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Leveraging Mapping Software for Franchise Territories and Franchise Locations

Max Bahar

Author: Max Bahar

In franchise management, where geographic insights are extremely important, franchise mapping software enables franchise owners and managers to strategically plan, visualize, and optimize their locations and territories. By analyzing a variety of criteria such as an area’s target demographics, accessibility, and local competition, you can ensure that your franchise locations and territories are set up for success. Maptitude mapping software offers robust tools and features tailored to the specific needs of creating and managing franchise locations and territories.

Now that we understand the importance of utilizing geographic analyses for franchise mapping, we can explore some examples of using Maptitude mapping software to define franchise locations and territories.

Before trying the steps below, you can request a free trial of Maptitude mapping software.

In this article:

What Makes a Good Franchise Location?

When mapping a franchise location with Maptitude, you can follow these tips to ensure that you are strategically evaluating your franchise's location.

A good franchise location is usually characterized by a combination of factors. Look for areas with a high concentration of your target customers, assess the local economy and business environment, and consider the accessibility of the location. Maptitude mapping software can assist you in evaluating these factors, allowing you to make informed decisions about the best franchise locations.

Consider Target Market and Demographics for Good Franchise Locations

Maptitude assists in evaluating the suitability of locations by overlaying target market and demographic data. Define your target market clearly and use the Maptitude mapping capabilities to study the demographics of different areas. This way, you can identify locations that align with your franchise concept and have the potential to attract the right customer base.

For example, the facility location tool can use your target demographics by zip code as the demand for your locations.

  1. First, you can map your candidate locations by following the steps in the tutorial video on mapping your own data in Maptitude. If you don’t have a set of candidate locations, please see the article on using the facility location analysis without candidate locations.
  2. After mapping your locations, use the pan and zoom tools to adjust your map so that it only shows your area of interest.
  3. Choose Tools>Analysis>Facility Location.
  4. For your Client Settings, you can use the 5-Digit ZIP Code layer and choose to use Visible Features for the Client Set. Click Next.
  5. On this page, make sure that you specify your point layer as the Candidate Layer. Click Next.
  6. Choose between Straight Lines (which runs quicker) or Route (which results in a more accurate analysis but takes longer to run). If using the Route option, you can choose to limit your analysis to a certain driving time or distance. This can be helpful if you only want to consider the demographics in a certain area around your franchise locations. Click Next.
  7. Choose the number of facilities based on the number of new franchise locations you want to create. Click Next.
  8. Choose Best overall service and change the Weighting Field drop down to the demographic of your choice (for example, [Age 21+] for the number of people aged 21 years and above).
  9. Click Finish and Maptitude will mark the best location(s) to set up your new franchise location.

By integrating the Maptitude mapping tools with these tips, you can streamline the process of mapping and determining franchise locations, ultimately helping you make informed decisions about selecting the best locations for your franchise.

For another example utilizing the demographic data in Maptitude to find the best location for a business, please see the tutorial article on finding the best intersection for a new site location.

How Do You Map a Franchise Territory?

Mapping a franchise territory with Maptitude involves a few key steps. First, you’ll need to assemble relevant data such as demographic information, population density, and local business trends. Once you have your data, how do you determine a franchise territory? You can use the Maptitude mapping tools to visualize and analyze the information you’ve gathered. Maptitude allows you to overlay different layers of information on a map, helping you identify suitable territories based on your criteria.

As an example, we can consider creating territories for a fast-food restaurant franchise operating in the state of Massachusetts. We are interested in the following metrics:

  • The total population in each territory
  • The number of households with an annual income between $25,000 and $75,000 in each territory
  • The number of competitors in each territory

Collect Data That Is Relevant to Your Franchise Territories

Before you create your franchise territories, it is important to first collect data on the areas surrounding your franchise locations.

Step 1: Use the Map Librarian and thematic mapping to visualize demographic data.

You can use the Map Librarian to show different demographic fields in your area of interest. In our case, we can visualize Total Population at the ZIP code level in Massachusetts.

  1. From the Maptitude Home screen, choose New demographic map and click OK.
  2. Choose USA Map Library 202X from the Choose a Map Library drop down.
  3. Choose Population Maps to display information for population.
  4. Choose the Population by ZIP code map to see population at the ZIP code level.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Choose to zoom to a U.S. State, type in MA, and click OK to display a map of Massachusetts.

For more information on thematic mapping, please see the tutorial video on thematic mapping in Maptitude.

Step 2: Show additional demographics with hover fields.

  1. In the Display Manager, right-click 5-Digit ZIP Code and choose Choose Hover Fields.
  2. Using the list on the left and the Add >> button, add the [HH_Income $25k-$34,999], [HH_Income $35k-$49,999], and [HH_Income $50k-$74,999] fields.
  3. Click OK. Hovering over a ZIP code will display the relevant demographic information for our analysis.

Step 3: Add competitor and existing locations to a map from the Maptitude business and landmark layers.

With the free data layers included with Maptitude, you can visualize and analyze the locations of competitors and other businesses in your industry to create the best territories for your franchise.

  1. Download and install the Business Location Layers or the Point of Interest Layers.
  2. In Maptitude, choose Map>Layers>Add Layer.
  3. Browse to C:\ccdata\ or wherever you installed the downloaded layers.
  4. Choose to add the category or brand that you are interested in. In our case, we can choose to add ccRestaurant layer from the Point of Interest layers.
  5. Click Close to add restaurant locations to the map.
  6. We can filter the restaurants to only show fast food restaurants using Selection>Select by Condition.
  7. Enter in the condition: Category = “Fast Food”
  8. Under the Set Name drop down, type: Fast Food Restaurants
  9. Click OK.
  10. In the Display Manager, expand the US Restaurant layer until you see the set called Fast Food Restaurants.
  11. Right-click the Fast Food Restaurants set and choose Show this set only. The map will only show you the locations of fast food restaurants.

For more information on selection sets, please see the tutorial video on creating selection sets in Maptitude.

Step 4: Map your own data with the Create-a-Map Wizard tool.

You can use the Create-a-Map Wizard tool to add your own data to the maps and inform your franchise territory creation. These can vary from plotting your existing franchise locations on the map to attaching sales data to ZIP codes.

For more information on the Create-a-Map Wizard, please see the tutorial video on mapping your own data in Maptitude.

Decide How You Want to Determine the Franchise Territories

Maptitude provides various options for defining franchise territories, such as mileage radius rings, drive-time or drive-distance areas, and ZIP codes. You can customize your approach based on the specific needs of your franchise model.

To create radius rings, please see the tutorial video on creating buffers in Maptitude.

To create drive-time or drive-distance areas, please see the tutorial video on creating drive-time rings in Maptitude.

To determine franchise territories efficiently, you can leverage existing administrative boundaries like ZIP codes, townships, or states. Maptitude allows you to incorporate these boundaries seamlessly into your mapping strategy, making the process faster, simpler, and cost-effective.

In our example, we can choose to create territories for our franchise using ZIP code boundaries.

Step 5: Create territories.

The territory tools in Maptitude make it easy to create your own territories from scratch or from existing data.

  1. Choose Map>New Territory Layer.
  2. Choose Interactively from areas in a map and click Next.
  3. Make sure that the Geography Layer is set to 5-Digit ZIP Code and click Next.
  4. We can specify additional Tracking Fields that will be calculated as we create our territories. Please note: not all data can be added as Tracking Fields. Click the Plus button and choose Add Geography Layer Fields.
  5. Choose to add the Population field and the HH_Income brackets starting from $25k ending at $75k.
  6. Click Finish to open the Territory Manager.
  7. You can use the Territory Manager to assign ZIP Codes to your franchise territories.

For more information on creating territories, please see the tutorial video on creating territories in Maptitude.

For more information on managing territories, please see the tutorial video on working with territories in Maptitude.

Step 6: Calculate additional data for your territories.

If there are other data sources that cannot be added as Tracking Fields, you can choose to calculate them separately.

You can add information such as the number of businesses in each territory or the median household income for each territory.

  1. Make the Territories layer the working layer.
  2. Choose Tools>Analysis>Overlay.
  3. Here, select the US Restaurants in the Layer drop down and choose to Include the Fast Food Restaurants set.
  4. Make sure that Count the Number of Features is checked and click OK. Maptitude will calculate the number of other fast food restaurants in each of our territories.

For more information on configuring demographic reports, please see the tutorial article on using your own data in demographic reports in Maptitude.

By integrating the Maptitude mapping tools with these tips, you can streamline the process of mapping and determining franchise territories, ultimately helping you make informed decisions about selecting the best locations for your franchise.

Next Steps

Learn more about Maptitude to see how you and your team can benefit from mapping software for franchise planning!

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