... Do they have a proper site selection process?
Published in Franchise Asia Juanary 2015
How do large multi-nationals decide where they spend their money on new sites? Whether they are in the oil industry, the QSR’s or any other very large chain of retail stores, I hope there is some logic in their site selection process.
Variability of information
The starting point for the decision of where to invest in retail should be available data. In an ideal situation, this would be a Census of population and housing, with data down to small areas such as every 100 households, traffic counts on the main roads, some form of pedestrian counts, business and employment information and probabaly the attractiveness of the surrounding / adjoining areas (often called the Generator score).
When you are about to buy a franchise you must look at the competition both from others companies, and from the franchise brand, and ask what is a reasonable distance between stores?
Competitors are normally not a great problem, and in fact, as in the case of homemaker centres and certain types of shopping centres or shopping strips, neighbouring competition can actually be an advantage.
This is what we call “clustering”. Name a reasonably sized homemaker centre/precinct, and count the bed stores, furniture outlets and electrical retailers. Experience has shown that these retail outlets actually work best together, as the combined drawing power of the homemaker centre far outweighs the advantage of being out on their own.
Article was published on Expert Advice page, Business Franchise Australia & New Zealand Magazine Sep/Oct 2013 and Franchise Asia October 2015
Creating a Territory Plan or having Preferred Marketing Areas is a desire of most franchise systems, however evolving into a good system can be a nightmare.
Most Territory Planning exercises we handle begin from the “Beer and Pizza” approach, and in many cases have evolved at people’s discretion. The “Beer and Pizza” approach is normally when a group of management (and some franchisees), converge around a map on a Boardroom table with beer, red wine, a couple of pizzas and a black crayon, and some good ideas! Inevitably it is built around where existing stores are, or where dominant Franchisees want to have as their exclusive territory. The downside is uneven opportunity in territories, overlaps and spaces in between, which we call no man’s land.
Published in Business Franchise Australia and New Zealand
Many businesses we deal with are structured at marketing to other businesses (Business to Business - B2B), and therefore the logic of how to establish a territory that is normally used when you sell to consumers (Business to Consumer - B2C) goes out the window.
Many B2B businesses sell a product, the likes of printing companies such as SNAP and KwikKopy, and many sell a service. The service may be couriers such as Fastway, changing office light bulbs, or providing business loans or business insurance. Both products-based and serviced-based franchises normally need to give a territory, especially if there is central ordering, and jobs are allocated to franchisees. You want to be sure you receive all the jobs you are entitled to!
The core thinking in this type of business is we want to know where the customers – other businesses are, rather than where people live.
Should a franchise that operates out of a “bricks and mortar” store give territories or not? That is one of the biggest questions in Franchising today.
There are many opinions, and companies do it differently depending on their size, brand awareness, level of investment required by the Franchisee and basically, the view of the CEO or his franchise advisors.
The Franchisor’s views are normally around the line of let’s keep it to a minimum as it gives us more flexibility for the future. The Franchisees view is normally around thinking of it as an exclusion zone and therefore a guarantee that the Franchisor (or his successor) cannot introduce another store into the area.
Published in the Business Franchisor 2011
Anyone who watched John Cleese in Faulty Towers will remember his great lines about ‘Don’t bring up the war!’ The same can be said for territories, preferred marketing areas, exclusion zones, or whatever name you chose to give them. If you are a franchisor, may I suggest you think very carefully about what you agree to right from the start. As, like many things, promises once given are VERY hard to get back!
What's in a name?
The first point I suggest you think about is, “What am I giving a franchisee in terms of a spatial footprint and what should it be called?”
The four most common things that a franchisor gives to a franchisee are:
Fast food and Quick Serve Restaurants across Asia have traditionally been “inline” stores in a shopping strip. Across the western world, the trend over the last 30 years has been to Drive Thru’ s, almost at the exclusion of any free standing restaurant that cannot offer a Drive Thru being sold, or knocked down.
In many countries such as Australia and the USA, we would be expecting around 60 - 70% of all major fast food restaurants like McDonalds and KFC to be what they call FSDT – Free Standing Drive Thru, and probably selling well over 60% of their revenue thru the Drive Thru windows
The science of drive thru’ s has greatly improved over the years where the process now starts well away from the store where you read the menu boards and place your order into the microphone. In many large stores you then drive forward into a window where you pay your money, and then drive on again to the window where you collect your food before heading out. This maximises the efficiency and moves the maximum number of customers thru the service lanes.
Published in Business Franchisor Mar 2013
Building a business is normally a long term affair. When we do a business plan, we envisage what will happen over the next few years, and use our best forecasts to make the long term decisions, and hope all goes to plan.
Why is it then when many businesses look at their long term network planning, there is a huge variety of processes used, from being proactive, such as companies like McDonalds and Caltex, through to companies that are totally reactive – where they can be led like a bull with a ring through the nose?
In many cases the location strategy for a business is driven by minimising expenses, and to that end, minimal staff (and in some cases the property department is the waiting room for retirement). When working in the oil industry, I must confess that was our assessment of many of the property managers of the time!
However the decisions this group makes for your business are some of the most important long term decisions that can make or break a company over the next 10 or 20 years.
Poor planning in new store development leads to the closures of the next 5 – 10 years, and the costs of those can be astronomical. Think of companies that rose like comets and sunk down just as quickly (some to try and re energise again). Names like Starbucks, Klein’s Jewellers, Allan’s Music and Clive Peeters come to mind.
Peter Buckingham is the Managing Director of Spectrum Analysis Australia. He is a certified Management Consultant, and a Fellow of the FCA and IMC.