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By Marie Chaigneau • May 29, 2017

Expansion manager's main pains and how to solve them

 

Being an expansion manager is an exciting journey with new discoveries, sometimes surprisingly positive and other times deceptioning. Your goal constitutes in finding the perfect location for your business to perform extravagantly. Many hours in the field are then necessary to find this perfect place where to open a new point of sales. Intuition and experience are often the key to your success! But how to justify your decisions to the management with such subjective data?

Of course, they know you for years, trust you and on your side, you use arguments based on what you see during the previous points of sales’ openings. But three issues prevail till present: time consuming field visits, objective data finding and justifying the decision to the top management. 

  Retail

  1. Field visits

Every week, at least once a week, you are obliged to go into the field to verify the area you were thinking of, could be a good one, to check if the new shopping center nearby is finally open or if new competitors are now settled in another area, etc. It is an endless work: there are always things that imply to visit and check. Of course, this is a part of the job, that is time-consuming and it forces you to be on your car (sometimes stuck for hours).

And what if you could save 20h a week working on this task?

   2. Find sources of reliable data

Secondly, you take your decision incessantly based on your gut feeling that says this place is going to be a great area for your well rounded business. Nevertheless what you get by is the ignorance of external factors of a location that are vital to be considered. Then the issue is: you have already tried to work with real estate agencies or consulting firms but most of the time it turns out to be expensive and not at the level of granularity, nor with the kind of data you were looking for. It seems difficult to have access to the most suitable informnation without having to visit the fields. 

And what if you could find reliable data sources?

    3. Justifying decisions to the top management

Deciding to open a new point of sales implies huge investments, that is why you need to give valid statements about the location backed by effective reasons. Then your experience and gut feeling are the effective keys to use further. But what objective data you would like to collect about the population you can target in the area, the competitors visibility and the pedestrian traffic in that specific street? This would be the objective data that would clearly make a difference in your justification with the top management.

And what if you could support your decision with those objective analysis?

  Solutions

 Avoiding several field visits, using reliable and granular sources, to find the best location for your business seems to be an unachievable task.

In fact, this is possible thanks to the Location Intelligence. Indeed, such applications, platforms and solutions are diverse but they all have one common point: help visualize an area in the map for further analyses.

To add on, at an advanced level, they provide pre charged database that allows you to gain a wider global vision than before on a specific area and its dynamics without moving from your work. The data offered are socio-demographic, socio-economic, commercial and pedestrian traffic statistics, or the consumption made within specific sectors for example. This will help you visualizing and understanding the dynamics of an area.

Geoblink-Demographic data

Some are even Geo Business Intelligence solutions that include pre made analysis helping you dig into the characteristics of an area, comparing the existing location to potential ones and thus finding the best places to open a new point of sale.

For example, if this year you plan to open ten new stores, you will have to visit maybe ten locations per store. For the thousand visits approximately, you will have to plan to visit and walk around the area analysing factors that interests you and later writing reports on each location to discard them or choose them according to the cases. Whereas by using Location Intelligence software, you can, directly from your office, study locations you thought could be interesting, discard the ineffective data (low pedestrian traffic, proximity to competitors or without the client's required profile, etc.) and focus prominently on the rich data. What is more to the huge time saver, you will be able to present complete, detailed and accurate analysis to your top management, in order to justify your openings’ choices backed by meaningful data analytics.

In a nutshell, Location Intelligence is a game changer in your daily activities as an expansion manager, allowing better results: increasing your new stores performances and thus the ROI, transforming your new openings to the next level.

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