If you’re a business looking to grow your customer base and brand through franchising, you need to know how franchise territory mapping can help you get better results.
At Tech4T we’re often contacted by companies who are new to it and want to know more about why they should be considering it.
So we’re going to explain exactly what franchise territory mapping is and why it’s becoming an increasingly important tool for businesses that want to establish, grow, or optimise a franchise network.
Franchise territory mapping is in essence the process of strategically planning the location and size of franchise territories based on evidence and data.
All too often, companies that want to grow their business through franchising simply pick established geographic areas, such as counties or states, as the locations for their franchises.
The trouble with this is that important factors which will determine whether a location will succeed or fail as a franchise territory are not fully considered, understood, or analysed, meaning that results across franchise territories will vary widely, with some performing well above expectations whilst others struggle or even collapse.
In addition, areas with established boundaries often range in size massively, with some just a few miles across whilst others cover hundreds or even thousands of miles. As you would imagine, this significantly impacts the chances of success that a franchisee will have, as well as the costs they will have to pay to adequately cover and manage their area.
What’s more, in most cases counties and states (or other established areas) were created decades or even hundreds of years ago and were based on geographic factors (such as rivers and landmarks), rather than on characteristics that matter to today’s businesses, such as population size, demographics, transport links, and much more.
Franchise Territory Mapping Systems
Franchise territory mapping systems remedy this by providing in-depth location information that the franchisor (the original business or business owner) can use to make informed decisions about their franchise territories.
These systems (like Tech4T’s Territory Runner Location Intelligence System) do away with guesswork and assumptions, enabling the franchisor to create, extend, or review franchise territories based on hard evidence and data.
And they allow the franchisor to easily see on a map which locations will perform the best (or the worst) for them based on factors such as territory size and population. The map can be static, although more advanced systems use interactive maps that allow the franchisor to drill down to postcode / zip code level and interrogate the data for more information.
These more advanced systems are often supported by territory mapping specialists, who work closely with the franchisor to ensure the maps they use contain exactly the information relevant to them, such as the demographics of their target audience and even the location of competitors and rival businesses.
They can also configure the interactive maps to show hotspots and heatmaps, so the franchisor knows exactly which locations to focus on and which to avoid. This can be invaluable when the franchisor is planning which franchise areas to focus on first to best accelerate growth of their franchise network.
They can also share important information with potential franchisees to demonstrate the commercial opportunities available in any given area and where best to locate business premises, outlets, facilities, or even classes and workshops.
Vitally, the use of a franchise territory mapping system also enables franchisors to custom define the boundaries of their franchise territories, rather than simply following established geographic boundaries.
This means that they can ensure that each of their franchise territories offers the same opportunities to their franchisees as any other, including a similar number of target customers and a similar number of real sales opportunities.
And franchisors with an existing franchise network can also easily redesign unsold territories whilst at the same time leaving established franchise territories alone.
Depending on the scope and sophistication of the franchise territory mapping system used, it can also be utilised to plan and map out franchise territories around the world for those franchisors looking for international growth.
Using the system, they can see which locations offer the best opportunities and even how many territories they can support as the business grows.
Franchise territory mapping systems are increasingly used by start-ups, established, and expanding businesses that want to plan, sell, or manage franchise territories based on intelligence and data.
For them, having the right location information is key to their franchise network success.