Most aspiring entrepreneurs think that buying a franchise is much easier than starting their own business. The truth is, both undertakings have their own respective advantages and disadvantages. Buying a franchise means skipping all the growing pains of being a startup and having all the necessary resources at your disposal, but there are still some things that you as a franchisee need to oversee.
One such responsibility is finding the right location for the franchise. One of the cornerstones of a franchises’ success is where it’s located, so it’s important to find an area that’s accessible to customers. Some franchise companies offer assistance with this task, but the type of help they give differs per company.
These are just some main factors that you need to consider when selecting the perfect location:
Accessibility and foot traffic.
The location should be easy to find and access, and there should be a constant flow of prospective customers walking by. It should also be accessible to vehicles, and near public transportation.
The surrounding community should be relatively safe to visit, and it should have a healthy local economy.
Size and configuration.
The location should be able to meet the standard physical and operational specifications of the store.
There’s a whole host of other considerations to keep in mind, and the ones mentioned are just the most common. Choosing the right location is a complicated science, but these helpful strategies can make the procedure much easier.
Understand the specific needs of the franchise
There’s no one-size-fits-all location for a franchise because there are so many kinds of franchises to choose from. The first order of business is to understand the specific needs of whatever franchise you’re buying. For example, if you’re looking into smoothie franchise opportunities, you’re going to have to think about whether the store is going to be a small kiosk or a free-standing unit. Then you’ll need to pinpoint who the target customer is. Let’s say the smoothie store is going to be a small kiosk, and the target customer is a health-conscious gym buff, you’re probably going to want to look at locations near health clubs or gyms.
Speak with other franchisees
Past franchisees have already gone through this process and have come out on the other side, so if there’s anyone who knows how to pick the right location, it’s probably them. If you have the opportunity to speak with them, then you should take full advantage of that chance. You’ll be able to learn a lot from someone who was once in the same position as you.
Look at overhead costs and rental fees
Before signing the dotted line on a lease, you have to calculate whether the costs associated with it are fair and manageable. Even if you find the perfect location that’s extremely accessible, highly visible, and has the potential to generate high sales, it won’t mean much if the overhead costs and rental fees are far more expensive than what you’ll be earning. There are plenty of locations that may not be as highly visible and accessible as others, but if they’re much cheaper to lease, then even if you’re bringing in fewer profits, you can still at least keep most of it while yielding better returns in the long run.
Do market research
Do your homework and look into the local market of certain areas. Make sure to take note of any competing small businesses nearby, what kind of lifestyles most of the people lead there, and what they’re buying. Competing businesses with the same products and services as yours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doomed to fail, it just means you need to be more savvy about how you market your products. Furthermore, learning about what kind of people frequent the place and what they want will help you tailor your marketing to target them.
Communicate with your franchisor
The level of assistance that a franchisor will willingly give to you varies depending on the person and company, but the bottom line is that they’re there to help you as much as possible, so you should make good use of them. Share your concerns, and ask for their advice. They’ll also present you with plenty of resources such as information regarding the performance of a business in a certain location, so it’s important to seek this data out and take full advantage of all the assets available to you.
Finding the right location for a franchise can be extremely overwhelming, but these simple steps can help expedite the process and ensure the success of the business in whatever location you choose.