There are many different aspects to owning a franchise, and arguably one of the biggest is finding the right location that will offer the most success for both the franchisor and the franchisee. Your location’s site can have a major impact on the success of your franchise business. With that in mind, there are several factors that you should consider when scouting out the ideal spot.
Rely on franchisor support
Before we get into the specifics of how to choose the ideal franchise site, it is first important for prospective franchisees to identify what role the franchisor has in the site selection process. While you may have ideas about the location, there are some instances where selecting the franchise site is entirely up to the franchisor. This will typically be addressed toward the beginning of your franchise journey, such as in the franchise disclosure document. However, if this is not the case, and you are involved in selecting the franchise site, it is always a good idea to look to them for their guidance.
Remember that the franchisor has gone through this process many times, making them industry experts in running a successful franchise business. The franchisor will likely have a team of pros, such as real estate and construction professionals, who can help you in the process. Utilizing their expertise and support can help guarantee that the site will meet the franchisor’s requirements.
Consider the location’s exposure
Will prospective customers be able to see the location easily? Ideally, every business owner would want to have their location as visible as possible, but in reality, this is not always feasible. If this is the case, and the location is not 100% ideal, other factors to consider would be if signage can be implemented easily in the surrounding area or if the franchise’s logo can be easily seen by prospective customers, such as with a pylon sign within a plaza.
Other factors, such as if there are major roads nearby and the level of traffic, may influence either the exposure of the location or the accessibility. Is it easy for customers to get to your location? Is there ample parking? What about nearby public transit? Convenience is important and if prospective customers have any difficulties when trying to visit you, it is not setting your franchise up for success.
Think about the competition
It’s also important to look beyond the specific building and consider the competition and neighbors around the location and in the community. For instance, if you own an ice cream franchise, consider how many other ice cream shops there are in the surrounding area, and if there is enough demand to sustain another. Conversely, look for any complementary businesses or landmarks in the neighborhood. An ice cream shop may want to open near a school, park, or tourist attraction. As we mentioned previously, if you are a franchisee, relying on franchisor support can come in handy, as they likely have market research and insight into the specifics of an area.
Another factor to consider is the state of the community – is it up and coming? Will there be more and more brick-and-mortar locations popping up in the surrounding area of your location? What is the customer demographic? Will your franchise business be an appropriate fit within the community? Looking outward and answering these kinds of questions can help focus the selection process.
Understand the local laws
Depending on where the franchise is located, the city or town will have its own regulations and business practices. Thoroughly understanding what these rules are before agreeing or signing to a location is crucial. Again, the franchisor can offer a lot of support in this area, but it is still paramount that the franchisee understands what they can and cannot do when running the business. For instance, if the business requires seating outside – will a given location allow that? Various municipalities can influence these very important decisions.
Other factors like taxes and determining the logistics with personnel, such as the landlord (if applicable) are also important steps to take before signing to a location. Understanding any technicalities and important details can help you feel more confident that a location is best suited for the business.
Consider the structure logistics
This might seem like an obvious one, but you want a location to fit everything you need it to offer. Here at Dogtopia, for example, we require spaces big enough to hold all of our services, such as multiple playrooms, a spa, HVAC systems, etc.
Determining the specs of the franchise you are entering into before you begin your search can help make the journey much easier to navigate. Factors to consider could be the square footage, where customers would be able to congregate, how much construction needs to be completed before it is up and running, and what the customer parking situation is (i.e., parking lot, underground parking, paid parking, street parking, etc.). All of these considerations could impact your decision-making process.
Selecting the best franchise site may seem a bit daunting at first because of its importance, but planning ahead and understanding all the factors involved can make the entire situation much easier.
At Dogtopia, we offer our franchisees three flexible models (urban, suburban retail, or industrial), along with turn-key real estate and construction services. If you are interested in learning more about the franchise process with Dogtopia, you can find a detailed FAQ page that outlines key aspects of the entire franchise process, or reach out to us via our online inquiry form.