Online shopping has taken away a lot of business from brick and mortar shops over the past decade. But how has this affected Cedar City? Minute details, such as which side of the road you are located on during morning traffic, can have a major effect on your business. Location really matters. Let's go over the do's and don'ts about your business's location in Cedar City.
What kind of business are you?
The location of your business largely depends upon the type of business you own because every business attracts different customers. First, decide what type of customer you are targeting and where that customer is likely to travel. Things like grocery stores, schools and restaurants are the hubs where your customers gather. Knowing your customers ahead of time will help you wisely place your business.
If you have a business that runs online is it still important to have a location? That answer depends on you, the business owner. If you are thinking about getting an office or
small shop just so that you can have a reputable looking place online don't do it. Ten years ago the face behind your internet business was important. Customers cared that where they were buying stuff online was a good established place. But now it has become so natural to buy things online that it has become irrelevant to have something so formal. It may not be in your self interest to spend so much money on an address if it won't help you get sales.
What type of Brick and Mortar?
Cedar City has a very specific set of consumers. As most business owners know, this small town has big opportunities in two demographics: college students and tourists. Apart from these two channels of consumers you can find some in-depth consumer spending information for Cedar City at this site. We'll focus on the two previously mentioned demographics for now.
The College Student Market
Southern Utah University students make up a staggering 8,035 attendees of the roughly 30,000 people that live in Cedar City. That means more than one-fourth of the population here consists of this one socioeconomic standing. Locating close to these students could bring you huge benefits. Many students don't own vehicles, ensuring that locations nearest the school as possible gain a lot of foot-traffic. Students will of course still travel to locations around town (especially by Walmart, Smith's and Lin's). But in the case of restaurants, for example, you'll find the majority of the successful restaurants in Cedar City are located within one mile of the University (most of the rest being located near Walmart).
What's more important than location with SUU
Price is often the most important factor to college students when shopping. College students are notorious for being penny pinchers, but you can use this to your advantage. Students often become regular customers after first being lured in by a free deal on the starving student card. Offering something free will always attract students.
If college students are your ideal customer shoot for a location close to campus. If you can't find a location near the campus, don't worry. Students are well-informed and extremely internet savvy. They will find you as long as you have an online presence and an attractive product or business. Still, make having a location close to campus a high priority to your business.
The Festival Tourists
The Shakespeare Festival and Neil Simon Festival tourists only come around a few months a year but they can bring you lot of business. Many businesses in Cedar make most of their profits during this time. At the height of the festivals, it's common that every hotel in the area is sold out. This is an undeniable opportunity for businesses in Cedar City.
A hot spot for these tourists is the historic downtown on main street. This is where a lot of businesses succeed in Cedar City. These businesses benefit from the festival attendants because they are within walking distance of the theaters. It's a perfect location for capturing the tourist market. The draw back to this location is that typically space is tight and locals don't visit the shops nearly as much as tourists do. The off-season can be difficult for many businesses.
There are many outdoor activities that bring people to Cedar City. They come for Brian Head, Cedar Breaks, Zions National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, The Utah Summer Games, and more. We have paid attention to several bike shops in town and they all seem to do very well even though they are not located particularly close together. Being present online is where these tourists are most likely to find you. Make sure you are doing search engine optimization (SEO). This is how you will be found online. If you are not in the top five google search results get some professional help to analyze your online presence. We do that here at Millennial Marketing.
In the end where should you be?
Be as close to your customers as possible. Even if that means getting your name on the starving student card or just staying online and upgrading your SEO. Some companies literally spend millions of dollars to hire a person who tells them where to locate their business. You're likely not going to be spending that kind of money in Cedar City so do yourself a favor and know your customers.