Site Selection Checklist for Growing Retailers, Restaurant Chains, and Franchises
When you’re trying to grow your business through expansion, it’s essential to do so methodically and intentionally. You’ve probably heard before that even one bad location can prevent your retail business or other chain business from reaching its full growth potential—or worse, kill your business entirely. That’s why investing in site selection when you’re expanding is critical. But how do you approach the task diligently? Here’s a checklist to guide your site selection decision:
- Demographic data about your customers using current data sources
- Where your customers live, work and shop (and their spending patterns)
- What your customers are doing that leads them to your store/restaurant/business
- What the customers of your competition are doing that leads them to your competitors
broker can be an invaluable resource, especially in combination with a data-driven site selection toolset (more on that in a moment). They have local knowledge and insight about sites that you wouldn’t know. They’ll know what areas are hot and what might be declining. Ask the broker to help you find sites that match your criteria, which is a much more strategic approach than simply looking at the sites that are available.
- Experience – Look for a site location software that is built by professionals with experience in the retail real estate industry. The technology is important, of course, but the expertise of the individuals in the company that built the product is important.
- Good data – Ever heard the phrase “garbage in, garbage out?” It absolutely applies to site selection software. A tool like SiteSeer is powerful, but it is powered by data—your own internal data as well as demographic, psychographic, and other data. It’s important that with whatever platform you choose, you have access to many external sources and are not limited to the software company’s preferred vendor (which might not be the best for your needs).
- Depth of features – Make sure the site selection software you choose does everything you need it to do! Ideally, you should be able to visualize opportunities available on maps with your data and industry data, create trade areas based on radius or drive time and implement trade area rules, produce reports and site packets, run void analysis reports to identify retail tenants and create retail recruitment plans, search retail location’s trade area profiles, analyze customers, run retail sales forecasts, and build models.