Why Large Brands Should Think Small

Why Large Brands Should Think Small

Small markets can hold the key to success for large brands, says Mary Jane Riva, President and CEO of Pizza Factory

When it comes to franchise expansion, many franchise development executives and regional developers give preference to high population density areas that can drum up a significant amount business for their potential franchisee.

However, with nearly one out of every five Americans growing up within a rural community, smaller markets – bordering on 10,000 residents or less – are an underserved population that could be the perfect next step for your brand’s growth strategy.

As you consider how to best expand your franchise’s footprint, here are a few reasons why you should keep more remote areas of the country in mind.

Advantageous Real Estate

Depending on where you are growing, many small towns often fall into economic development zones, which can include land grants, tax benefits and other perks — this is common in rural areas in Tennessee, Mississippi and Texas.

Be on the lookout for hidden real estate gems that you wouldn’t find in bigger markets: portions of large properties that have been divided for mixed use, vacant commercial properties or even empty parking lots that can be converted into commercial space.

For restaurant brands, specifically quick–service concepts, rural markets may offer a simple additional benefit: more land. It can be challenging to find adequate space in urban areas to accommodate for drive-thrus, free parking or direct road access, let alone space for all three in the same location at an affordable cost.

Smaller markets often have larger plots of vacant commercial land readily available that would allow the local franchisee to develop their restaurant as a destination.

In many cases there may also be opportunities for locations near schools and colleges that can open up to a number of affordable grassroots marketing opportunities, such as fundraising events for youth activities or hosting sports banquets.

Additionally, undeveloped smaller markets can present the option for a franchisee to develop a larger territory, rather than a single market. For example, a franchise partner could sign an agreement to develop your brand throughout an entire rural county, further stretching the brand’s reach into new corners.

Impactful Community Involvement

Not only do smaller markets provide better locations, but they also offer the opportunity for franchise partners to have more of an impact on the community. With social gathering options less readily available in many small towns, restaurants often become the local watering holes, offering a safe and comfortable place for community members to converge.

Brands can capitalize on this by ingratiating themselves into these communities offering to be the host location for a local group, hosting a fundraiser for a community organization, sponsoring an area team and other avenues.

This increased visibility and show of support to the community can go a long way in developing fierce brand loyalty with customers. By investing in smaller towns you are investing in the lives of the community members, and that does not go unrecognized.

Familiar Local Owners

In smaller markets, franchisors have a greater opportunity to find local, well connected entrepreneurs. These ‘hometown heroes’ can be instrumental to the success of launching a new concept into the market. These individuals have the distinct advantage of already knowing everyone in town, which can be beneficial when working with local vendors and contractors.

The local franchisees’ familiar face can also help to make the business seem more local versus franchised. This can help to rally local community support since the business will be tied to the franchisees’ personal connections before it evens opens.

Since these hometown heroes already know the area, they can help to capitalize on different community events that only an insider would know about, such as local festivals or school events.

By utilizing the franchisees’ personal connections and knowledge of the area, the business will have a leg up at knowing how to best serve its market where the best opportunities for growth and success lies.

Fewer Local Competitors

In some markets, your brand may be the only one of its type for miles, resulting in surrounding communities flocking to your business to fulfill their needs. Less competition in the area leads to repeat, life-long customers – and more prospective business for franchisees.

When a store opens in a larger city or suburb, it’s a blip on the radar of dozens of other openings each day. However, when a store opens in a small town, it is an event that draws the community in and captivates attention.

With less local competitors than you’d find in urban areas, brands are better able to establish themselves as a household name with consumers, rather than just another face in the crowd.

In addition to less business competition, there is also less competition when it comes to the job market. In smaller markets there are fewer jobs, leading job candidates to a more competitive job search and allowing you to be more selective in hiring the areas best talent.

Three states with great small market opportunities

1. Texas – With a strong over all economy, Texas has a plentiful work force and offers many tax incentives to those looking to do business in the state. As the state begins to turn from rural to urban, many smaller markets are hungry for new business to grow with in their communities.

2. Nevada – There is often less interest in franchising in the western part of the United States, except in Nevada. Franchising remains high in Nevada, which has had huge population growth in the last decade. The predominately rural state leaves many opportunities for franchisors to expand.

3. Georgia – Georgia allows potential franchisees looking to grow in smaller markets an abundance of opportunities for success. With the vast majority of the towns in Georgia having populations less than 10,000, the state opens itself up for small market potential.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mary Jane Riva is the CEO of Pizza Factory. Founded 30 years ago, the brand has become well known for serving fresh, high-quality pizza, sandwiches, salads and more. Pizza Factory brand is also widely recognized for its close community connection, which includes its iconic “No Bully Zone” program and impactful fundraising partnerships.

Global Franchise Meets.

An inspirational new web video series where we meet the business leaders and influencers in International Franchising.

you may be interested in

franchise directory

  • TaxAssist Accountants

    Business & Professional Services, Financial Services, <100K, Featured

  • Cafe2U

    Food & Catering, Coffee, Take-away, <100K, Featured

  • 800 Pizza

    Food & Catering, Fastfood, Pizza, Take-away, Featured

view more
Connect with Linkedin Logo
Global White Logo Click Here
Close button

WHAT DO WE USE YOUR INFORMATION FOR?

Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways: To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs) To improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you) To improve customer service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs) To process transactions your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested. To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature To send periodic emails The email address you provide for order processing, will only be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order. Note: If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.

HOW DO WE PROTECT YOUR INFORMATION?

We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or enter, submit, or access your personal information We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential. After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be stored on our servers.

DO WE USE COOKIES?

Yes (Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computers hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the sites or service providers systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information. We use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart, understand and save your preferences for future visits, keep track of advertisements and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business.

DO WE DISCLOSE ANY INFORMATION TO OUTSIDE PARTIES?

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.

THIRD PARTY LINKS

Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third party products or services on our website. These third party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.

CHILDRENS ONLINE PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT COMPLIANCE

We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.

ONLINE PRIVACY POLICY ONLY

This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our website and not to information collected offline.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Please also visit our Terms and Conditions section establishing the use, disclaimers, and limitations of liability governing the use of our website at globalfranchisemagazine.com/terms-conditions

YOUR CONSENT

By using our site, you consent to our online privacy policy.

CHANGES TO OUR PRIVACY POLICY

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page

CONTACTING US

If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy you may contact us using the information below. All correspondence relating to the Website should be sent to: Global Franchise 21/23 Phoenix Court Hawkins Road Colchester Essex CO2 8JY Email: subscriptions@aceville.co.uk