Today I am going to discuss how to select a successful retail location for your franchise business. Quickly, I want to note that for office space you do not need expensive retail space. If you are leasing office space, go for something cheap and convenient for your clientele on the ground floor. Also, be certain that you have sufficient parking. You will be surprised how important it is to have free and accessible parking for your clients. If you don't have this for your office (with the exception of a downtown metro area), you may want to begin looking elsewhere.
During my career, I have selected retail sites for dozens of franchise businesses. Believe it or not, this process can make or break your business, before you even open the doors! I am sure you have heard the adage: "location, location, location, it's all about location". And for owning and managing a retail business, location and visibility reigns supreme. If you secure commercial leases using the three criterion that I outline below, you can almost double your odds of success and profitability as a franchise business owner.
First, you should begin looking to place your franchise business in what is coined "Class A Retail Space." You do not want to be in demographic areas that have too few customers or not enough dollars for your goods and services. By only looking in those "Class A" markets, you are ensuring that you have a good amount of traffic and that your clientele has a higher household income so you will be buffered in the event of an economic downturn.
Second, you need to become familiar with the term: "Daytime Pop." Daytime pop is short for daytime population: commercial leasing lingo for the number of people that visit an area during normal business hours. It is essential that you learn the daytime population and traffic statistics for the road(s) and/or intersection where your business will be located.
The third metric to analyze when selecting a retail location is co-tenancy. Co-tenancy refers to the other businesses that you will be next to in a strip mall, mall, or shopping center. Imagine for a moment that your business is right next door to a highly-trafficked Apple Store. Your business would do pretty well, right? The same rule of thumb can be applied for placing your business next to another major chain or brand like McDonalds, CVS, or Wal-Mart. I recommend speaking with some of the most successful and profitable franchisees in your perspective franchise and asking them who their cotenants and neighbors are.
Using these three points of reference when selecting a retail location in addition to working with your franchisor, you will be leaps and bounds ahead of your competition.
Now that you are armed with this knowledge, get to opening your business today!