CHOOSING A FACILITY FOR YOUR FRANCHISE
Part 1: Creating a Clear Picture and Vision for Your Business
When it comes to opening a franchise or starting any type of business, remember the famous real estate mantra: “Location, Location, Location.” Many decisions will have a major effect on the success of your franchised business – deciding on a location is undoubtedly one of those decisions.
Before you start shopping for space, it is important to have a clear vision of your business. For it to be successful, you must consider the following as you think about your location: what you would like to have, what you must have, what deal-breakers are, and how much money you are willing to spend. These considerations may not be easy to answer, especially if you are new to starting your own business or opening a franchise, but they may be some of the most important decisions you make for your business. Here is Part One of Choosing a Facility For Your Franchise —creating a clear picture and vision for your business so that you can find the perfect location.
What kind of facility does your franchise need and where will it thrive?
What kind of business model does your franchise run on? In other words, how will it be operated and how will it generate revenue? Do you need a large space? Is it a mobile business? Do you sell primarily online?
Many businesses, like retail or food vendors, want heavy foot traffic outside of their franchise to encourage a high number of customers in their store. While some businesses would consider such locations prime real estate, others may find a quieter location more suitable for their business.
Think about the number of customers and employees you expect to have in your store during peak hours. Then, consider how accessible it will be for everyone. Customers will likely take their business elsewhere if they cannot easily access the facility, and suppliers may become annoyed if they cannot quickly drop-off and pick-up supplies. Many franchisees dream of a location downtown, but some have decided on a location where customers find it easier to access the business and find parking.
Consider who your customers are and what demographic they come from. How important is it that this demographic of customers live in close proximity to the location of your business? How does this particular demographic shop? Do they shop impulsively, or do they actually seek out products sold at your business?
Where are other company-owned locations and franchisees located? Are competing businesses nearby? Sometimes this can be a good thing, but they may make your job much more difficult.
How close is the business to your home? Your presence at your franchise is likely very critical to growing a successful business, especially during its early stages. Also, consider the proximity to other businesses in the vicinity, consider the customers they attract, and think about how they could become your customers as well. Killing two birds with one stone is a dream for customers, so don’t underestimate it. On that note, ask around and find out if any businesses will be moving nearby the location that could be harmful for your business for reasons other than competition. Lastly, consider proximity to suppliers. While it may not seem immediately important, saving money by having nearby suppliers may allow for better deals and greater customer satisfaction.
Renovations and Renewals
What kind of services will you need to support the operations of your business? How old is the building? What kind of repairs will you need to make to the facility to legally open it to the public? How much will all of this cost? Even if the facility looks perfect, getting a professional evaluation is a good idea.
History of the Site
What kind of history does the building have? Are customers in the community already familiar with its history? What were the previous tenants like? The ones before that? How long did the previous businesses last at the location? Why did they move? This question is especially critical so you can assess whether any previous business failures were related to the location you are considering using for your franchised business.
Depending on what you want to do with your facility and your business, you need to understand the zoning restrictions and ordinances applicable to your location. These restrictions will be more than just a hassle and could prevent your business from succeeding.
With temperatures reaching triple digits at least four months out of the year, costs of utilities are unquestionably something to consider in Arizona. What utilities are included in the rent and what is not included? While these expenses are probably small compared to the rent spelled out in your lease agreement, they could still make a significant dent in your monthly expenses. To get a better idea of what you will be paying, talk to prior renters and utility companies to collect information on the previous years’ usage and billing for the facility.
Undoubtedly, there will be more factors than those outlined above to consider when creating a vision for your franchised business. Hopefully, these help give you an idea of some of the important factors to consider. For additional help in creating a clear picture of your business, seek professional help from an Arizona business lawyer. Don’t get stuck in a facility that will not meet the needs of your business. Get help and find the right location.
Brad Denton – Denton Peterson, PC
1930 N Arboleda #200
Mesa, AZ 85213