Business location crucial in online era

Pierre Ferrandon.

Location is still vital for businesses despite the rise of online and mobile communication, according to a new survey by workspace provider Regus.
The global survey of more than 40,000 businesspeople found that being physically close to customers and clients can help businesses improve sales, attract top talent and keep their customers happy.
New Zealand respondents saw increased visibility as the biggest benefit (78 percent), while 75 percent agreed it boosts sales and the same number said it improves customer satisfaction.
The survey findings show this traditional element of business success is as relevant as ever, Regus New Zealand Area Director Pierre Ferrandon says.
“Modern technology makes it possible to work from anywhere in the world, but for some aspects of doing business there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction.  Being physically close to your customers facilitates that and helps build relationships,” he says.  
Being close to customers was also thought to help businesses respond to customer problems more effectively (72%), improve customer retention rates (69%) and help businesses understand customers and markets better (64%).
Other perceived benefits included making it easier to attract and retain top local talent (58%) and improving productivity (54%).
Respondents were less convinced being close to customers would help businesses strike better deals with suppliers (40%), chase up customer payments (34%) and develop better products (32%).
Ferrandon says the need to be in the right location is one of the reasons commercial property markets in many CBDs are booming, including in Auckland.
“CBDs play host to a variety of industries including banking, finance and professional services and they often have a lot of amenities.  These factors make Auckland’s CBD an attractive destination for businesses and workers alike,” he says. 
“However, vacancy rates are very low and quality office space is prohibitively expensive for many firms. This is boosting demand for our more flexible office solutions.”