You have likely heard the old adage, “location, location, location,” but does it actually hold true? In most respects, yes, it does, and it is about planning beforehand and making the most out of your location that matters.
The location of your franchise has the power to make or break your business, which is why it is important to first understand what makes a location great and then utilize it effectively. This can include selecting the ideal square footage that will provide you with enough space for what you offer, the parking situation (is there a parking lot, street parking, free/paid parking, etc.), the surrounding stores, where in the community you are situated, how high traffic your area is, and much more.
The Current State of Franchising
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses could not stay afloat for a variety of reasons, and in November 2020, unemployment rates reached a high of 6.7%. However, many experts say that 2021 is an incredibly strong year for franchise growth, likely because many are looking for work and value the freedoms and security that owning a franchise can provide. The pet industry, in particular, is one of the industries that not only saw growth throughout the pandemic but is projected to continue to grow in the future.
Now is a great time to start the process of owning your very own franchise, but there are several steps to consider before you begin, one of the first being location. Below are five location-based factors that you should consider and implement into your franchise plans so that you can set yourself up for success.
When selecting a franchise location, it is important to consider who your “typical” customer would be. Things like age, income, education, gender, family size, and other details about the people who live in the area you’re thinking of purchasing in (including population density) can play a role in the success of your business. Similar to purchasing a home, it is important to have an idea of what the neighborhood is like before going all in and purchasing.
How visible is the location from the street and is it easy to find? Sidewalk? In its plaza (if applicable)? If potential customers have a difficult time finding your location, it can be a big problem. Depending on the type of franchise you have, sometimes exceptional visibility is what it takes to get customers in your store, while other times customers will seek out your location. This is why it is extremely important to conduct initial market research to consider the needs of your franchise business in the community you want to purchase.
It is essential that you put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers; what kind of details are important to you when you visit a business? Parking is an important detail that some may not think much about, but it can be extremely influential to the customer experience.
Parking lots can offer safety and convenience – two factors that are important to customers. You want your customers to know that when they enter your business, their car is safe and that they are nearby. The quality and maintenance of the parking lot outside of your franchise location are also important, as it contributes to the image of your business. If you offer curbside pickup, you will also require space to do that efficiently and safely. Although you may not have control over some factors related to parking, it is certainly something to take note of when assessing potential franchise locations.
Accessibility & Accommodations
Can customers easily access your business? Be sure to go through each step involved in the customer journey to ensure you are making things as easy as possible for the public to engage with your location.
As well, the federal Americans with Disabilities Act has several considerations that are important for facility owners and operators to know and implement. These considerations may not be entirely your responsibility, depending on the situation of your franchise, but it still remains an important factor to keep in mind, as it will determine how the public will interact with your business.
Research about the location is an important step when owning a franchise, but it should extend beyond your business and to the surrounding businesses as well. If your location is in a plaza, are there other businesses that could impact your success (both positively and negatively)? What will make your location stand out?
Some of the concerns you have as a franchisee may be taken care of through the franchisor (such as determining if there are similar businesses in the area you will be located in). However, competition plays a major role in the success of your business, and it is key that your location reflects the already positive image the franchisor has pre-established for the brand.
Own a Franchise Location with Dogtopia
Dogtopia offers support every step of the way for our franchisees. Not only do you have the chance to own a Dogtopia in a location that you know has a need for quality dog services, but our unique value proposition translates to each of our franchise locations. We help franchisees find locations to accommodate our services. As the leading franchise in the pet industry who was once again named in the Top 50 Franchises by Franchise Business Review, we have a goal of opening 400 franchise locations across North America by the end of 2024.
Contact us today to see how you can take part in a Dogtopia franchise opportunity today.