For you indy guys or RIAs: How did you go about choosing your office location?
Demographics? Close to client base? Close to home? Ease of access? Real Estate Prices?
I wanted something in the center of town that I didn't have to spend a lot of money building out to my needs. It was difficult to find what I wanted and held my transition up by about 3 months.
I picked an office that is in a good location for both my clients and myself. They like the fact that it's easy to get to and I like that it makes my commute a little easier. Why not get the best of both worlds right?
I considered my move to Independence as an upgrade so I rent a nice office in a brand new modern office building with all the bells and whistles. My clients have been impressed with the layout and and since there are many other businesses in that building, the networking has already begun. Consider that opportunity when looking for new space.
I would try to locate near where you live (or want to live). It makes quality of life so much better. For me, I have a kick-a$$ spot, but it's a little difficult for people to find, as it's off the beaten path. So that's been a little hindrance, but I wouldn't trade my spot for anything right now.
my two cents:
It depends alot on the image you are trying to get out. I am basically set up as a money manager and that is how I market myself. So I have the high rise office space in a nice building. I have friends who market themselves as the local financial planner and have offices in smaller buildings that feel like an old time law office in the south. Very comfortable and nice. The planning clients seem to like it better since it doesn't smell like a corporate office.
The biggest perk about being on your won is location. I live a mile away from my office. It takes me five minutes to get in, even in bad traffic. Much better than the 45 minutes it took me when I was at a wire.
"It depends alot on the image you are trying to get out. I am basically set up as a money manager and that is how I market myself. So I have the high rise office space in a nice building. I have friends who market themselves as the local financial planner and have offices in smaller buildings that feel like an old time law office in the south. Very comfortable and nice. The planning clients seem to like it better since it doesn't smell like a corporate office."
This is so true. I never thought about it like that, but I think you are right.
I like the old law office feel. Currently located in the suburbs of a major metropolitan area, current population(32,000) and directly surrounded by populations of 16K,35K,120K and 18K.
I am thinking about moving to a town of 12K, but being on the "other side of the tracks" with populations of 175K,20K,35K and 30K.. but the affluency is much higher, older clientele(not starter familys that bought houses they couldn't afford). This would also put me within 5 miles of a wire. I seem to think that wires put offices in spots located where they have or want clients from.
As for lifestyle, the drive is about 2 miles difference from my house and drive time is about 3 minutes longer. Also the competition includes, MSSB, ML, Stifel, and Wells... Where my current competition is local banks and EDJ(not really competition since we are looking for different clients).
I think it depends on how much you want to grow your business. If you are only looking for 25 more clients, it almsot doesn't matter where you are. If yuo are looking for 150 more clients, it probably matters a great deal, as you will be prospecting heavily.
IMHO, your level of future prospecting will have some bearing on where you should be. If you have your ideal 100-150 clients (or less), and you are primarily picking up a few new clients through referral, then location (relative to where the money is) is not as big an issue.