February 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive
Your Next BHPH Lot
I do not believe that “dealer row” is always the right place to be. Your local zoning may dictate a concentration of automotive retail and repair facilities into one area of your city or town. If you have the flexibility to choose otherwise, here are my thoughts.
Large companies like McDonald’s and Olive Garden have entire departments and large budgets dedicated to choosing new locations for their restaurants as they expand their businesses. A small buy here pay here dealer who is starting out or expanding does not have the benefit of this expertise. There are a couple ways to make the site selection process easier and relatively inexpensive.
1) A company like Aaron’s Rentals has the same essential demographic as a typical buy here pay here customer and devotes time, money and energy to site location of its stores. The company feels so strongly about store site selection that it is part of the franchise agreement and locations are usually inspected before leases or purchases are agreed to. Additionally, Aaron’s expansion has been relatively recent, so its stores are in good locations for today's market.
Why not tap into this expertise at no cost? If you have a general area you want to locate in, use Google Maps and plot all the Aaron’s locations in that area on the map. Check your possible locations against those points on the map. Remember, they have already done all the work. They checked the area your customers live in and searched out the high traffic roads.
Depending on the size of your area, try to keep your location approximately one mile or so from the nearest Aaron’s location.
2) Contact the local billboard company and get a listing of all the billboards in the area you are considering. Be sure to ask for the traffic counts for each board. These traffic counts will give you a very good idea of how many cars per day will drive by the locations you are looking at. Load the nearest ones into Google Maps also. The billboard traffic counts may be a little inflated, but it is still a great resource.
By using the combination of the Aaron’s locations and their positions on the Google Maps program and the nearest billboards’ drive-by numbers, you can select a location for your BHPH dealership with a high level of confidence that it has the BHPH customers nearby and gets a substantial amount of drive-by traffic.
The only cost involved is your time and effort. Try it.