Franchise Location Guest Post By: Harold Shumacher, Version 1
So you’ve finally made the commitment to be a franchisee.
Maybe it’s a retail concept, a restaurant, an auto repair business, a storage facility.
It really doesn’t matter because at the end of the day, the key thing is your franchise location. When I got started in this business, over 25 years ago, an elder sage told me there are three keys to the retail business; location, location location. Not much has really changed.
The difference between the right franchise location and a franchise location that is merely acceptable is similar to Mark Twain’s famous line about the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. So how can you make lightning strike where you want and find the right franchise location?
Franchise Location Approaches
One theory which I call the McDonald’s approach, is to go where your competitors are already located, especially if they‘re successful. They’ve already proven the franchise location works, and your job is to out perform them.
A bit scary? Another theory is the pioneer approach, find a franchise location where there’s no competition and stake out the turf. Do a good job and you might be able to scare off any future competitors from your franchise location.
Somewhere in between is the deliberative approach to finding the right franchise location, which includes identifying your customers – who are they? where do they live? where do they shop? what are the local market conditions? is the area in decline or on the rise? what’s going on with housing prices, schools, crime rates, traffic, planned road improvements? These are all factors that should go into your franchise location decision-making process.
You’ve done your homework, and now you’re ready to find a franchise location. What’s next? Sure you can drive around and look for leasing signs, contact the landlord, negotiate your deal and hope for the best in acquiring your franchise location or you can work with a real estate specialist who focuses on this area of expertise to help you find the best possible franchise location.
(More next month)
Harold Shumacher is the president and managing broker of The Shumacher Group, Inc. an Atlanta, GA based firm that specializes in representing national and regional retail and restaurant companies. Throughout its 25 plus year history, the company has worked with several national franchisors and has helped select hundreds of franchise locations.