Are you looking to expand your franchise in 2016? With vacancy rates going down, an economic upturn, and a resurgence in new business openings, franchise owners will find a different market today than we’ve experienced in recent years.
GlobeSt.com caught up with Katy Figg, associate of retail leasing for Franklin Street of Jacksonville, for some thoughts on this topic. In part one of this exclusive interview, we’re focusing on due diligence.
GlobeSt.com: What due diligence goes into finding the right location? Is co-tenancy a worthwhile choice?
Katy Figg: Many franchisees have the mindset that opening a location closest to home is a great idea. Sometimes it works out, but most of the time it does not. Selecting the right location for your business involves several factors and convenience is just one of them—not convenient for the franchisee—but convenient for customers. You also want to maximize the market opportunity for your franchise concept.
Many other major factors of selecting the right location include traffic counts, vicinity of competition, available parking, visibility to the road, available signage, and timing of the project. All of these factors are weighed into the decision of moving forward on a location and the weight of importance of each depends on the franchise. For example, a large restaurant or fitness center requires a lot of parking so it does not make sense to go into a center that might have co-tenancy and signage, but limited parking for your customers.