Site Selection - The power of knowledge
There are challenges multi-unit franchisees face in site selection and leasing no matter what kind of market exists. Lease negotiations is an important constant for franchise growth and longevity. Identifying specific issues early in the process can provide powerful leverage to help establish and sustain success.
Earlier this year we interviewed several multi-unit franchisees and got their advice and best practices for site selection and lease negotiations. Here's what one multi-unit operator told us about the power of knowledge when selecting a new site.
Knowledge Is Power
When it comes to finding the right location for your business, franchise pros say that knowledge is power. And to gain that knowledge, any search begins with good old-fashioned footwork to identify the right--and wrong--types of locations for your business.
As the largest Verizon franchisor in the U.S., Wireless Zone's intel is paramount to the success of Christopher Severo, whose 46 stores stretch from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts. "If Verizon has growth in the market or there is an underperforming store, the franchisor's communication with me is 'Hey, go find a great spot in this market'; or, more importantly, they may already have a spot in mind. I'm just picking up the conversation with the landlord," he says.
Know your brand. Know your market. And get to know the folks who can help drive the site selection process. Negotiating from a place of strength requires a franchisee to understand the local market based on what they are selling and the habits of their customers. Although the depth of their support varies, most franchisors will provide guidance on the type and size of ideal locations and may be able to provide real estate analytics and other location data based on the experiences of other franchisees in the system.
Depending on your business model, criteria often include demographics, the target customer, traffic count, parking needs, and the visibility and accessibility to the area from primary and secondary roads. A traffic nightmare can be a deal breaker for customers who only care about visiting your restaurant or retail location if it's convenient.
Franchisees also recommend talking real estate with existing owners. Find out how and why they chose their location and seek their advice for your own success.
Scout out the competition. With some restaurant and retail businesses it helps to keep good company. Other businesses may look to avoid the competition and oversaturation.
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