One of my favorite jobs is helping franchisees look for real estate. It’s one of the three biggest ingredients for a successful store (along with having the right franchise partner and operations team); and arguably the most important since it’s pretty permanent (for 5-10 years at least); it’s a fixed cost that you can’t really change, no matter what you do; and it doubles as your marketing vehicle.
Anyway – I was checking out sites for my 3-unit Cauldron Ice Cream franchisee today, and taught him a few things that might be helpful for you, too:
- “You will pay for bad real estate, but good real estate will pay you“ – Dan Rowe, my mentor, legendary franchisee and developer for Five Guys Burgers, The Halal Guys, Qdoba, etc; and CEO of Fransmart.
- Add part of your marketing budget to your real estate budget. When you are in an area where people easily see and drive/pass by your store every day, you will eventually get potential customers to enter your store and give you a shot. That’s the best type of marketing – being conveniently where the customers are, so that you are pulling instead of pushing. After that, the trick is WOW-ing and keeping them.
- It’s not just about density around a particular site – it’s about TARGETED density. If there is heavy population but none of them are your type of customers, then you’ve used the wrong data. As it relates to desserts and fast casual concepts – you need a high concentration of residential/day-time populations with high incomes. You will be relevant to them and there will be less price sensitivity or confusion.
- “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together
I call these bullet points “multiple insurance policies” against failure or sub par performance. While I cannot guarantee success or a specific dollar amount of revenue/profit – as there are a lot of forces out of my control – this definitely sets you up for a better chance of winning.
Anyway – hang tight. One of the most delicious, innovative dessert concepts is coming your way. 40K+ Instagram followers can’t be wrong.