Choosing a location
Now that we have determined the legalities of owning a headshop, you will need
to decide where to open your business. The location is without a doubt the most important part of owning a business of this
nature. More often than not, leasing is the most viable option for a new business owner. However this is a matter of personal
choice and it will depend on your capital investment.
who your ideal customer is. Headshop customers are in the 18-35 y.o demographic, and typically an area that is middle class
is best. You receive the best of both worlds. The customers have enough money to splurge on high priced items, while it is
not so high class that they look to run your store out of the area.
Pick an area that tend to attract those types of people, whether they live there or work there. Some of the
most successful shops are local to a large mall. The demographic of mall shoppers is ideal for success. You can also use census
data to help find suitable areas.
Drive around your prospective neighborhoods. Make note of any vacant storefronts and get contact information for each
(it's often posted in the window). Also note the exact location of each one with the phone number. Use Google maps to
plot and compare locations on a large scale. Call and check lease prices and the size of each space. Prices are often expressed
as the price per square foot for a year. Be careful to inquire about CAM charges. These Common Area Maintenance charges add
up quick, and are often used to recover lost rates when advertising a low price per square foot rate.
Set up appointments to view all of the spaces available that are even close to
your price range (you may be able to negotiate terms that fit your budget). Schedule these appointments for a time of day
when your business would be open, and preferably for a time that you think will be particularly busy so that you can check
Get a copy of the lease terms for each property
you view. Review these in comparison with each other, and have your lawyer review any that you have questions about. Compare
the lease rates, terms and any renovation allowances being offered. Decide on which lease best meets your needs. Try to negotiate
a better lease term if possible. While you may not be able to negotiate a better rate, you might have more luck getting a
bigger renovation allowance, or lowering Cam charges. Sign a lease only after your lawyer has reviewed the paperwork.
Return to the prospective storefront MANY times during the
week. It is imperative that you get a good idea of what goes on around the storefront during the week. You would hate to open
a store just to find out there is a Christians farmers market in your plaza parking lot during the weekends.