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How To Ensure The Franchise Concept You’re Considering Fits Your Market

Advice from a franchise expert: Your potential franchisor is your ultimate resource for insights about market potential.

One of the most important decisions that franchise candidates and franchisees have to face is whether the concept they’re considering fits the market in which they are planning to operate. 

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for ensuring that the franchise concept and the market a potential franchisee is considering are a good fit. However, if you are interested in franchising, there are things you can take into consideration to ensure you are giving your new business the best chance of success. 

Steve Beagelman, President and CEO at SMB Franchise Advisors*, shared a few thoughts prospects should take into consideration to help them determine the strength of concept-market viability. “As a franchisee, you want to be in a market that you are familiar with, but it has to make sense,” Beagelman said. “The market has to be conducive to your brand. Make sure your concept is located somewhere that people are going to use whatever you’re selling and consider the socioeconomic status of whom you’re targeting: Is your product or service going to be useful and/or consumed in this particular market? What other brands with similar products are in the area?”

First and foremost, candidates need to understand the kind of research they should be conducting when deciding which market to open their new business in. According to Beagelman, your potential franchisor is your ultimate resource.  

“Candidates absolutely have to talk to the franchisor,” he said. “They have a ton of insight into the market. In most cases, they’ve done all the research there is do on potential markets their brand can expand to. Franchisors really will have all of the necessary information you need to make an informed decision on which market is conducive and which is not.” 

“But this is the most important thing to understand—if your potential franchisor tells you that a market you’re interested in is NOT a good market for the brand, you have to trust them,” Beagelman continued. “They know what they are talking about and you shouldn’t try to convince them otherwise. You will be putting yourself in a lose-lose situation right off the bat.”

If the franchisor warns you that the market you're considering isn’t a good fit for the brand, Beagelman suggested finding another concept to work with. “If you can’t find a market you both agree on, then you will need to find a new brand, one where the market-brand dynamic makes the most sense,” he said. 

Another thing franchise candidates should take into consideration when finding the right market for their concept is the competition. Some competition in your market can be good because consumers are already familiar with the concept, Beagelman noted. “However, you have to consider exactly how much competition there is and how much room there is for your brand,” he warned. “For example, if your town already has four fitness concepts, then an additional fitness concept probably doesn’t make sense. You are more likely to be successful if you went to a market that only had two or three existing concepts.” 

Once you have honed in on a concept and a prospective market, you also have to ensure the location makes sense, Beagelman noted. “When deciding the actual physical location of your concept, make sure the unit economics is plausible. Even if you fall in love with the physical site, make sure it goes along with your business and what you are hoping to accomplish. Don’t pay $10,000 a month in rent unless you are certain you will be able to afford it.”

“This is a trap that many new franchisees fall in—and don’t get out of quickly,” he warned. 

When determining whether the concept you’re considering fits your market, the best thing you can do is conduct research through the franchisor and use their expertise to your advantage. “Ask questions, get feedback and use your gut!”

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.