Let’s just assume, for the sake of making a point; that you have opened up a Dunkin Donut drive-thru on the side of a busy road. The outlet looks great. It is bright and visible with a signboard pointing towards it and the location is strategic. The road has a lot of traffic influx and hence, greater probability of customers who like to grab a bite of breakfast while leaving for work.
However, there is one fatal flaw. You opened the store on the wrong side of the road. Instead of erecting it on the incoming lane, you opened up on the outgoing one. This limits the number of customers. Those leaving for work who want breakfast, will have to make a U-turn to switch lanes, buy breakfast and switch lanes again which is time consuming in a world where people do not have time and cannot afford to be late for work. Your location is only convenient for those who want to snack on their way back home.
A little thought on the matter, and you could have had more success in operating your business. So you see, location is vital if you want your franchise to thrive. Here are some considerations to take into account while you do your research on the prime location for your business.
Have a chat with your franchisor
Most franchisors have set rules and regulations on selecting the location for the franchise. It is all there in the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). But those paragraphs go on to a mile’s length with a hundred pages. So it is good if you have established friendly relations with your franchisor. A good franchisor would have already done the market research and survey on the demographics and they will share the data with you and help you set up.
Talk to other Franchisees
Don’t stop at the franchisor. Head over to fellow franchisees and pay them a visit. Ask them the important questions. They have something that you don’t have as a newbie in the field: experience. Franchisors might also have reservations in giving you the best site. They would rather give them to those with proven franchise records.
Evaluate your site
Carefully assess all aspects of your location. From the example given above, check if you are in the right side of the street. Do you have enough parking space? Do most of your customers pass by or live in that area? What are the traffic conditions? How much competition do you face from the existing retails in your vicinity? Most importantly, can you afford that location?
Close the deal
Once you have chosen the perfect place, work with a real estate broker to acquire the site and seal the deal with your franchisor. If you have a good franchisor, they will help negotiate the lease for you. See if there are lease extensions or the possibility of lowering the rent. These are some of the fine details you cannot think of, being new in the business. Your franchisor has to work in your interest to make sure you really do succeed.
With your shiny new retail all set up in the perfect location, there is little reason for your business to fail if you play your cards right.