If you’ve ever considered owning a franchise, now is the time to consider a cookie business. The baking and food service industries are stable, innovative and most importantly of all, lucrative, as the need to satisfy a sweet tooth will always persist.
Like any storefront, location is everything, so be mindful of the geographic factors that will make your cookie business boom.
1. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes
This may seem like a given for any savvy business owner, but it’s especially true in the food service or confectionery industry. When choosing a location for your cookie business franchise, there are some questions you want to ask yourself from the perspective of your future customer:
*When am I most likely to crave a sweet treat?
Knowing what will drive your traffic is just as important as when. Are you going to open a location that caters to the lunch crowd, or weekend shoppers? After-dinner dessert aficionados?
*Do I normally seek out a donut, cookie, ice cream cone or slice of pie?
*Is it an impulse decision?
If your target customer base happens to be in the latter group, your cookie business franchise will depend on high-visibility real estate. Think Main Street in a year-round beach town or the food court of a local mall.
2. Choose a cookie business that has done your dirty work
Great American Cookies can suggest specific franchise locations from coast to coast and every state in between. A good franchisor will not only provide this information, but also meet with you to discuss such necessary decision-making factors as the current market and past performances.
Be wary of franchises that don’t offer the support you seek — and need — to thrive as a future business owner.
3. When it comes to data, leave no stone unturned
Research, research, research. While knowing the population density is important, take it a step further and address such distribution factors as age, income, household size, etc.
It may seem obvious, but if you’re unfamiliar with the specific crowd with whom you’ll be in contact, you have already failed. You could wind up trying to thrive in an elderly community, for example, where customers aren’t driving frequently to begin with, much less driving to your store.
Don’t overlook the “pulse” of any given community either. If you’ve never been, visit first to get a feel for the people in a way that can’t be measured in statistics.
Even if you’re a native, plan to spend more time outdoors — walking around potential franchise sites, talking to folks and being in tune to your own shopping habits and food cravings.
4. Know your neighbors — yes, all of them
Not only should you talk to other franchisees in the neighborhood to understand sales trends and customer demographic, you should conduct independent research of those businesses likely to be your direct competition.
Take note of the business types around you. Are you in a health-conscious city like Seattle? The market may be flooded with healthy restaurants presenting a prime (or not-so-prime) location for a cookie business. Every surrounding store will present either an opportunity or a roadblock.
Opening near an “anchor store” (e.g., Target) might generate business, but your neighboring tenants might be far more important.
Opening a cookie business franchise is a great way to let your personality, creativity and keen business sense shine, but the dream doesn’t end there. Finding a location that fits your budget and your vision? Now that’s the sweet spot.
To learn more about opening a franchise with Great American Cookies, request more information!