Traffic. You’re going to need a lot of traffic. If you’re thinking about buying a franchise and the one that you end up choosing is going to require a commercial location, read on.
What Your Franchise Location Needs
You Need Traffic
If your franchise location is going to achieve the kind of success that you’re hoping for, you’re going to need a lot of traffic. Your retail store  or restaurant is going to need foot traffic. All storefronts and food-service establishments need feet. Feet = Revenue.
For example, 740 million feet entered and exited Apple’s retail stores  last year. That’s 370 million visitors. Do you think that’s one of the reasons that Apple enjoys amazing profits? (Apple stores are company stores, not franchises.) Apple stores are in the retail space and in retail, it’s about volume.
Of course, you need a way to encourage the traffic that exists in the vicinity of your business to open the door to your franchise location and enter your establishment. But how?
You Need Visual Appeal
Your business is going to need visual appeal. According to The Retail Doctor ®, Bob Phibbs:
“If you’re in a popular destination with great foot traffic, you can create a great window that tells one story and tells it well. Your window display must be your invitation to the passerby. A well-designed window display encourages impulse sales and peaks a customer’s curiosity. It might even tug at their heartstrings.”
In addition to your window display, you may have another option; sidewalk attractors. You’ll have to check with your local zoning commission, but you may be allowed to put some simple sidewalk signage up in front of your franchise. Attention-grabbing sidewalk signage works wonders, and can force potential customers to look twice at what your business is offering.
In addition to sidewalk signage, seasonal outdoor plants can spruce up a storefront, so leave room in your advertising and marketing budget for a few of those.
You Need Workshops And Seminars
One way for your business to stand out is by offering informational workshops or seminars. Today’s consumers love stuff that is free, and you can really capitalize on that fact by putting on information-laden talks and demonstrations.
For example, let’s say that you’re a Pet Supplies Plus  franchisee. If your franchise location offers dog grooming, why not take it outside? Grab one your employees’ pets, and do a demonstration (if your local community will allow it) right in front of your store. That would really attract attention.
One caveat: I haven’t read the Pet Supplies Plus franchise agreement. I’m not sure what their rules  are when it comes to marketing and advertising in and out of their franchise locations. Make sure that you check with your franchisor before doing anything too creative.
You Need to Host A Charity Event
Hosting a local charity event at your franchise location can be a real win-win. But, it must come from the heart.
What I mean is that to do this right, you need to choose a charity that is close to your heart in some way. Don’t host a charity event just because it would provide good exposure for your business. Do it because you really want to help. In addition, make sure that you choose a charity that your target market can easily identify with.
If you own and operate a Tutoring Club franchise , you can easily set-up a book drive and donate the books that you’ve collected to local daycare centers and community centers. You could even ship them to third world countries where they’d most certainly be welcomed. If you own an Edible Arrangements franchise , it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a charity that accepts food donations.
Do you know of any other ways to attract foot traffic?