There are great franchise concepts out there in any economy, and you’ve been looking at a lot of them. You’ve taken into consideration whether or not they’re in a hot industry (the trend is your friend), what the magazines and trade publications are saying about them (on fire), and you’ve talked to some existing franchisees (Brinks comes three times a day). You’re ready to make the decision, right? Maybe.
Some think that if you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door. And many prospective franchisees think that if you’ve got a better cheeseburger the customer will find you. They won’t—at least not always; and why take that chance? So let’s get the ‘where’ in focus at the same time we’re getting the ‘what’ decided on. Here’s a couple of things to look for in a great location:
- Retail Synergy. It’s now coincidence that retailers cluster together. Take the case of restaurants. You want to be where there’s no competition, where you’ll have all the business to yourself, right? Probably not. People go to lunch especially where there are choices. Your burgers, burritos, wraps are everybody’s favorites—but not every day. Be where people go to lunch everyday, and you’ll get your share of the business.
- Site Specifics. OK, you’re where everybody goes, but your space is behind the evergreen trees and at the end of the food court where there’s no parking and you can’t see your sign. Even the most successful shopping centers have ‘dead zones’—you can see all the action, but you’re just a few doors from success. Next site, please!
Well, you say, I’ll find the right location as soon as I buy my franchise agreement. I know where I want to be, and I’ll be open in four months and be printing money. Another probably not, and that’s why were going to start the site selection process right now, while you’re evaluating franchises. In fact, a great location may make the decision for you. You were debating between food and a health club, and a great spot just became available in the only food court next to IBM. Food it is!
Site selection is a major ingredient between success and failure no mater what franchise you choose. As I say each week, let’s get it right—right from the beginning. Send me your comments and questions—this is harder than it looks. Email me at email@example.com and let’s talk.