While deciding to open a new retail location or increasing the sales performance of an existing site…mapping the location along with schools, community centres, arenas, libraries and other traffic generators can greatly increase your success.
By plotting your existing site or proposed new site, on a map and creating a 1, 2 and 3 Km radius around it…we can gain valuable knowledge which will help your business. If your product or service can pull customer from a greater area the radius can be increased, to a 5 or even 10 KM radius…or varied.
EXISTING RETAIL STORE: It is important to know your target customer…with a map as your guide you can decide on flyer drops, direct mailings, door knockings, print advertising etc.; which will be effectively geared to your customer within your catchment area…firstly plot your location on a map and identify all major streets, intersections and most importantly; traffic generators…whether it is offices, arenas, libraries, community centres, high schools, hospitals, beer stores, liquor stores, big box retailers etc.
The traffic generators need to be within a distance which is comfortable for them to shop at your retail location…for example the catchment area (or potential customer area) will be much greater for a furniture store than a dry cleaner…meaning you can draw a customer from a further distance to purchase furniture, rather than dry cleaning because of the convenience, impulse, cost, size of store, amount of each category of retailer etc.
When you have a good handle on the traffic generator, then determine the amount of people which attend the traffic generator (whether it be an office, arena, community centre, hospital etc.)…once this has been mapped and determined, you can decide; on your form of advertisement…the advertisement does not necessarily require spending money…have staff or yourself post on the bulletin board at the generator, or sponsor the local team or drop some flyers into each office or knock on the doors and introduce yourself and your service and/or product…basically start to create a relationship, then a mailing list. Once a mailing list is assembled email blasts on certain specials, or occasions etc. can be emailed;and your job becomes much easier.
POTENTIAL RETAIL STORE: The above-mentioned is also true for evaluating a new retail location. Having the surrounding area mapped; greatly increasing the chances of the new location being a success. Does your customer live and/or work and/or visit the immediate surrounding area. The place of work/live and/or visit…is it close enough to frequent your store…for whatever service or product you intend to sell.
Plot the competition on a map. Does the surrounding area have adequate stores selling similar products and/or services as your intended use? It is always easier; to create new business in a fresh area, rather then have to lure customers away from existing competition! Especially, if the competition is doing a good job. Most times customers will need to be dissatisfied with product and/or price and/or service to try the new guy! Remember, we are creatures of habit and it is difficult to get people to change their habits.
So…the more background and homework we do up front, the more MONEY this saves us and creates for US in the long run!
REMEMBER, know your customer, know your catchment area and the type of customer located in your catchment area, know the traffic generators within your target area, know your competition if any and determine how far people will travel for your service or product. If you do the necessary research and are aware of the above-mentioned and make wise decisions, YOUR RETAIL STORE WILL BE SUCCESSFUL! Mapping traffic generators and/or competition, catchment areas etc. can be purchased individually or for discounts, in groups with multiple criteria and locations.