The best way to be successful with your business is by selecting a successful site: Learn how to select a winning site location!!!
It used to be that the big guys (Target, Walmart, McDonald’s, Walgreens, etc.) were the only ones that could afford to use business demographics and GIS (Geospatial Information Systems) for finding successful sites for there stores, but NO MORE. Now, even the little guy can easily afford and get access to this same business demographics data and analysis, so that they can effectively compete with the big guys.
Many small business owners suffer from the “Field of Dreams Syndrome – Build it and They Will Come Attitude”, that is they believe that all they have to do is build their dream business and the world will come flocking to their door. Nothing could be further from the truth, and there are thousands of failed small businesses to prove this point. To be successful a small business owner must perform the same site prospecting, due diligence that the big guys do.
There are numerous elements to site prospecting. First there are all of the on-site questions that need to be answered, such as: Is the site attractive and aesthetically pleasing? Is there good access to the location? Is there enough parking available? Is there enough space? Is there adequate traffic? Is the price right? Are the terms of the lease acceptable? Then, there is one critical question that cannot be answered by a site visit: Are there enough of my target customers within my trade area to support my business and allow me to be successful? The only way to answer this question is through analyzing the business demographics of your proposed trade area.
To look at the business demographics of the area, you first need to define the demographic characteristics of your target customer. How old are they? What is their income level? What gender are they? Do they have children? Do they own vehicles? What is their home value? Many small business owners will say, “everyone is my customer.” WRONG! Everyone is not your customer. There are certain characteristics that will define your ideal customer, like “single, female, between the ages of 25 and 60, with an average annual income over $45,000.” Once the profile is created, you can start to look at your trade area to determine if there are enough customers in the area to support your business.
So, you may ask, “where do business demographics come from?” The base for all demographics data in the US is the census which is performed every ten years. The issue is determining what the current 2009 statistics are if the last census was conducted in 2000. The companies that provide consumable business demographics for analysis collect monthly USPS mail delivery statistics to apply to the census figures and determine current figures. Additionally, they pull data from hundreds of other sources to determine what current income, spending, and property levels are. The process is not easy or cheap. These companies employ hundreds of demographers, statisticians, and economist to create this data in a form that businesses can use.
Now, there are tools, services, and companies on the market that bring the latest, greatest demographic data and GIS analytics to you so you don’t have to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars on your own GIS department like the big guys do. Now you can get the same competitive advantage that the big guys have at a very affordable price. For more information on site prospecting check out this link: Find the “Right” location for your business…