This week’s MBO user business mapping software profile is a franchise company territory planner.
We often get calls from administrators or managers tasked with setting up and maintaining franchise territory maps. Franchise businesses generally have sales areas that cover all of the USA and Canada. Active territories may focus on major metropolitan urban areas, but the general scope of the maps are typically nationwide so it is important to use a business map with broad territory coverages.
Franchise companies like to make sure that territories do not overlap. This is especially true if the franchise area selling rights are actually purchased by franchisees. Overlapping franchise territories are typically not allowed in these cases. It is always a good idea to turn on territory overlap indicators, which will show any overlap errors made during territory creation. Some companies allow overlap, some don’t but it is always a good idea to be aware of overlapping territories.
Territory management for franchise organizations are usually depicted by a map with zip codes. In highly populated urban areas I’ve seen some franchises break their territories down by Census tract. An obvious reason for this smaller territory segmentation is that franchises are often sold by geographic section. The more segments you have, the more franchises you can sell. Selling smaller jurisdictions as franchise territories means more potential revenue for the franchise company.
A territory scheme covering a franchise system often requires two color shades. Green often indicates a franchise area is available for purchase, while red could indicate that area has already been sold or committed to another buyer. Other color options can be applied as required.
Demographic Data Supports Decision Making
Demographic information is a helpful reference for franchise territories, especially for franchising that focuses on consumer oriented products and services. This summer, a new business launching in Canada used MBO to establish remote senior care franchises across all the Canadian provinces. Franchise sales territory areas were established by zip code while county areas were used to display senior population groups in age ranges for reference.
Map Business Online is able to combine demographic data layers – like age brackets. We call these data combinations calculated data columns. Our senior care franchisor combined all the Senior Citizen Population age brackets for ages 65 and up by county. This allowed franchise planners to consider the areas with the largest senior population in specific age ranges across both densely and less populated areas by county in their decision process. They also consider household income in their analysis. Both demographic categories were visible on the map for reference.
Adding demographic layers to territory analysis means a franchise buyer can export a spreadsheet that displays key demographic data for their target franchise area. This can serve as a base line reference for future growth. It begs the question, what other areas, where I am not doing business, contain similar demographics my best performing franchise territory?
Saving Your Franchise Territory Map
It pays to carefully consider how to store and share your franchise territory maps. Map Business Online provides a map Template folder in the save map dialogue process. By saving your master territory map as a map template, you can protect that map from your general audience of map users or co-editing MBO subscribers. Co-editing subscribers are using the MBO team subscription for collaborative editing of maps. Use the template map as the master territory map for your franchise business. Make subset maps from the master template using a “save-as” process. That way, most of your heavy lifting is applied to one master map that nobody else can over-write. MBO Team Edition subscriptions can be set-up if you have users who require the ability to edit maps, as opposed to just view maps.
Communicating Franchise Territories
Business maps allow franchise territory marketers to share their territory layout with potential franchise buyers or existing franchisees. Interactive web urls’s provide low-cost franchise territory maps that clearly display franchise availability along with other business elements. Sometimes these maps are displayed proactively on web sites. In other cases, these web links can be shared as they are requested, via email.
Shared maps for view only purposes allow constituents to click on map objects or points, study labeling and other map text, and even conduct spatial queries and radius searches to understand as much as they can about their potential investment. These shared maps can describe who owns which franchise area or they be may be used to show only uncommitted areas. Shared maps encourage faster communication of critical business elements impacting business decisions.
Franchise owners and franchisees use maps to describe and understand their business realities. It’s all part of the business of communication or the communication of business, whichever you prefer.
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Contact: Geoffrey Ives email@example.com (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866