In simple terms, market planning is the evaluation of a market place to determine viability for your business. Believe it or not, this is the single most overlooked process for multi-unit restaurant expansion. Unfortunately most restaurateurs believe this service is being provided by those who present new site opportunities for consideration. There may be some due diligence being performed by others, but most of the time, it is a truncated process and substantially over simplified.
Market planning is not for the novice! It is an extremely thorough thought process that takes years to properly develop. There are a lot of companies out there today that sell software programs that generate ‘heat maps’ of interest for concepts to consider when choosing their next location. Usually these systems are created by ‘cubicle experts’ and not ‘field experts’. There is a huge difference between those that simplify data into algorithms and those can combine analytics with actual field knowledge and experience.
The art of dissecting a market begins with the brand’s overall strategy. Without a strategy, the company evaluates large quantities of information but never realizes how to analyze it properly to form opinion or create direction for scaling their business. Strategy is an often over-used term that is often mentioned by people who have no idea how to create it.
They know that something is missing so they often over simplify the short term and long term objectives of growth for the sake of obtaining a milestone that they believe represents significance. Such as, “we want 1 new restaurant for every 25K residents in the market”. Simple to say and strive towards but often misleading and detrimental to the brand and it’s investors in the long run.
Luckily we have seen and heard it all through our long term experience with major high growth companies. Let’s face it, every large company looks great from the outside however when you pull back the curtain, there are folks running around with their hair on fire! It’s a simple reality to rapid pace development. There is the planning stage and there is the ‘we’ll figure it out as we develop’ way. Personally, we suggest the planning stage for obvious reasons. Multi-unit development is tough and never for the faint of heart. It is wrought with difficulties that are sometimes unavoidable however there are a lot of avoidable pitfalls with the proper planning and guidance.
Our company’s market planning process is field proven using decades of trial and error with brands that can afford the learning experience. Chances are that your brand is not one of these companies and every decision is as important as the next. This is why you need experienced professionals guiding you along the way. Developing new locations for your business requires a lot of capital which often runs in short supply. We realize these constraints which is why we treat your money and time as our own. Our experts will walk you through every step in the market planning process starting with the company’s growth strategy.
For more information on market planning and our company’s unique methods to this process, please feel free to call us direct anytime or shoot us an e-mail with your questions and we will be sure to get back with you as soon as possible.