There is no substitute for the strategically placed franchise location that sits in an area structured around inviting business traffic. Arguably, few franchise storefronts naturally invite traffic all of the time without some degree of work to attract customers—which usually takes place via advertising and marketing efforts that engage customers long before they see the store.
Despite the best advertising and marketing efforts, there is something special about a franchise location that’s been selected with care. Some franchisors take great pride in their site selection process and for some franchisors this specific aspect of teaming up with a new franchisee is of great importance.
If you’re researching franchise opportunities, what do you know about how sites are selected, the relevant criteria that franchisors often consider for their particular brand, and whether or not a specific site location idea is a winner or a failure waiting to happen? What do you know about how your franchise system of choice selects locations and how much control you have over this process?
What’s the best way to start researching the right location? Well, for one thing, remember that the franchise system’s leading professionals who’re assisting your location search are on your side, partners in the scouting-out-process. Their primary aim is nearly always to take enough time to select a suitable location, one that will bode well for brand exposure in your territory and grant you access to plenty of potential customers to build a thriving business.
There’s no harm in scoping out potential locations yourself after establishing which areas are on the radar of your franchisor’s team of real estate/lease term negotiators. Not all franchises offer the same package in terms of site selection support, and site selection support can vary greatly from one franchise system to another and from one sector to another.
Your investment into the brand and your choice to run a franchise ultimately equates with your risk, so be ultra sure that you love the location decision. How can you do this?
1.) Do what any sleuth would do when trying to survey an area for clues, tips, and insight: stay a while and observe. There’s no rule against really evaluating the location area, the flow of traffic, asking current franchisees questions about their site selection regrets or successes, and making a list of what you’d expect to see in terms of your location in exchange for your investment.
2.) Who are your customers? Are they near your location most of the time? Make a list of the limitations associated with specific site locations and the advantages of others. Break out the trusty pros and cons list. Consider these points when discussing your site location with your franchisor.
3.) Take a moment to pause and reflect on what you envision to be the ideal location for your franchise. Is this possible in the territory you’re being offered? If not, what are your workable options and do you feel those options are truly aligned with your investment and any relevant risks?