Retail Site Selection Checklist

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  1. Always think drive time and not just distance when assessing demographic and psycho graphic data. A good drive time distance is no more than 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Always use psychographics as well as demographics for site selection purposes. Demographics do not look at behaviors. Psychographics does.
  3. Contrary to most beliefs, selecting a location near a competitor can increase both of your businesses. Again, your potential customers are trying to save time. Some will like you and some will like the other guy.
  4. If you are a startup business, do not be afraid of offering the ownership a percentage rent deal. This structure will help you get started and, if you are playing cleanly, you can earn real trust with ownership. Nothing beats a strong relationship with a trustworthy ownership.
  5. Look for under served areas within specified drive times. In many cases, you can increase your chances of success by knowing where you are needed. The Alliance provides access to a supplier of this type of data.
  6. Secure the services of a competent, customer-oriented real estate agent. She can streamline the search process and help narrow the field of possible sites. The Alliance will help you locate these types of agents nationwide.
  7. Remember that you are the customer. Make sure you know what you need and then work with various building ownerships to see if they will be able to help you. Settle only when you have worked enough to know that perfection is either unattainable or too costly.
  8. If you have selected a site, consider using a competent agent to provide third party distance with ownerships during the lease negotiations. This psychological advantage of emotional distance during negotiations is well known and used frequently by the largest tenants and ownerships.
  9. From the day you open, start making a mailing and contact list of who comes in the store. This list could become the most precious asset you have if you need to move because of unforeseen developments at your location. This is especially true for hair salons, restaurants, and other small retailers.
  10. Make sure that all ownership representations about signage are in writing. Accept no verbal assurances especially if local government approval is needed.

 

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