Know Your Trade Area
Now it’s time to get outside of your four walls and look at the neighborhood and trade area (the 3 to 5 mile radius) around your location. This is the local base of the customers you serve.
Among other things, the Trade Area Assessment tool will allow you to identify where current customers come from, where you can get new customers, and who your competition is.
The Trade Area Assessment is something that will take you a few days to complete. It isn’t something you do just sitting at a desk, but rather in the neighborhood and areas surrounding your location.
We recommend printing this assessment, reading through it, and making a plan to accomplish all the tasks.
- Use Google Maps to identify the 3 to 5-mile radius around your location and help you with your information collecting. To do this:
- Type in your location address.
- Click “Search nearby.”
- Type in the category of what you’re looking for. Your competition can be found by typing in the categories: restaurants, retail, grocery. Traffic drivers can be found by typing in things like apartments, schools, colleges, office buildings. It gives you a great list!
- When filling out the information about the area, do so during your business hours to get a good idea of traffic flow.
- As you tour, bring business cards, and when possible introduce yourself to people, give them a business card, and tell them about your business. You could even bring pre-printed invitations with an offer to come to your location.
- Ask questions to get to know the neighboring businesses and better understand their business drivers.
Now, let’s learn what’s happening within your community.
Trade Area Template
If you haven’t already downloaded it, here Word document that has all the information you need to perform your Trade Area Assessment.