Franchise area mapping and location analysis - GIS software
When it comes to the success of many franchise business models, an understanding of local geography and demographics is key. This can be achieved with franchise mapping and location analysis. We explore how franchise area mapping and location analysis are used to deliver successful franchises in this case study, based on our recent work with a takeaway food franchise.
Actionable insight about locations and people
Successful franchise schemes understand how their business model works within different locations and can provide potential franchise owners with the following:
- An exclusive territory
- An understanding of geography including road data (drive times/distances) and address data
- A target audience (customer profiles)
- The locations of potential customers
Prospex, our GIS mapping software, enables users to analyse business data in a geographical context which delivers actionable insight about people and locations.
Maps and data for franchise businesses
Drive time catchment maps
Creating franchise areas with a suitable drive time from the franchise location, such as a maximum 15-minute drive time for deliveries, is an efficient way to define catchment areas. This would also ensure that meals arrive hot and ready to eat.
We create drive time maps using our full feature GIS software, Prospex. Prospex is easy to use yet provides professional GIS functionality. The drive time data within Prospex is based on TimeTravel, our drive time data matrix, which uses road network data and a broad range of variables to calculate accurate travel times and distances. The Prospex drive time tool recognises variables such as road speeds, road locations and different types of vehicles. These variables have a huge effect upon travel times and it’s this level of detail that enables us to produce the precision required by many businesses.
A common mistake people make when trying to calculate travel times and distances from a location is that they literally draw a circle around the location and assume everything within the circle is accessible i.e. as a crow flies. When quality, time or money is at stake reliable data is key.
Polygons (geographic areas)
One Prospex tool that proves particularly useful for franchise planning is the functionality to produce bespoke map areas, which are called polygons. Map areas are generally based on geographic tiles such as postcode sectors or districts, and administrative areas. Because franchise areas are often based on an alternative idea of an area, such as drive times, certain parts of a postcode sector may not be accessible. The ability to produce sub-postcode sector polygons allows franchise planners to effectively create locations based on defined road junctions and produce coverage maps that are extremely accurate.
Postcode and address data
Delivering meals to people’s homes requires address data. Prospex GIS includes the Office of National Statistics Postcode Directory (NSPD) which contains grid references with a 1 metre accuracy. We also provide licenses to use Royal Mail’s Postal Address File (PAF®) which we can use to enhance the NSPD grid data. This would provide extremely detailed grid referenced postcode and address data.
PAF® Postcode data is available with different levels of detail and can be purchased at national or postcode level with a cost per user so we can keep our solutions as cost-effective as possible for clients.
Target audience and geodemographic data
We help businesses to understand target audience by coding their postcode data with our geodemographic classification, P2 People & Places. Upon identifying and profiling customer types we can pinpoint locations with the highest concentrations of target audience.
The benefits of franchise mapping and location analysis
Location analysis and mapping provides franchise owners with in-depth local knowledge and business intelligence which mitigates many of the risks associated with franchise planning.
Using our products and services franchise owners are able to:
- Maximise sales and marketing opportunities
- Maintain a high level of quality
- Minimise waste within their business
We offer a range of services from one-off jobs to establish your new franchise, to providing complete GIS systems with training, if you need a complete territory management system at your fingertips. With almost 25 years experience, we pride ourselves in finding the best solution for each client. So if you are just starting out and would like to talk through the benefits and possible applications of geographical and demographic data in establishing a franchise then please get in touch.
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