Finding the Right Location for Your Franchise

By Farrah Kennedy

Posted : July 28, 2011

Category : How To

Finding the Right Location for Your Franchise

One of the hardest things to decide on when starting yourbusiness is location. Your contract with the franchisor may include a certain
geographic location but within that territory, there could be thousands of
potential sites. How does one go about choosing the right location?

The best way to go about finding the perfect location is to
use an experienced team of analysts at the franchisors disposal.  Almost all retail franchises will have a team
that helps their franchisees decided on the perfect location using historical
data about what locations have worked well in the past.

The franchisor should be helping along the way to decide the
location type, the size, rent, and the tenants nearby. Once a space is found,
usually with the help of a real estate broker or firm, the floor plan has to be
decided on and approved by all the parties involved.

Although you may find what seems like the perfect location
on paper, you’ll have to gather data about the traffic quality and building accessibility.
If your building or strip mall location is not easily accessible for all
traffic, pedestrian and car, you may not see the amount of business you had
expected.

A good suggestion while analyzing your potential location is
to check with the local land use municipality. There could be competition being
built right around the corner. Have an understanding of the surroundings and
demographics, these could make or break your business.

When signing on the dotted line for your retail space, make
sure to obtain legal counsel. Not all franchisors will help the franchisee
through the legal process, this is your responsibility. Make sure that your signage
and store configurations work with the lease and landlord.

During the lease negotiations, find concessions that will
help you in the long run. An example, negotiate away from paying Common Area Maintenance
Fees. These fees are often assessed by occupancy levels and not by square
footage.

It’s great if your Franchisor walks you through the complete
process from buying the business to property lease negotiation but always
do your own due diligence. Protect yourself from any mistakes that could
possibly cost you your business. 


About the author:

Farrah Kennedy knows franchise prospecting and knows it well. Having served as the General Manager at Franchise Gator, the leading on-line directory for franchise and business opportunity information, until December 2013, she managed all aspects of the business, including franchisor relationships, franchise leads, P&L and strategic objectives and growth, as well as taking care of Gator Crew who affectionally referred to her as 'GatorMom'.

Farrah began with Gator since almost the beginning - she was the first employee in October 2003. Before Franchise Gator, Farrah started her career in lead generation in 1997 with NewHomesDirect.com, a research site for potential new home owners where she served as the Director of Operations for 5 years.

Farrah now serves as Senior Manager at Mail Chimp.