Defining Your Business: Home-Based vs Retail Location

For a retail location engraving shop, site location is probably the most important factor in determining the shop's success. Like the man said, "Location, location, location!” Some industry experts believe that a strip mall, industrial location or business complex are the best areas. Almost any area with a high degree of visibility and a fair amount of traffic will do. Pick a location that is easy for your potential clients to reach, that's safe, and has adequate parking. Also, don't underestimate the value of storefront windows to show off your engraved products, trophies, and beautiful awards!


  • Anticipated sales volume. Will I have the capacity I need for growth?
  • History of the location. Will the location support my business?
  • Restrictive ordinances. Noise abatement, parking, business signage ordinances, etc.
  • Can my business support a retail lease payment?
  • Terms of the lease. Signing for too many years may limit your growth opportunities later.
  • Security.

A home-based business may be an excellent way to get started. This can be a great environment to learn about your new hardware specifically and the engraving business in general. You can also start to build a client base and let your initial advertising do its work. A spare room, garage or basement workshop can be the answer. As long as your home can accept a little more excitement (and mess) you're probably okay with this kind of decision. If your plans are to work out of the home, remember these three important home-based business rules:

  1. Can you successfully separate your business-self from your home-self?
  2. Does your neighborhood have zoning regulations that may forbid you from operating a home-based business?
  3. Can you set up an adequate operation to create an image that will give you the professional appearance you need in order to be successful?

Regardless of your decision, home-based or retail, you will need to plan the space wisely, especially if you want to grow. Start with a simple, easily executed plan, since you can always move to a retail location later.