Friday, April 3, 2009

DOWNTOWN: Main Street - Front Street - Dock Side...

No matter what you call the busy place in your downtown, you'll want your customers to easily sail in for food or supplies. So many fresh, new retail stores and restaurants open downtown only to fail quickly a year of two later. Is about money? Is it about expectations? Is it about the products or the menu selections? Is it about price and value? Is it about a business plan fault? Or is it about location?

You have the money or know you can get it. You have a business plan. You've known for years what your menu will include or what items you will sell. You will only give the best value for the buck. You know your customers will love you. Now what? It's time to locate.

You know what town or city - that site selection was easy. Since you live there.

When Amy called she was excited, "We got the loan. We are ready to open."

"Where are you going?"

Amy responded by saying, "That's why I called you. There are six or seven locations downtown - which one should we get?"

"Which location do you like the best?"

Amy thought and said, " The empty store across from our church. It's always busy there."


"Yes, I'm always there for church activities. All of our family and friends are always there too." Amy responded.

"Amy, if you have already decided then go ahead, but before you do let's work on a short custom site selection program specific for your business that has an objective approach."

"Ok" Amy said, "What should I do next."

"Here are three things I want you to do before we meet."
  1. Observe - Go to each building and sit inside the store front window for between 11:00am and 2:00pm. Take a pad and pencil and count the number of people that pass the store. Try to guess their age and mark that down. Also try to guess the number of shoppers.

  2. Park - Determine where your customers can park their cars. Now get in your car and try to park in these locations during peak hours - 11:00am to 2:00pm & 4:00pm to 6:00pm. If you plan on opening for the late night restaurant crowd, you may want to try a little later in the evening.

  3. Walk - Get out of your car and walk. Put yourself in the position of your customer that may be walking to your store from a nearby restaurant or parking deck.

"See you in a week. Now get to work and enjoy the downtown while we put together the other criteria for you to consider."

Amy responded by saying, "I wish we would have done this a month ago."

"Me too! We don't have much time before the season starts. I'm looking forward to the drive to the beach - North Carolina is always beautiful this time of year - I want to finally meet you and visit this wonderful town of yours."

A positive attitude is a good thing. So many new store owners believe that once they open the customers will come. Let's find the best site to make sure your customers do.

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