Lesson 6: Choosing the Right Location

What You’ll Learn: In the old days, a new business meant a storefront. But now storefronts can be virtual, new business enterprises can be run out of a spare bedroom, or they can move into a makerspace or co-working space to build partnerships and synergies with other startups and small businesses. We’ll examine the many options and walk you through the good, the bad and the ugly of each.

Choosing the Right Location (continued)


  • If you’re thinking about a home-based business, at least at the start, visit the IRS Business Use at Home page to understand the guidelines and allowed tax deductions.
  • If you are unsure of the financial implications of one location type over another, make a list of costs for each along with the advantages and disadvantages for comparison purposes.
  • Use our SizeUp tool to compare different locations in a business district, using the data tools to configure projected revenue, overhead, and customer demographics.
  • Adjust your data to see how changes in revenue or overhead are affected by a particular property. You can alternate between SizeUp and our property search tool to identify pricing for specific properties that may be available.
  • If you’ve decided on office or retail space, use the property search tool to refine your search and target initial properties in your desired location. Compare spaces, amenities and terms. Enter the addresses into Google Maps to see where your competitors are.
  • If a coworking, maker space, accelerator or incubator seems like a good fit, see if there is one near you using our Workspace Map.
  • Go window shopping. Drive to the locations you have targeted. What is the general condition of the building? How safe is the surrounding area? What is parking like? Be sure to visit locations during regular business hours. Parking may look wide open in the evening, but there may be no spots left in the morning when commuters and ferry riders head off to work.