One of the hardest things to decide on when starting your business 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.