There are many reasons for why you might consider opening a new location for your business. Perhaps you’re looking to better service your customer base, you want to increase awareness of your brand, or you’re simply doing well enough that you can afford to test a new market. Whatever the reason, there are some important things that should be considered before setting up your new branch. You want to minimise as much risk as possible when growing your business; closing a branch can be very damaging to your brand. The aim is to try and replicate the success of your first location without making the same mistakes that were undoubtably made the first time around.
1) Where makes sense for your next location?
When choosing the next location for your business you should think about what made your first outlet successful. Research the areas you’re considering and determine how similar they are to your first location in terms of demographics (things like gender, ethnicity, age, household income, education, marital status) and see how they match up. You can also compare these to the demographics of your customers and see how they align.
Accessibility, for both you, your staff and your customers, is another key feature that must be taken into consideration for your potential new location. Is it close enough to your first store or restaurant that you can effectively manage them both and quickly travel from one to another? This can be quite handy for stock issues or when you need to divert resources from one location to another. Speaking of resources, are the branches close enough so that marketing efforts for one will benefit the other?
2) What does the competitive landscape look like?
If, for example, you’re opening a Korean BBQ restaurant in a neighbourhood that already has 20 or so similar restaurants, you may find it difficult to stand out and take market share. Consider the competitive landscape and think how your business would fit in with the surrounding area. Location will also dictate how much you’ll have to pay in rent for your commercial property, expected wages for employees, and any regulatory permits or restrictions that you may not have had in your previous locations.
3) Does the new outlet have sufficient infrastructure?
Older buildings may lack the necessary infrastructure to support high-tech operations, impacting the quality and reliability of internet connectivity – something every modern business relies upon. Cabling may be needed if you’re looking at multi-storey premises, and this is particularly important for food and restaurant businesses which typically have the kitchen far from the point of sale. Ensure that the site has adequate electrical, air conditioning and telecommunications services, good disabled access and parking before committing!
4) Can you find good staff and the time to train them?
New employees are going to need more training than those from your first branch as you (probably) won’t be there to act as a safety net for when things go wrong. You may be able to share staff across both branches, perhaps giving more seasoned employees a senior position to help offload some of the work. Try and learn from building up your previous location and set up evaluations of performance for your employees in order to catch issues before they arise.
5) Do you have the right management tools in place?
In order to manage your multi-site business effectively, you’re going to need the right software to keep an eye on all the different parts of your business. Tillpoint is an EPOS and business management platform that lets you do just that. Run your sales, inventory, employees, customers and more across all of your branches and access powerful growth tools through their easy-to-use software that runs on any device.