Modern society has three aspects – social, economic, and political. The social aspect deals with association between some social group/institution (such as family, school, collage, mosque, etc.) and individual, economic aspect deals with interactive relationships between firm/industry and economic agents, and political aspect is dynamic combination of parliament, executive, judiciary, media, civil society, political parties and voters. The economic aspect has three sectors – product sector, service sector, and financial sector. Business Location is important for product sector due to concerns about availability of raw material, it is vital for services sector in order to provide convenience to customers, and it is central for financial sector for efficient communication links. Thus, business location is vital for every sector of modern economy.
Determinants of Business Location
Business growth and survival is based on multiple demand and supply factors. We may group these factors into two categories – tangible and intangible. The tangible factors can be felt with five senses, while, intangible factors cannot be felt with five senses. The prominent tangible factors are capital, land, physical convenience to customers, and cash in hand, while the prominent intangible factors are entrepreneurship, organizational behaviour, consumer tastes, and social links. At production level, after capital, the possession of land and its suitable location is the most important tangible factor that fortify and maintains manager’s stability towards business struggle. At consumption level, customers have great attraction towards easy attainment of product or service. The physical convenience to customer is an important tangible factor that shapes demand-pattern of product or service, so that business location easily accessible to customers is vital for stable customer account. Thus, the most important demand and supply factors for business survival and growth – i.e., stable customer and stable entrepreneur – are strongly linked with business location.
There may be another division of decisive ingredients of business location, input and output elements. The prominent input elements are – convenience to entrepreneur, convenience to work force, cost of transportation, efficient communication links (i.e., phone, internet, wireless, mobile, etc.), government incentives, availability of raw material, availability of cheap labour force, and operational efficiency. On the other hand, the prominent output elements are – convenience to customer, distributional ease, and business effectiveness. The optimal availability and utilization of input elements are beneficial for cost minimization, while the optimal availability and utilization of output elements is beneficial for sales maximization, thus, the combined effect of input-output elements enhances the net return of business struggle, and both are strongly linked with business location. It is noteworthy that the input-output analysis may also include the social dimensions of business location.
Business Location & Taxonomy of Business
A traditional division of economic struggle or business venture is – farming, agribusiness, mining, manufacturing, and commerce. These classifications give shape to three basic sectors of economic aspect, i.e., agriculture sector, manufacturing sector, and services sector. Agriculture sector or Farming is indispensably based on land. A suitable farm location is required for distinctive farming activities. Agribusiness are highly dependent on land output coming from agriculture sector such as cotton ginning, spinning, tannery, flour production, and sugar manufacturing. These businesses are generally located near to the source of raw material. Similarly, mining is a business highly dependent on land and its hidden treasures, such as oil & gas refinery, gems and stones, and coal extraction. Expenditures on transportation of raw material and facility of warehouses are high and costly, thus, to arrange location of these business units near to the sources of raw material is reasonable approach. The administrative units of the business are generally located somewhere else, normally near to some financial hub. Agribusiness or mining are labour-intensive or raw material-intensive industries. The capital-intensive industry opt a different approach towards business location. Industry location is decided by capital efficiency, labor or raw material is secondary, e.g., automobiles, home appliances, and military equipments. In addition, government incentives, structural facilities, and focused working environment for knowledge workers are some decisive elements for the business location of capital-intensive manufacturing sector.
Commercial businesses or services sector are customer-driven businesses. The very existence of the business depends on easy provision of product/service to consumers. These businesses are highly sensitive to location and its physical appearance, a minor mistake towards location may bring a great loss to a business, for example, a restaurant on some odd area or bit away from customer’s easy approach may be a failure. Generally the posh area brings many customers due to snob and bandwagon effects. The snob and bandwagon effects, thus, play an important role in making final decision about location of commercial business. In addition, there are multiple small factors are involved at the time of area selection, for example customer’s ease on parking, customer’s security, and pleasant customer mobility during shopping. The customized location analysis for each and every commercial business is essential and indispensable. The location analysis of retail would be different from wholesale, retail is generally profitable within city while wholesale is suitable outside the city. A virtual factor has gained special importance in commercial business, product can be displayed on virtual location, monetary transactions can be made through credit cards and product can be delivered through company’s courier service. The services sector has accommodated the benefits of virtual location but indispensability and significance of physical location cannot be wiped out.
The non-governmental organizations, trusts, hospitals, and educational institutions are important intuitions of modern society. They are inevitable and essential part of every civilized state. They are critical for physical health, psychological strength, spiritual purification, and social ties. They are managed and operated with entrepreneurial skills and personal devotion. Efficiency and effectiveness of such institutions are also depend on multiple factors such as capital, volunteers, and physical location. A facility away from volunteers or user would be less effective. The location has dual effects; it attracts volunteers as well as users. A volunteer brings time and money, thus efficiency/effectiveness is increased, and user is eventual beneficiary of a welfare activity, an ultimate goal.