• Andy Bohnhoff

5 Key Variables in Site Selection

Platte River Analytics expands on the 5 key variables of site selection: accessibility, competition, demographics, site suitability and market analysis.

Drive-time analysis of potential dental locations in a study executed by Platte River Analytics LLC
Drive-Time Analysis

1. Accessibility


Accessibility refers to the relative ease at which your location can be accessed. Things to consider when researching a potential site's accessibility is drive-time analysis, traffic counts, visibility and parking.


One of the first steps in site selection and market analysis is to create drive-time rings from a specified location or set of locations. Once these rings are established, clients can then access multiple demographic variables. For example, how many people live within 5, 10 and 15 minutes from the potential site. Determine median incomes, age profiles and education for the immediate area.


Traffic counts and visibility of the location are complementary of each other. A high daily traffic count will equate to a larger number of potential customers. In the below picture, Platte River Analytics created a traffic volume report for a potential dental site in Colorado. A 15 minute drive time is included in the analysis.


Platte River Analytics prepared a traffic volume report for a potential dental site.
Traffic Volume Report for Site Selection

The last thing to keep in mind when determining a site's accessibility is parking. Parking can be extremely important depending on the type of client. For example, a large grocery store may need triple the amount of parking as a bar and grill. If parking is important to the location of your site, it may be weighted similar to income or home ownership.

 

2. Competition


The next important variable in site selection analysis is competitor intelligence. Competitor intelligence is a key step to any site selection. Creating a comprehensive market analysis on competitor intelligence allows you to find insight on your competitors and develop a competitive edge.


Collecting intelligence on nearby competitors in proximity involves data like visitors, yearly sales totals, nearby traffic and sales potential. Collecting intelligence on competitors in similarity involves researching companies that create similar products, sell similar items or have a similar business model.


Sticking with the potential dental site case study, the following map allows you to visualize the number of competitors within a 5 minute drive from the proposed site. As you can see, there are 6 dental competitors within that given distance and 3 others just on the border. Analyzing the details of these competitors can give you a better idea of long term site suitability.


Platte River Analytics is utilizing drive-time rings to analyze nearby competitors.
Competitor Analysis utilizing drive-time rings
 

3. Demographics


The next step in site selection, and quite possibly the most important, is demographic research. Demographics refers to the study of people as it relates to variables such as age, income, education, race and gender. Demographic data can also be very granular, including datasets like # of visits to the grocery store per month, household electronic ownership or type of medical insurance.

Custom infographic generated by Platte River Analytics to assist a client in site selection
Platte River Analytics Custom Infographic

Platte River Analytics customizes demographic reports and infographics tailored to the client. On the left is a custom infographic built for a client in Colorado that gives a good visual of population, household data and a comparison chart of household income.





Education and employment are other demographic variables that can be instrumental in planning a site. For example, a high end salon would add an employment variable to their demographic analysis for their new store site selection. Factoring in both high education and employment usually associates with higher than average income.


Demographic projections can also be a useful factor in site selection. For example, what is the projected population and median income for a certain neighborhood? A strong projection over current conditions could signal an up and coming area. This area may be a good place to site a dispensary or brewery.


 

4. Site Suitability


Site suitability refers to the analysis of determining the best physical location for a site. Site suitability also allows you to rank sites based on custom weights. A dental office looking to expand their footprint, for example, could have the following variables and weights:

  • Parking 15%

  • Median household income 25%

  • Age profile 18-65 20%

  • Unemployment rates 25%

  • Owner occupied housing 15%

Utilizing these variables and weights, a ranked site analysis could be produced to determine the suitability of all potential sites. The ranking in this example would eliminate low income areas and concentrate on areas with ample amounts of parking.


Platte River Analytics utilizes satellite imagery in its site suitability analysis
Aerial Imagery in Site Suitability

Another useful tactic in site suitability is analyzing aerial imagery. Aerial imagery can give a good indication of factors like tree cover, parking, access and surrounding features.


Analyzing imagery can be very easy and quick utilizing services like Google or Bing maps.




 

5. Market Analysis


Market analysis is a key indicator on the growth and future of your potential market. A comprehensive market analysis will include details like demographics of potential customers, market potential, traffic counts and foot traffic. This analysis will also help you in the future by discovering what customers to target and what attracts them to your company.


Demographic data of potential customers includes variables such as age, race, income, education and household size.



Platte River Analytics has access to over 1500 demographic and economic variables. Save time and money by having Platte River Analytics design the market analysis section of your business plan. Email Platte River Analytics to learn more or schedule a free demo.




Researching market analysis and trends is an analysis of how a certain market will perform over time. Consider these things when creating a detailed market trend analysis:

  • Exposure and popularity of market - what demographic is your market the most popular with?

  • Ability for market to grow - detailed statistics of how market has grown over previous years.

  • Market segmentation - understanding your market. ESRI is a leader in market segmentation.

  • Demand - is there a desire for your services or goods in the market?

  • Pricing - has the price of your product increased in the previous years? Show proof the pricing of your product is constantly increasing in the market.

Market analysis can also include a detailed description of your industry and surrounding businesses. Platte River Analytics can help companies identify key factors like size and growth of industry, key companies and major technologies.




Platte River Analytics aims to promote business development with the utilization of location analytics and spatial business intelligence. Platte River Analytics assists companies with finding optimal locations in retail site selection and helping to solve important business questions utilizing location data and intelligence.

Utilizing spatial intelligence, we assist small businesses with securing, storing and analyzing boundless amounts of data, establishing interactive maps and dashboards analysis, and extracting business insights.

If you are looking to convert your location intelligence into a competitive edge, send us a message today for more details and examples.

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