business should be able to flourish.
There is, however, another component that you need to consider when choosing your business’ location: your neighbours. While many of us think about our relationship with our neighbours in regards to our domestic situation, it’s not so common to think about your relationship with your business neighbours – but doing so can ensure your business is able to go about its operations with a minimum of stress and disruption.
Assessing the competition
The moment you move into new business premises, your new neighbours will focus primarily on whether your business will be competitive to their operations. For example, if you run a coffee shop, other coffee shops or even restaurants in the same area are unlikely to welcome your presence. While it is always preferable to choose a location where your business is the only one of its kind in the area, this isn’t always feasible – especially if you are moving into a premium space that receives a lot of foot traffic.
If your business is competitive with one of your new neighbours, then it’s worth taking five minutes to introduce yourself and create a good starting point. Provided the competition is healthy and friendly, you should be able to foster a good relationship where both businesses can benefit.
However, there is a risk you will be greeted with hostility. If this happens, just smile, nod to yourself that you’ve done your best, and leave – it’s not an ideal situation, but business people are competitive by nature, so sometimes the best you can do is rise above it.
The importance of consideration
With the competitive issue resolved – or at least set to one side, if there is nothing you can do to improve a competitor’s feelings towards you – it’s also helpful to think about consideration. Businesses need to be considerate to one another if they share a space, and you should seize the initiative in this regard from the outset.
First and foremost, consult fellow businesses if you suspect something you are planning for your premises will impact them. The most obvious issue in this regard is construction and development of your premises; the work will likely disturb other businesses in the area, so it’s worth at least letting them know you have work planned prior to hiring builders, contacting a crane hire company, and beginning the work. Even if the work you are undertaking will disturb their operations, most business owners will appreciate the warning, and will try to be understanding during the construction process.
The same need for consideration applies if you are running a special promotion or event; something that may bring an influx of traffic to the area. By providing ample warning of such an event, you can ensure the day is not marred by complaints of blocked streets or similar issues by other businesses.
By being considerate and focusing on establishing healthy, friendly competition with businesses similar to your own, you should be able to ensure your relationship with your business neighbours is as positive as it can possibly be. Good luck!