Choosing the Best Franchise Location

There are a few obvious questions to consider when choosing the best franchise location: How much are you willing to spend on rent? How much space do you need? What’s the best neighborhood for your target customer base?

But beyond these basic queries, there are additional questions that are equally important—and not so readily apparent. Here are a few tips to help you understand why location is important and optimize your search for the best spot to open up shop.

Know your niche

To figure out yours, it’s important to know what type of establishment your business is and what type of experience you want your customers to have. Here are some questions to ask yourself before opening:

  • Will customers primarily stay for service or grab and go? If your goal is to create an in-house experience for your customers, you’ll need the space to do so. Some experts recommend locations where you can allocate  60% of your space to the customer experience and the remaining 40% to operations. 
  • What type of atmosphere do you want to create? There are many different types of vibes—from friendly neighborhood joints to upscale experiences. Before you can find the best space to make your dream a reality, you need a strong vision for the experience you want to create for your customers. Consider what you’ll need to support that atmosphere—from the location’s neighborhood, to the ceiling heights, access to natural lighting, availability of seating, and more.
  • How will the floor plan look? To envision the right floor plan, start thinking about exactly what you’ll need for working spaces to create your signature service

Choosing a neighborhood

A neighborhood connects you to your customers, both in person and through your delivery radius. Every neighborhood has a distinct personality. You want to make sure that your business character fits in. Spend time in each area you’re considering and take note of what you see.

Here are a few questions to consider when developing a location strategy:

  • Is it busy or quiet during the day? What about the evening?
  • Are there a lot of nearby offices or workers, suggesting a thriving crowd looking for quick options
  • Are there other businesses in the area that provide a lot of foot traffic, or do people generally drive to and from the area—making convenient parking options a necessity?
  • What are other businesses like in the area? Are they similar to yours, or would your business provide a unique alternative to what they offer?
  • Is there a predominant age group or demographic in the neighborhood? For example, keep an eye out for families with kids, retirees, working professionals, and other groups that you’ll want to keep in mind as you develop your services and hours.
  • Is seasonality a factor for that neighborhood? Do people tend to visit more during a certain time of year, depending on weather or local community activities?

Answers to these questions will help provide key data points about the neighborhood’s competitive landscape, foot traffic, and the local market.

Think about logistical details

Parking options and street visibility are critical factors in connecting customers to your business. Providing an easy place to park can be what brings customers to your door, and great street visibility can attract new customers who wouldn’t have discovered you otherwise. 

Take the time to dive into details like these when choosing the best franchise location:

  • Is this space accessible? You want to ensure your space is inviting and accessible to everyone. As you look at a space and imagine a potential layout, you should be thinking about whether or not the space will allow you to comply with certain regulations, such as those put forward by disabilities requirements. It’s an added bonus if you can find a place with solid transportation and parking options for those who drive to you.
  • Will the location provide good visibility? Think about how many times you’ve stumbled upon a business and fallen in love—now think about where those businesses were located. An inviting storefront on a busy street can be all you need to reel in new customers and turn them into regulars. Conversely, a location where customers need to know about your business in order to find it might make you lose business—or be a boon if your brand thrives on being a bit under the radar, and you plan to use other means to boost visibility, such as a strong social media strategy. Whenever you see a prospective location, think about its visibility.
  • Are people in the neighborhood hungry for your service? When looking at neighborhoods, you need to assess not only whether your establishment will fit in, but also whether or not locals are hungry for the service you’re offering. Focus on demand, and do customer research to determine how locals might respond to your service. It’s hard to perfectly predict customer behavior, but you should aim to move into a space where the surrounding population is eager for your arrival so that you can always count on local business.

How to find space

Once you’ve got a sense of the neighborhood, zoom in on the actual real estate you’re considering. Think about your block and your neighbors: will you be adjacent to any loud noises or unpleasant smells? Will you be lost amidst a torrent of similar businesses? Are you near public transportation or easy parking? Does the spot you’re considering get a lot of foot traffic—and if so, do those people align with your target customer? Are there nearby business amplifiers? The answers to these questions can help determine whether or not a space is right for you.

Unless you’re looking at newly built properties, it’s also important to think about the past life of a building or storefront. What type of establishment used to occupy the space you’re considering? For example:

  • Is there existing infrastructure? You don’t need to move into a space that has 100% of what you need, but you do need to move into a space that’s capable of supporting the type of equipment you plan to use.
  • What will you be replacing? Your introduction to the neighborhood might cause a stir—which could be a great thing, but something to be mindful of nonetheless. 

Ultimately, you want to ask yourself: do I have an opportunity to fill a gap in this neighborhood? If the answer is yes, then full steam ahead, you have done a good job choosing the best franchise location.

Let Us Be Your Guide

At My Franchise Partners, we have made it our mission to empower people to make franchise decisions they’re proud of through GOOD, honest guidance. What makes a franchise attractive is unique to each individual. https://www.myfranchisepartners.com

Call or text us today at ( 647) 991-2282 to learn how you can connect with your community through world class opportunities you may have never heard of, but soon will.