What's Wrong with this Picture? Choosing a Franchise Location!

Posted by Jim Otto on Thu, Jun 15, 2017 @ 11:06 AM

franchiselocation.jpgOur world headquarters is located in beautiful Johnson County, Kansas. Not far from our corporate office lies the busiest restaurant in the community, Nick and Jakes. It's located in the heart of Overland Park, Kansas on one of the busiest streets in town. With the high incomes of the local population and great visibility, this location seems like a no brainer!
However if you study the picture a little closer, you'll see that the restaurant next to Nick and Jakes is up for lease. In fact, for the 4th time in the last six years a restaurant has come and gone here in one of the hottest corners in Johnson County, right next to one of the busiest restaurants.  A banker recently told me that over three and a half million dollars has been spent on build-outs over the last 6 years trying to make something work, all to no avail. Now I know what you're thinking. Nick and Jake's must be so good that nothing can compete! And while that might be the case, it got to be such a topic of discussion around these parts that the owners of Nick and Jake's decided to put something in there - and it failed too! 
Why am I telling you all this? Because I think it's so important to illustrate how important (and difficult) it is to find the right franchise location. Choosing a franchise location or finding the right location for your business has a LOT of variables. But a great place to start is by first asking the following question: Will this franchise even work in my area?
Some other great questions to ask are:
1) What is the total population in my trade area, and how far will customers drive to come to my business? Make sure that you know who your customer is and if there is enough of them to support your business. 
2)  Income levels are another important factor. Most all businesses need customers with at least some discretionary income.
3) Population density. This is NOT the same thing as total population. Every business has a distance that people will drive for that good or service. For example, a sub sandwich shop may only need a certain amount of people within  a mile of its location to be successful, whereas a specialty hair salon may need to draw people from a six mile radius. Make sure your franchisor can tell you what the density requirements are for your business. 
4) Demographic makeup. Whatever your business, it will appeal to a certain group of people. The broader that appeal is the better, but many businesses are successful by catering to an underserved niche. just make sure that you have investigated who those customers are and if there are enough in your area.  
5) Competition and saturation does happen. Look at all the competitors you have and see how you stack up. If you aren't able to differentiate yourself and create a better customer experience then what's already there, you may have a tough time getting customers to switch to YOUR business.
Which brings me back to that space for lease in the picture. Some spaces - for whatever reason - just don't have that "it" factor.  While those are the spaces that a lot of landlords will encourage you to take, it's those spaces that you need to avoid! Good Luck on Finding a GREAT location for your business!
Shear Madness Franchising franchises Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids salons. We have worked with franchise stores in providing franchisee support (in order to encourage continual growth and franchise success), and have sometimes seen the unexpected happen!  When it does, we help by identifying and helping with challenges that might arise for franchisees. Additionally, we work to present options that can help prevent these events as well. As many franchise owners may not have opened a business before, having someone who can advise them is a significant advantage of franchise ownership!

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Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: how to begin a business, Business Tips, small business how-tos, growing a small business, franchising, franchisee support, business success, business skills, franchise success, business ownership, franchise location, choosing the right location