Location, location, location. This well-worn real estate axiom is true for a reason. Real estate can play an important role in your franchise. Depending on your concept, you may require a storefront that sees high foot traffic or a location that maintains the same look and feel as your other franchises. Other concepts may rely on access to certain energy configurations or drainage systems. Square footage and visibility from main roads play a key role as well. And if you’re not from the area, you may not have a clue where to begin your search for the perfect location.
Here are some tips to consider when you pick your next franchise location.
- Accessibility. Look at traffic patterns and parking availability to see if it is easily accessible to customers. Consider the small details, like if customers need to cross multiple lanes of traffic to reach your store.
- Demographics. Clearly, this is an important factor. An urban clothing store probably won’t do well in a rural community.
- Talk with the franchisee. Your franchisee may have invaluable insight on the location. After all, the franchisee is most likely from the area, and is the one who will be paying the rent.
- Research your neighbors. You should already know who your competition is, but you may not have thought to consider your neighbors in other industries. If you’re in a shopping center, you’ll be sharing the space with them. If you have a child care franchise and want to attract parents with children, opening next to a liquor store may not be the right move.
- Hire a real estate broker. A broker who specializes in tenant rather than landlord representation and knows the market may be your best course of action. And, if money is a major concern, a broker doesn’t cost anything since they collect their fees from co-brokers or landlords.
Finally, think about your other franchises. Which locations are the most successful, and do they have anything in common? If these units are located in a shopping center with a grocery store nearby, you may want to find a similar setup. If this is your first franchise, you can even consider your competition in the area and evaluate where they are located. You’ve heard it before- it’s all about location. And if you choose the wrong location, you may be set up for failure before you even begin.