• October 31, 2014

Location can make or break a business

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Posted: Sunday, March 23, 2014 4:30 am

Jim Wright, owner of Killeen-based Jim Wright Company, has worked in the real estate business in the Fort Hood area for 40 years.

He leased his first office on Rancier Drive from Leo Buckley and now runs his operations from his own building at 3800 S. W.S. Young Drive.

Managing about 2,500 residential properties and about a million-square-feet of office and retail properties, Wright has contributed to the commercial growth of Killeen, Copperas Cove and Harker Heights during his tenure by leasing and selling to many area businesses.

Wright specializes in commercial leasing, sales and development of office and retail properties.

His company is the only property management business in Bell and Coryell counties with a certified property manager, public accountant, commercial investment member and residential broker on staff.

Earlier this week, Wright explained how a business location can affect operations to Herald Business Editor Mason W. Canales.

How important is location when opening and running a business?

On a scale of 1 to 10, it is generally a 9 or 10, but it depends on the type of business and whether or not you need impulse-type buyers or traffic. Poor access or visibility can greatly harm a business.

What factors should a business consider when deciding on a location? And why?

Obviously, cost is the main factor, especially in new businesses with limited capital.

However, if your business is a destination-type business, location may not be that important as long as your location is easily found and accessible.

What are common missteps people make in determining their business locations that can lead to failure?

I think many new business owners do not think through what type of location they need.

If you consider the answers to the previous questions, sometimes visibility and ease of access can be more important than the actual location.

For example, if you are opening an ice cream store, then location is important, but visibility and ease of access can be just as important, if not more important.

If you have a choice of an older location with good visibility, good traffic and easy access, it may be better for the new business than a new, more expensive location, but you need to weigh the pros and cons of both.

What are some of the hottest locations in Killeen, Harker Heights and Copperas Cove? And why?

In Killeen, the most desirable locations are generally properties fronting Central Texas Expressway, but W.S. Young, Stan Schlueter Loop and Clear Creek Road are currently all highly desirable locations due to the amount of activity and traffic that they are generating.

In Harker Heights, Market Heights and along Central Texas Expressway are the most desired locations, especially if you need visibility.

But many small businesses cannot afford the rents at Market Heights, so Farm-to-Market 2410 is also becoming more desirable.

That is the direction Harker Heights appears to be growing, along with the area south of the new (future) Walmart location on Stillhouse Lake Road.

In Copperas Cove, the new Five Hills shopping center and around that area appear to be the most desirable locations at this time, along with the eastern part of U.S. Highway 190 in Copperas Cove.

Traffic and visibility are the main reasons those are highly desirable locations. However, you need to be careful, as sometimes there may be so much traffic that it is difficult to access a business.

The new south loop in Copperas Cove should help alleviate that problem in Cove.

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