When a franchisee opened a Brothers Burger in Libis, Quezon City, three years ago, the Jose brothers thought their partner had found the perfect site for a hamburger outlet in a high-end, high-density, and exclusive residential area near schools and offices. The branch’s closure in 2001 proved Martin, Enrique and Daniel wrong.
“We did not include the construction of the flyover in Libis in our projections, and that really hurt our franchisee,” says Enrique. Indeed, the trio had failed to anticipate the flyover—it closed the business to pedestrian and vehicular traffic—or the customers’ shift to Eastwood, a new residential and business district that opened up for business at the same time. “If you have plans of really growing in this business, you have to be able to make these projections so that you can work around them,” he says.
The brothers opened their first outlet, a 50-square-meter restaurant, right next to Minggoy’s, which they also own, in Ortigas Center. They now have seven branches including one each at the Rockwell Center in Makati and in Greenhills, Mandaluyong City. But the increasing number of competitors has prompted them to study their options more carefully. “Before it was only us, and we had customers who really made the effort of going to our outlets,” says Daniel. “Now that we have more competitors, we have to make every effort to bring our products to them.”
The first thing to consider when locating your business is the market it will serve, says Raissa Alger of Party Network, a one-stop shop offering theme party packages including hosts, magicians, mascots, balloons and cakes. “Most of our shops are located inside subdivisions and residential areas because that is our market,” she says.
“A good location for my business would be a place where tourists converge,” says Jerry Casile, owner of N3Cate Stone Works. “That’s because my products are high-end, and it is usually the tourists who appreciate and can afford them.” He says a good location is important, but the start-up should consider trade fairs. “My ideal location would be high-end shopping malls like The Podium or Shangri-la,” he says. “But you can also gain a lot of exposure in trade fairs so long as you can find the right one to join.”
So what should the start-up look out for when shopping for a good location? Here are a few tips: