Starting a Staffing Company: Choosing a Location for your Business

Location, location, location..they’re the three keys to a successful business, right? That’s a gross oversimplification, of course, especially when you’re in a business-to-business marketing operation, such as staffing. But even if you’re not dependent on walk-in customers, the right location can play a role in your success. Choosing a location for your business is serious business, itself.

Consider cost: It’s more than rent

You’ll want to lease a space at a cost appropriate for your business plan, of course. You’ll need to chose a location for your business with rents in your range.  You simply can’t afford to overpay, lest you cut too deeply into your profit or force your prices out of competitive range. But rent is only one of the costs you’ll need to consider when you choose where to locate. What about taxes? Income taxes can vary greatly from state to state. Regulatory requirements can also vary in ways that may effect your bottom line. If you are near a state line, you may want to consider closely what state you want your staffing business to call “home.” The Small Business Survival Index ranks the various U.S. states on how friendly they are to small business.

Cities can also vary with regard to taxes, regulations and government economic incentives. Entrepreneur Magazine publishes an annual list of the Best U.S. Cities for Small Business, which takes many of these factors into account.

Consider convenience

Staffing businesses are somewhat unique in that they have three constituencies to consider with regard to location: their own employees, their clients and the workers they provide to clients.

First, consider your employees. If you want to attract and hold strong ones, you’ll want to look at your location through their eyes. Is it difficult to get to? Is there free parking or handy public transportation? Is it a safe place when they arrive? A strong “no” to any of these questions could hamper your ability to hire and retain strong employees, who will always be the lifeblood of your business.

Next, consider your clients. They may not be clustered in a small area, making it difficult to locate in a place that’s convenient for all. And it is true that many clients will visit your offices infrequently. But there may be some locations that are certainly inconvenient for some of your clients. And if your staffing firm specializes in staffing for a particular industry, it may be easier for you to find new clients in areas where there is particular need. If, for example, you specialize in healthcare staffing, locating near a major medical center may give you access to many clients, as well as visibility.

Finally—but not least importantly—consider convenience to your labor force. This is particularly important if you specialize in industrial staffing or unskilled labor. Many of your potential workers may not be willing or able to travel great distances to get to your offices. You need to be convenient to them, or you won’t have a product to sell.

Consider appearances

No matter where you locate, your office needs to convey the proper message to your clients and workers. Too fancy and some clients may wonder about your pricing? Too downscale and you may look like a fly-by-nighter. Much depends on the expectations of your particular client base, of course. If you’re in the executive staffing business, you may want a space that puts both your high level clients and workers at ease. If you’re in industrial staffing, you may want a very different sort of space.

Don’t make any rash decisions

For better or worse, when you choose a location for your business, it’s a decision that won’t go away quickly. Find a good commercial real estate agent to help, one who will take the time to understand what your needs are and may even force you to refine them. If you are buying into a staffing franchise, make sure the franchisor gets involved in your real estate decisions. An organization that has been involved in opening many locations certainly has wisdom to share, and may even be a hands-on partner in your search. Whatever your situation, take your time. Whatever location you choose, you’ll want to be there a while.