When starting a small business, location is key. In franchising, it’s important to work closely with your franchisor to choose a prime location that you can afford. Where you decide to set up shop could make or break your business. Whether you’re opening your first location or your sixth, follow these five secrets to choosing the right spot.  

  1. Find out who your customers are. This one may seem like a no-brainer, but knowing your customers will give you an edge when picking a location. Determining who your target customers are, where they live and how they shop for your product or service, will help you decide on a location that is convenient to them.
  2. Check your franchisor’s location requirements. Every franchisor will have its own set of requirements when it comes to site selection. The franchisor should be able to provide you with market research, demographic data and best-practices based on industry experience. Talk to other franchisees about how they chose their location and ask for recommendations about the process.
  3. Know your neighbors. Research other businesses nearby. Are they doing well? If so, your business has a better chance of thriving, too. Think about your competition in town. How does your position compare to theirs? Check for larger chains in the area that may drive business away from yours.
  4. Compare costs. This may seem like another given, but it’s important to compare prices. Don’t jump into the cheapest location or the first one that catches your eye. The more visible, high-traffic areas are likely to cost more than those tucked away, but they may also attract more customers. Research your options and determine what you can afford. Talk to an attorney or financial professional for more insight on property valuation and lease negotiation.
  5. Make sure you are visible and accessible. Don’t overlook straightforward signs of a good location. Can you see your storefront and store sign from the main road? Is there easy entry and ample parking? Is the shopping center well maintained? Is the area safe and well-lit? Can suppliers conveniently deliver here? If your business grows, is there room to accommodate that growth? Choose a location that answers yes to these prospective franchisee questions.