1. Look for areas that show signs of growth.
There are pockets like this all over Indianapolis. Timing is important here. When we first saw 936 Virginia Avenue, I knew it was going to be our spot for Siam Square. It was perfect because it had been a successful restaurant location in the past, and the neighborhood was about to see a rebirth with the construction of the Cultural Trail.
2. Stick with what you know.
When scouting locations for Black Market, we were looking for the same kind of neighborhood we knew in Fountain Square. We wanted to be in an arts district. And the Cultural Trail had just been completed on the east end of Mass Ave. We were predicting an increase in bicycle traffic and hoped that the proposed mixed-use building, Trail Side on Mass, would start construction soon.
3. If it makes sense, choose locations that are close to one another.
For some kinds of businesses, that doesn’t work. But for restaurants, it makes it much easier to quickly get from one to the other in case of emergency.
» MORE: Martha Hoover and Lisa Moyer share how to start a restaurant (Cafe Patachou) and a food truck (Scout’s Treat Truck).
This article appeared as a companion piece to the “Start Your Own Business!” cover package in the March 2014 issue.