If you’re planning on starting a business in Victoria, you may be tempted to try to obey the 1920s maxim “Location, Location, Location”.
But what exactly is the right location for your business? Well, naturally it will depend heavily on your business – a company that focuses on fishing would likely benefit from being near the coast or a lake – but even for these businesses, a few locations stand out above all others as attractive destinations.
Here we’ll look into some of the qualities to look for when hunting for a business location in Victoria.
The first place to look is naturally major population centres. The largest population centre in Victoria is of course the capital city of Melbourne, with a population of a little over 4.5 million.
However, you may already know a few reasons why you might not want to settle there. Rents are expensive, parking is limited, and there’s a high chance that whatever your business is you’ll have a lot of direct competition – potentially in the form of large, monopolistic franchises.
However, even taking that into account there are a lot of benefits. 4.5 million is a lot of people, and if like a café – specializing in serving workers during their breaks – or can capitalize on a large but niche market – such as a comic store – then the high traffic of the city could more than outweigh the high costs and potential competition.
You could also consider setting up in the more residential areas just outside of the city centre. The region of South Melbourne, for example, has a number of local markets and smaller, community-focused storefronts, and the primary schools of South Melbourne are a major attraction for many families.
Another benefit of being close to the city is that in some way shape or form, everything you need is already there.
But it is possible to get all the benefits of a large city without many of the detriments. The next largest city in Victoria is Geelong, with a population of 180,000 people.
The population has grown by nearly 50% in the last 10 years and as a result, it has become a vibrant centre for many businesses.
The third largest is Ballarat, closely followed by Bendico, each with a population of just over 100,000.
These two cities have also grown by nearly 50% since 2001, making these three cities among the fastest developing city centres around Victoria. But speaking of developing centres…
Why open in any of the established city centres when many smaller townships exist and are growing at an equal or more rapid pace?
If you’re worried about competition or looking at starting a franchise of your own, beginning in a small but growing township – one that’s still cheap and actively inviting new businesses – can be a great way to build a local reputation you can leverage for greater profits and even franchisable potential.
Beechworth Bakery, happily describing itself as Australia’s Greatest Bakery, began as a small local bakery but after gaining considerable success it soon expanded into a franchise, opening more bakeries in Albury, Bendigo, Ballarat and Healesville in the early 2000s.
At the time those were developing regions, and in the late 2010s, Beechworth Bakery continued this practice of finding up-and-coming townships and establishing themselves in the area – most notably opening its doors in Yackandandah and Blight.
Today, we can easily point to some of the fastest-growing urban centres that are in need of new businesses to help bolster their towns.
Wodonga, Toquay, Warragul, Drysdale, Lara, Drouin and Wallan have rapidly escalated in the overall population – some more than tripling their population in the last 10 years alone.
These townships – which one day might become cities in their own right – are still developing their infrastructure.
Although this might at first seem like a reason not to invest, this often means that local councils are more eager to see businesses open their doors and will work hard to make the process as easy as possible.
Of course, every region is different, and you should look into what sorts of businesses these regions want or need before deciding to move in there.
What’s Right For You
As we said at the start, what is right for you will be greatly dependent on what your business is, but every business needs customers, and every business needs to consider the cost of rent and other points of infrastructure.
But if you know your business, then you’ll probably already know exactly what sort of customer base and the rental price is right for you, and we here in Victoria encourage you to come here and see if what is right for you is right for us as well.