So you’ve decided to purchase a Canadian franchise and possibly you have a choice between a number of locations. How can you know which is best? After all, location plays a huge role in consumer driven industries. While the franchisor may have done much of the hard work for you, it’s still important to take a look at the data for yourself.
Fortunately, choosing the right location for your Canadian franchise does not have to be difficult or complicated. You simply need to know what to take into consideration.
Understand your franchise’s concept.
Canadian franchises may vary in their customer base, but they all have some sort of concept that they are operating on. Think about who your target customers will be and where they live. What time of day or week will customers usually go there? If it’s on their lunch, you should probably locate close to where they work. But if it’s on the weekend, it might make more sense to locate near a mall or park.
Work closely with the franchisor.
As mentioned before, the franchisor has likely done a lot of the homework and has statistics about your target customers and even on possible locations. Since it is in their best interest that you are successful in your Canadian franchise venture, the good ones do their best to help you.
Not only will franchisors have data about your target customers, but they often have information on commercial development deals and have contacts with realtors who can help you secure your location. With some Canadian franchises, franchisees are guaranteed protected territory, so you’ll need to clear your choice of location anyway.
Speak with other franchisees.
If you want to understand the ins and outs of franchising in Canada, there is almost no better way than to talk to other franchisees. Just like it’s recommended you talk to your future cohorts before buying a franchise about the business model, it’s also a good idea to talk to them about the kind of location that works well. Especially if the franchisees have more than one location, they should be able to provide you some good insight into what works well and what doesn’t.
Evaluate the site.
Once you have a location or two in mind, take the time to take inventory of the pros and the cons of selecting it. Look at the small details like how much traffic the area receives and at what times of day. Is the area on the sunny side of the road or is it shaded in the afternoon? Can drivers easily turn into your parking lot or is the road too busy? And speaking of parking, is there enough?
There are a number of other factors that you should look for when choosing your location as well. These include:
- Do you out position the competition? If a lot of your daytime traffic will be coming from a nearby industrial park, you want to be closer to that customer base than your competitors.
- Demand generators. If you locate in an economically vibrant area, that will attract more consumers.
- Tenant mix. If you are locating in a strip mall or plaza, who are your neighbours? If you are opening a health food store, it could be to your advantage to have a gym or chiropractor in the same plaza, but it might be detrimental if all the surrounding businesses cater to families with children.
Just like other aspects of opening a business, finding the right location for your Canadian franchise takes time, planning and a bit of homework. The time it takes can be well worth the results however, since the right location is one of the keys to success.