Signing on the dotted line of your very own franchise business is a crowning achievement that should be celebrated. After the toast, however, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work on a task that likely began during your negotiations. We’re talking about the all-important aspect of site selection. Where you decide to locate your franchise within your territory could easily spell success—or the opposite—and it’s best to be prepared with sound advice. Here are four site selection factors you shouldn’t ignore:
Information is widely available from commercial real estate sales groups which identify potential locations. These reports can tell you quite a bit about the target audience which resides within your specific territory. Key data will undoubtedly include the number of households, median income and specific demographic information relative to your future customers. Review these reports carefully and compare and contrast with competing site locations. Always choose the biggest bang for your buck.
2. Know Thy Neighbor
If you’re looking at a specific shopping center or complex within your territory, the key will be the “anchor tenant”. The reputation and reach of this business is often key to the additional businesses attracted to the development. Some familiar national players include The Home Depot, Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse, Costco and various regional grocery chains. In addition to the anchor tenant, take an extremely close look at other tenants. Are any of these businesses controversial? Always seek the most stable environment possible.
3. Take a Swing Out
Before you agree to any determination on the location of your franchise, walk the premises on a busy weekend. Do it again on Tuesday morning. What does the foot traffic look like? How clean is the parking lot? Are there any hindrances to the ingress and egress of entering or leaving the area such as road construction? Even the tiniest of factors can end up affecting your walk-in business. Make the rounds and introduce yourself to the other business owners on the property and take in what they have to say.
4. Read the Fine Print
Is this a cliché? Yes. Does that make the point trivial? Absolutely not. Shopping centers, and the management groups which run them can vary quite a bit in what you’re charged in addition to your lease. Make a list of the responsibilities of both the management group and the individual retailers. That way, there are no surprises later. Strongly consider the involvement of an attorney before signing the contract, so that you can get explanations for that which you may not understand. You don’t want a simple oversight adding to your carefully planned expenditures.
Site selection for your new franchise can be an exciting proposition. Everyone has an innate understanding of the adage: location, location, location. But it’s often more than just a fancy street address. It’s how your new franchise will fit seamlessly in a retail environment.
Let’s chat! There’s a local FranNet consultant right in your market who knows that market inside and out – knows the personality of the market – knows the competitive landscape. FranNet has a great track record of assisting individuals on their path to entrepreneurship, and one of our franchise experts would love to provide you with guidance free of charge. Sound like something you might be interested in? Get started here and find your local consultant right now!