CHOOSING A SITE
The first step in developing a Flow House is choosing a site. A Flow House’s location is as crucial to its success as is a good design, great food, and service. It will influence many aspects of your venue, including the menu. If you already have a certain location in mind, don’t get too attached until you know if it has all the right ingredients for a successful Flow House.
There are several important elements to consider when looking at a potential location:
Population Base – Are there enough people in the area to support your business? For example, is the location in the heart of a thriving downtown shopping district, or along a busy freeway? There needs to be enough people who live in the area, or pass through the area on a regular basis, to keep you busy. To determine the population base of a particular area, you can do a Feasibility Study. You can also use a circle graph, as well as asking the local chamber of commerce for more information on demographics.
Parking – Will there be enough parking to accommodate all your guests? Ideally, a new Flow House should have its own parking lot. If that isn’t an option, is there public parking near the location?
Accessibility – There’s a reason that major restaurant chains are often located near highway and freeway exits; it makes them accessible for customers. Motorists can reach the restaurant without fighting traffic or driving out of their way. Make sure that your Flow House is easy to find.
Visibility – This goes along with accessibility, and is very important for a new location. People have to know the Flow House is there. This is why property prices in downtown districts and developed strips are higher than other areas. They offer a level of visibility that can bring in a great deal of walk-in business.
Size – Will the site handle the projected amount of customers you are planning on having?
Price – Make sure the price of the site or lease amount fits your budget or you may just be buying a lot of work with no pay.
Condition of the site – How much money will it take to build there or, if it is an existing building, how much money will it take to remodel, upgrade, or repair?
It’s important to address all these elements when you sit down to draft your business plan. In addition, by understanding each of these aspects, you can better choose the right location for your Flow House.