How do you find premises for your franchised business?

When it comes to finding the ideal premises, every detail is important: the process can be long and tedious, but it’s worth it to give your business every chance of success. A quick checklist of criteria to consider when choosing the right location and find the right premises.

Having quality premises and securing the best possible location are decisive factors in a company’s future success. So it’s vital for project owners to take particular care in their choice, studying the many aspects that will make all the difference.

Take stock of needs according to the activity concerned

Of course, not all entrepreneurs have the same needs when it comes to premises: these needs can change considerably depending on the concept chosen, so it’s important to get things straight and identify the essential criteria before embarking on the search for a location.

First of all, you need to ask yourself whether this is a real business or just an office. Next come a number of questions: what are the regulatory requirements specific to the concept? Will we be receiving members of the public? If so, what type? Do you have to locate in the city center? Will I need storage space? A shop window? What surface area is required to run the business properly? If it’s a catering concept, do we need an extraction? Would you like a terrace? A parking lot? What about accessibility? Etc.

All these questions are key aspects that the franchisor must take the time to list with his future franchisee, so as not to waste time during the search.

Finding the right premises: other criteria to consider

It’s not just the needs of the concept that need to be taken into account when looking for premises: there are legal and financial aspects to evaluate, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the catchment area.

It is therefore essential for the project owner to carry out a market study before embarking on prospecting, in order to know in which sector he wants to set up: is the chosen area dynamic? What’s its image and attendance? What direct and indirect competition is there? Which businesses can we synergize with? In addition to these criteria, the entrepreneur can also find out what work is planned in the area: it would be a shame to see the accessibility of the premises reduced, especially at the start of the business, by roadworks lasting several months, or by a tedious facade renovation.

Finally, you need to consider the price of the premises if you are buying, of course, but also, if you are leasing, the particularities of the contract that allows you to use the premises. For example, does the tenant have to pay a key money deposit? If so, in what form? Is there a right to a lease? Or is it an American-style lease? What are the rent review procedures? If these contractual aspects seem unclear to the entrepreneur, he should not hesitate to ask his franchisor or a commercial real estate specialist to help him negotiate his lease. Next on the list of financial factors are monthly expenses, renovation costs and fitting-out costs related to the chosen concept, all of which should be kept in mind.

Who should I contact when looking for premises?

The franchisor will be the first person to turn to when looking for premises: it’s often the case that a brand already has an idea in mind about the location, or has a dedicated team to support its franchisee in its search.

It’s also possible to contact real estate agencies specialized in finding business premises, or geomarketing firms, but fees can be high. That’s why it’s sometimes better to rely on your personal network and word-of-mouth, or to contact your local CCI or local authorities. It’s not uncommon for town councils to encourage the establishment of certain businesses to boost the vitality of their town centers .

Last but not least, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for signs indicating premises for rent or stock clearance before closing.

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