A Healthy Way to Apply Business Mapping Tools

Here’s a business idea that’s going to make someone a lot of money – fast-healthy-food. You can send me a royalty check if you make a go of it. Ever been pressed for time in the city and you have to eat something but you don’t want to spend both the 2500 calories and the $8.49 at MacDonald’s? Anyway, if you were starting up a healthy fast food restaurant with a drive through, you might use a business mapping software the way Jenny does below.

Healthy Jenny had an idea for a business. She believes a drive-through, fast-food vegan restaurant chain is a winner. She planned to call the chain Healthy Jenny’s. Jenny used her business mapping application to conduct market analysis for her business plan. She looked at business locations, the competitive environment, and her future customer market area.

First Jenny needed to decide where to place her stores. Market research indicated her vegan/vegetarian food offering will compete nicely where ever Denny’s restaurants are located and especially if there are hospitals nearby. So Jenny created an address list of all Denny’s locations in the New England region and imported them into her map application. She placed a circle radius of 5 miles around each Denny’s as target areas for competitive drive-through locations and hospitals.
Jenny also found a list of Starbucks in the same region and placed those on the map, figuring that her customers would also be Starbucks customers. Wherever a Starbucks fell within the 5 miles circle she knew she had a good candidate area for a Healthy Jenny’s location.

Next, Jenny created drive time areas around each proposed store location. She figured her clientèle would likely drive up to 30 minutes for a vegan veggie wrap with her tangy special sauce. After creating drive time polygons of 30 minutes she converted those polygons into zip code areas for a quick demographic analysis. Jenny believed her demographic sweet spot was 25 to 35 year-old professionals whose households make more than $65,000 per year. This data would show under household income by zip code using Census data. She was able to view her drive-time zip code areas with these demographics associated and color code her key market areas.

Armed with this information Jenny was able to choose the location for her first two stores. Next up a trip to the bank with her business plan, a couple of critical large-format map print-outs, and a sample veggie wrap with her special tangy sauce.

Healthy Jenny’s was taking shape at last. Now, how do I get her to open up shop in Cornish, ME? Guess I better call Denny’s.

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