How to select the right location for your business

HashMark Holdings president Mark Kaluski is the chair of the Quartier Vanier BIA.

Most entrepreneurs start developing business plans, prototyping a product or selling  services from a home office or even a coffee shop.

Many firms will eventually outgrow their initial space and need to find a proper storefront, office or studio. Research on potential new homes for your business typically starts online.

Local real estate firms maintain online databases of Ottawa vacancies, as does the Quartier Vanier Business Improvement Area at www.investinqv.com.

Once you get out and seeing properties in person, take notice of a building’s proximity to your competitors, bus stops and surrounding amenities. An abundance of nearby restaurants or recreational trails, for example, can help keep employees happy by providing various options for spending their lunch break.

Different neighbourhoods come with their own pros and cons. Downtown Ottawa storefronts offer great visibility and pedestrian traffic, but can be difficult for potential customers to reach by car during peak traffic periods. In contrast, suburban business parks generally offer plenty of parking but typically won’t bring in many new customers who just happened to be walking by.

Other neighbourhoods, such as Vanier, offer businesses the opportunity to get into an up-and-coming area on the ground floor.

“There are big opportunities (in Vanier) as this part of the city continues to grow and see bigger investments from both the private and public sector,” says Ryan Goldberg, the leasing director of the Regional Group of Companies. Joe Oneid of Royal LePage echoes the perception that Vanier is undergoing a rejuvenation. “There are empty parcels of land that are prime for development,” he says.

The Quartier Vanier BIA has prepared several tools to help entrepreneurs across the city find the right home for their businesses.

These include a step-by-step guide to finding a location as well as a commercial space directory.

Visit www.investinqv.com to access these resources and learn more.