You don't have to be a retailer to build a marketing program around location. Steve Ettridge decided early on to locate offices of his temporary-help service in storefronts, and he believes the decision was a major factor in making Temps & Co. the largest temp firm in Washington, D.C. in just six and a half years. "If image is important to your business," he says, "it pays to have a storefront. The best way to project a professional image is to let the public see you."

Four of the company's 12 locations are in retail space, which costs 20% to 50% more than office space. Ettridge also invests in the design and decoration of the reception areas that passersby see. He insists it is well worth the extra cost. "Presenting a professional, upbeat face to the public does wonders for the way people perceive your business." In particular, the storefronts have helped him meet his biggest challenge: recruiting skilled employees to send out on jobs. Ettridge figures that his storefront locations increase the walk-in rate by 50%.