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How to Find the Best Location for Your Franchise Business The right location can make or break your franchise's future. Read this guide before you commit to a space.

By Clarissa Buch Zilberman

entrepreneur daily
Radoslav Zilinsky | Getty Images

Whether you're opening a retail, food service or fitness franchise, you probably need a storefront.

Location hunting is integral to franchising. From competition and market saturation to demographics and cost, the right location could make all the difference in your success.

So read this guide before you commit to a space and sign a lease.

Related: 6 Questions to Ask Before You Begin Your Franchise Search.

Where is your target market?

Who are you trying to reach with your business? What are their needs and wants? Once you identify who your target market is, you can start to look for locations that are in their neighborhoods.

Bringing your business to your potential customers can increase your chance of success. For example, if you're opening a college prep tutoring franchise, you'll want to choose a location with a high percentage of families instead of an area of primarily retirees or young professionals.

Where is your competition?

Don't oversaturate the market. If there are many similar businesses or direct competitors in the area, you may have difficulty winning business.

Research prospective areas to find out what other businesses are in the area and how well they're doing. If there is a lot of competition, you may need to look for a different location.

Related: Busting Franchising Myths and Choosing the Right Opportunity

Consider your visibility and accessibility

Visibility and accessibility go hand-in-hand. Look for locations with good signage — such as on a busy street corner or near a major intersection — and easily accessible by car, public transportation or on foot.

Good visibility and high foot and car traffic equate to free advertising whenever someone passes by. It may be a good idea to visit potential locations during various times of the day to see what type of traffic they get.

Don't neglect parking

Say you're opening a workout studio that can fit 30 people per class. If you only have five parking spaces at your location, you will deter people from coming. Make sure the location you choose has sufficient parking available for your customers.

Related: Is Franchising Right For You? Ask Yourself These 9 Questions to Find Out.

Run the numbers

The cost of your location will affect your bottom line. Rent is not the only cost to consider. You should also factor in utilities, insurance and other expenses like monthly upkeep.

On the other hand, the best locations will likely come at a premium — so you may have to teeter between affordability and revenue potential.

Related: Considering franchise ownership? Get started now and take this quiz to find your personalized list of franchises that match your lifestyle, interests and budget.

Keep these extra tips in mind

Having trouble finding a location? Or maybe you've found a few? Here's how to know the space is right.

  • Work with a real estate agent. Some real estate agents specialize in real estate for small businesses, such as medical offices or restaurants. A good real estate agent can help you negotiate rent, find the right property and navigate the legal process.

  • Negotiate. The asking price is typically a starting point. Don't be afraid to negotiate with the landlord to get the best possible deal for the rent and term length.

  • Be patient and take your time. It may take some time to find the best location for your franchise. Take your time and find the spot that's right for you rather than rushing into a decision.

Open up shop at a winning location

Choosing the right location for your franchise can be daunting — so taking the time to do it right is critical. Work with your franchisor and a real estate professional to ease the burden. Once you're ready to move forward, negotiate your lease and get ready to open your doors to success.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Franchise Law.

Clarissa Buch Zilberman

Entrepreneur Staff

Freelance Writer, Editor & Content Marketing Consultant

Clarissa Buch Zilberman is a writer and editor based in Miami. Specializing in lifestyle, business, and travel, her work has appeared in Food & Wine, Realtor.com, Travel + Leisure, and Bon Appétit, among other print and digital titles. Through her content marketing consultancy, By Clarissa, she leverages her extensive editorial background and unique industry insights to support enterprise organizations and global creative agencies with their B2B, B2C, and B2E content initiatives. 

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