“Moneyball” and Real Estate – Reduce Your Risk, Eliminate Bad Locations
In case you missed part 2 of “Moneyball” and Real Estate, click here.
Reduce Your Risk, Eliminate Bad Locations
Now that we have explained to you “Moneyball” and have shown you a demonstration of the 3L Score it’s time to put our service to use in a real life situation.
Scott and Gina Smith are the owners of a InkWrap from Lake Havasu, AZ. They are the makers of auto, boat, RV, off-road vehicle wrap graphics using premium vinyl wrap material. They create premium, high resolution consumer wraps for car and truck owners, and premium commercial wraps and fleet graphics for the the advertising and outdoor promotions industries.
Scott and Gina have decided that it’s time to start evaluating the possibility of opening a second retail location and are thinking of looking at Las Vegas as a possible destination. They have allowed us to assist them during their initial research stage.
InkWrap – It’s not a wrap, until its and InkWrap!
501 N Lake Havasu Ave Ste 106
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
Phone – 928-846-5148
Website – www.inkwrap.com
Email – email@example.com
Business Owner, Age 28-50, College Degree
Our business is generated from a combination of “Small Town” word of mouth, local advertising, combined with a high traffic location.
We are competitive, but on the higher end, we sell our quality and design.
Space Requirements for Las Vegas: 1,000 to 1,500 SF of retail space in either a Neighborhood or Community center. Ideally this new location would have a drugstore or grocery store as the main anchor tenant and have a high daytime employment population.
The Real Estate Challenge
Like many small business owners who are in their initial research stages, Scott and Gina are not working with a commercial real estate broker and instead are using many of the free services available online to start their search. Using the free Loopnet search they have determined that there are approximately 59 locations currently available on the market matching their search criteria (1,000-1,500 SF retail space in a community or neighborhood center.) Scott and Gina would like to narrow their search results down to 10 to 15 locations before scheduling a visit to Las Vegas.
Step 1 – Reduce Your Risk, Eliminate Bad Locations
A common fear amongst many business owners in today’s economic environment is that they opened their business in the wrong location. We’ll recall an excerpt from our previous blog post titled “Retail Business Planning” (read the full article here):
“Although a great location may not guarantee success, a bad location will almost always guarantee failure. A new retail business needs to be where the customers are. You want a location with a reasonable degree of security, access to public transportation for your customers and employees, adequate parking for commercial as well as personal vehicles, room for an office, and that all-important sales space. Where you locate will determine the hours you keep, who your clientele is, and what types of promotions you do. Also, where you set up shop will impact how long it will take you to grow. Luckily, you have lots of options.”
In terms of reducing risk, the first step that Scott and Gina need to take is to eliminate perceived “bad locations” from their search results. With the assistance of the Stability Strength Score as discussed in Part 2 of “Moneyball” and Real Estate we can quickly evaluate all of the locations in our search results. Scott and Gina have determined that any location with a Stability Strength Score that is 55 or lower (40-55=Unstable, 40 or below = Very Unstable, download the 3L Score Dictionary) should immediately be eliminated.
Here are the properties that will be eliminated from our search results (click on the image to see a larger version):
The process discussed above allowed us to eliminate 20 of the 59 properties in our search results, leaving us with 39 to still go through.
Step 2 – Are your customers willing and able to spend money today?
Imagine your own neighborhood and the local geographies your friends live in. What you experience and what you see and hear about those around you impacts how you think of the future and influence your spending decisions today.
Perhaps, many of the homes in your neighborhood are “underwater,” and those that are selling are often sold at a loss. There are noticeably more “For Sale” signs standing in yards waiting for a viable offer. You now see vacant homes in your neighborhood, and maybe more in the neighborhoods around you. Compared to last year, maybe more of your neighbors have either lost their job or have had their wages and hours cut. Your closest friend, like you, is bringing more work home on her computer at night, but not getting paid more. She calls it “job insurance.” She’s worried because hardworking capable friends can’t find work, and they are looking. You hear numerous similar anecdotal stories at local school sports events, cocktail parties, church and other places.
Wouldn’t an environment like that affect your willingness to part with your cash? Would this type of environment cause you to “splurge” less and save more when possible? Would it cause you to grace the doors of discount/value stores with a new mentality and check menu prices more closely when eating out? If you haven’t experienced this, good for you. But your customers might be going through it right now.
Taking this into consideration Scott and Gina have decided that the Willingness To Spend Score for each location that they are evaluating needs to be greater than 40 (for reference download the 3L Score Dictionary). (click on the image to see a larger version)
This process has left Scott and Gina with 27 properties to review.
Step 3 – Be Picky, Find the Right Location for Your Business
Thanks to the filtering process the 3L Score Scott and Gina have the ability to be even more specific in their requirements allowing them to eliminate riskier locations so that they can focus their time and efforts on locations that will potentially bear the most fruit.
During their research process it was decided that Scott and Gina could be more selective and they decided that they would like their final set of potential locations to have a Stability Strength Score of at least 65 and Willingness to Spend Score of at least 40 leaving them with the following 11 locations to consider. (click on the image to see a larger version)
While the 3L Score does not guarantee business success at whichever location Scott and Gina may choose in the future, they can feel comfortable knowing that they have eliminated the riskier locations from their search allowing them to focus on better opportunities.
Interested in learning more? Visit our website http://www.catalystanalytics.com/retail-restaurant/ and register for a Free Trial or give us a call at 888-600-2370.
* Note – Scott and Gina have not made any formal decisions regarding the expansion of their InkWrap brand into Las Vegas or any other market for that matter. This exercise is to be used as an example for the purposes of showing the practical business use of the 3L Score. We thank Scott and Gina for their time and for allowing us to use their brand InkWrap in our example.