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Why You Should Franchise Your Business

Why You Should Franchise Your Business

Franchising is all about replicating a well-defined, proven and successful business concept. There are plenty of benefits to reap, both financial and market-based, when choosing to franchise. The Franchise Map - Eastern.Midwest USfranchisor and franchisee each have financial and emotional interest and investment in the business, creating an environment of collaboration and commitment. Choosing the right franchise partners is critical. Not all will have the needed level of motivation and ability to succeed; the selection process must be rigorous and thorough.

Market Benefits:

Expansion – a franchise network can expand more quickly than company owned businesses, as the franchisees are fueling the process with new investment capital without tapping into the parent company’s resources, bankers or other investors.

Talent – in addition to possessing local area market knowledge and a community presence, most franchisees tend to be highly qualified, hardworking people who would prefer to invest in a business in return for profits versus taking a salary as an employee; they share the entrepreneurial spirit.

Exposure – increased ‘natural’ advertising through regional, national or even global presence; consumers in one market often promote interest in your business with consumers in other markets, especially as the power and reach of social media continues to swell.

Financial Benefits:

Set-up Costs – The franchisee pays a fee to become part of your business, and absorbs the cost of setting up the franchise, as well as recruiting and training staff, and day-to-day operational costs.

Revenue – In addition to incurring the operational expenses, the franchisee will continue to pay a percentage of their revenue through royalties for the duration of the franchise agreement.

Economy – Supplier costs can be reduced by obtaining lower per unit prices as volume increases across the entire franchise network, benefiting both the franchisor and franchisees.

Management – the day-to-day running of the business units is managed by the franchisee via a clearly defined franchise operations manual; this frees up the franchisor to focus on managing the overall brand, while monitoring the key performance indicators (KPI) of the business units.

Opposing ArrowsMaintaining a consistent product and level of service, critical to the long-term success of the business, is a goal that is often aligned for both parties.  However, there are some areas where conflict can arise between franchisors and franchisees. Like any business model there are not only benefits, but drawbacks.

A franchisee is an independent business owner, and even with a franchise agreement, enforcing compliance can be challenging when the goals of each are at odds. Coupons and promotions are the simplest example. Coupons (or promotions), while driving in business and increasing sales, don’t always increase profits. Franchisors benefit from increased sales while franchisees benefit from increased profits.

Sharing the costs of advertising campaigns can also be challenging with some franchisees hoping to get a ‘free ride’ off the efforts of other nearby franchise owners rather than participating directly. Additionally, introducing new products or innovations can be tedious as well, requiring the franchisor to negotiate the process rather than simply putting it in place.

GrowthSuccess2If you decide to franchise your business, be sure to consult the experts such as a franchise consultant and a franchise attorney. Additional industry experts can be called on as you move forward such as franchise architects, recruiters, marketers and other operational advisers. Franchising isn’t the right solution for every business concept, but when the advantages outweigh the disadvantages it can be an excellent formula for growing your business exponentially. 

Painting Industry – Looking Brighter

Painting Industry – Looking Brighter

Paint BrushThe painting industry includes businesses primarily involved in applying paint, special coatings and wall coverings to the interiors and exteriors of buildings for both residential and non-residential customers.  As such, the industry is closely tied with overall trends in home improvement and the construction industry. The past five years have been difficult for most businesses and individuals.

The housing market has been especially hard hit and the effects have rippled through many supporting industries. While the home improvement industry has seen growth (see our post from December 2013), the construction industry has been suffering due to low demand for new housing, and commercial space. However, both residential and non-residential construction is beginning to regain strength, leading to more work for painters and other contractors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of painters is projected to grow 20 percent (faster than average) from 2012 to 2022. 

Painting the exterior of homes and commercial buildings needs to be done regularly. Exterior paint has a relatively short life span, and many experts recommend repainting at least every five years, particularly to preserve wood siding. Changing trends in colors, both House Paintinginterior and exterior also continue to fuel demand for painting contractors. While there are a great many do-it-yourselfers, there are also a considerable number of folks who’d much rather hire the work done, especially as more Americans return to the work force and disposable incomes increase.

The majority of paint contracting companies are sole proprietorships, often with five employees or less. There are several major painting franchise players in the market as well. Most notable are:

The strong forecast for recovery in both the housing market and construction industry over the next five years is good news for the painting industry. Opportunities for small businesses to expand as well as enter the franchise market also will continue to increase.

Below are two heat maps generated from our GeoMetrx territory mapping application. The first heat map displays the concentration, by county, of homes with repainted exteriors in the last year. The second heat map displays the concentration of those who hired a professional painter or other individual to do the work.

Exterior Painting - House Painted Last Year

Exterior Painting - Professional or Other - House Painted Last Year

Additional data resources available at GeoMetrx include housing types (single family, multiple dwellings, etc.), demographics, competitive intelligence and more. Mapping this data along with our own proprietary customer data is a strong aid in developing your strategy to grow your business. To learn more about how GeoMetrx can help your painting business map its success, call today at 1.888.848.4436 or request a free demo online. Let our experts help you make the most of your business concept.

Floral Industry – Valentine’s Day Roses

Flower ArrangingOn this day of love, the floral industry is blooming! According to Florint.org (International Floral Organisation), 25% of adults in the U.S. purchased flowers or plants as gifts for Valentine’s Day in 2013. Men outpaced women 2 to 1 on this holiday (64% vs. 36%, respectively). Similar sales levels are expected in 2014.

Men give flowers mostly as a romantic gesture, while women are more likely to give flowers as a sign of caring to their daughters, mothers and friends. Not surprisingly, red roses are the most popular selection. The estimated number of roses produced for Valentine’s Day in 2013 was 233 million.

VDay Flower Type

If you have a desire to be in business for yourself and you have a passion for flowers and floral arranging, this may just be the industry for you. The floral industry has very low barriers to entry. No special education, training or experience is necessary. Start-up costs are relatively low and many begin as a home business providing flowers for weddings and other special occasions. Christmas is the biggest holiday for flowers, followed by Mother’s Day.

Floral Holidays

When opening a florist shop, location is essential to success. It’s important to locate your shop in a high-traffic area, with high visibility. Additionally, fast and efficient delivery is a must. Many florists are either part of a larger, national franchise or are members of a florist association which provides a national delivery network. It is estimated that as much as 25% of floral sales are from people ordering flowers outside the service area of their local shop.

In Philadelphia, the U.S. “City of ‘Brotherly’ Love,” we’ve plotted the location of florist shops (shown below). Combining this information with our demographics, business, and trade area data, including travel time, allows us to help with location analysis as well as franchise territory management through the use of our powerful GeoMetrx mapping software. Contact us today for more information at 1.888.848.4436.

Source: GeoMetrx.com

Source: GeoMetrx.com

2014 Franchise 500 Ranking

5 StarsThe 35th annual Franchise 500, compiled by Entrepreneur.com  reveals the top performers in franchising for 2014. Jumping to the number one spot is Anytime Fitness, a 24-hour gym franchise. The company was ranked #6 in 2013, a remarkable climb considering it first opened its doors in 2002. Based in Minneapolis, the company now has nearly 2,500 units, and boasts 1.9 million members. Over the next 5 years, another 1,500 units are expected to open. The average start-up costs range from $56K-350K.

The top 10 franchises, including average start-up costs are shown in the table below.

2014 Franchise 500 Top 10

The economic outlook for franchising in 2014 is strong, with the IFA expecting the number of franchise establishments to increase by 1.7% in the United States, reaching an estimated 770,368. Having the right tools to maximize territories for new establishments is a key strategy for success. If you’d like to learn more about our territory mapping software, we’re here to help.

Meal Preparation Business – A Recipe for Success

Meal Preparation Business – A Recipe for Success

Family MealThe holidays are once again upon us and our busy factor is in overdrive! With the exception of a big holiday meal, we often find ourselves sacrificing time spent with our families around the dinner table. Studies show there are many great benefits of eating together, such as bonding through conversation, teaching children good manners, and more.

 “The family who eats together, stays together” 

A growing trend helping families reclaim time at the table is the meal preparation segment of the food industry. Meal preparation services come in many forms for those who lack the time to shop and prepare dinner each night. While meal preparation businesses may vary Food Preparationin the individual services provided, they all have in common the opportunity for families to purchase homemade meals, whether they will be consumed within several days or frozen for future use. Services range from simply providing the ingredients and work space, which allows customers to assemble their own meals, to preparing entire meals that only require reheating.

Most meal preparation businesses provide 2, 4 or 6 serving meals. Customers can typically purchase a single meal or enough for several weeks at one time. Many of these businesses are taking advantage of the web and allowing their customers to make appointments and order online, which has the added advantage of improved resource allocation and inventory control. Some of the services a meal preparation business may provide include:

  • Recipe creation
  • Menu planning
  • Ingredient preparation
  • Customer workspace
  • Full meal preparation
  • Meal delivery

Homemade MealMany of these services start out as home businesses, with the sole proprietor working out of their own family kitchen, and eventually expanding to a commercial kitchen as the business grows. A successful meal preparation business can easily become a franchise opportunity, as well, for a small business owner. In fact, it is likely the best recipe for success in this market segment as a single meal preparation business location will eventually be limited by its geographical reach.

If you enjoy food and working with others, starting a meal preparation business may be just the right small business choice. At GeoMetrx, our sales and franchise territory alignment application is the right tool to help you start a business or grow an existing business. In addition to managing your business territories, our service can provide an in-depth location and demographic analysis, market opportunity, and a view of the competitive landscape. Call us at 1.888.848.4436 or visit us on the web to request a demo today.

Home Decor – An Improving Market

Home Decor – An ‘Improving’ Market

Home Decor StorefrontWhat many are now calling the ‘Great Recession’ that began in earnest in late 2008, continues to have far-reaching affects on the US and world economies. Signs of recovery are evident in many sectors, including the home decor market, which is ‘improving’ (pun intended!). The improvement is partially in response to the lagging housing market.

Along with many other industries and markets, the US housing market continues to show signs of recovery, yet it is far from what could be considered a full recovery. The number of overall existing home sales is up in 2013, vs. 2012, but the most recent report (Sept. 2013 data) showed a slight reduction in the number of sales over the previous month. Levels are still well below pre-recession activity:

Existing Home Sales Chart

Many Americans have changed their long term outlook on home ownership, and remodeling our current homes rather than upgrading to larger homes has never been more popular. Families are choosing to stay put and rework the spaces they already have. Home DIY Wall Paperingimprovement is something people have long enjoyed, but the desire to stretch our dollars further, combined with a bent for living a more sustainable lifestyle has pumped new life and energy into both the home improvement industry and home décor market. The home décor market, estimated to be a $65.2 billion annual segment, continues to thrive.

Fueled by the popularity of do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement television shows, people are tapping into their own creativity to maximize and customize their living spaces.  Home improvement, home décor and home furnishing stores have been experiencing tremendous growth in the last decade. In addition to the change in home ownership attitude, another major factor contributing to the Paint Supply Setsuccess of many of these businesses is improved products and marketing, particularly pre-packaged kits with all the needed supplies bundled together. These kits make it easy for inexperienced homeowners to be successful in their projects, and much less frustrated!

As homeowners remodel and update existing spaces, they often choose to refurnish and accessorize these rooms with brand new items to match their freshly painted walls and gleaming new floors. This trend is being reflected through increased sales for home furnishing and home décor stores. Ready-made and attractive decorative accessories are very popular, and homeowners can mix and match pieces together to make unique and affordable spaces. Many direct sales home decor businesses have been booming as well such as PartyLite, Celebrating Home and Rendi, to name a few. These businesses have very easy entrance points for sole proprietors.

Many home furnishing stores are franchises, so whether you are interested in becoming a franchisee of an existing business or starting up your own chain of stores to franchise, GeoMetrx can provide an in-depth location analysis including an understanding of the competitive landscape. Call us at 1.888.848.4436 or visit us on the web to request a demo today.

Youth Sports Industry – A Growing Opportunity

Youth Sports Industry –  A Growing Opportunity

Fall BaseballOctober brings with it many wonderful happenings. The leaves are changing colors; kids, both young and old, are partaking in Halloween festivities; and sports are in the air. Baseball fans are enjoying the post-season with its play-offs and World Series match-ups; and football fans are gathering on weekends to root for their favorite teams. There are few things more American than fall baseball and football.

Professional sports is big business. Inspired by their idols in the big leagues, many kids hope to become the stars of tomorrow, and as a result the youth sports industry is growing by leaps and bounds. Kids have always participated in games and sports; however, the face Basketball Driveway Idleof youth sports has changed greatly over the last decade or two. Gone are the days of pick-up ballgames in empty sandlots, two-on-two in the driveway, or playing hockey in the street with sticks and rocks. Youth sports have become a network of independent organizations, competitive regional leagues, travel teams and tournament play, with parents, coaches, league organizers, referees and tournament operators organizing both practices and competition.

The National Council of Youth Sports (NYCS), reports more than 60 million boys and girls are registered in programs across the country. The most recent data from the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) estimates nearly 70% of children (age 6-17) in the U.S. are playing team sports and three out of four teenagers are playing at least one team sport. While there is much debate surrounding the direction youth sports have taken, there is no arguing that opportunities to score big are rampant for innovative entrepreneurs. The team travel segment of youth sports is estimated to be $7 billion alone. Local communities are benefactors of the economic activity generated by the growing travel team phenomenon as well.

The “travel team” stratum of youth sports in particular has exploded in the last twenty years.Travel teams grew out of recreational league play, as players, parents and coaches sought more and better venues in which to compete. The teams mushroomed in Winning Teampopularity as new leagues were formed to promote their play, tournaments proliferated to match the best against the best and large indoor facilities multiplied in suburban areas permitting year-round training and competition. (Fullinwider, 2006)

Many leagues are grassroots organizations formed and operated by parents through local schools, churches or other community outlets. However, that too is expanding with companies such as i9, a youth sports league franchise. Based in Tampa, Florida, i9 provides sports leagues, camps and clinics for children ages 3-17, including flag football, soccer, basketball, T-Ball and even cheerleading. The company’s tagline: “traditional kids sports leagues without the traditional headaches!”

Parents are often overwhelmed by the demands on their time, and for many, the option to pay a participation fee and let others run the show can be a welcome opportunity. It also removes parents from coaching and refereeing positions, which can be a source of tension for many.

Today’s parents are busier than ever because in most households both work.  Additionally, we live in a world where all of our kid’s activities are scheduled and supervised.  Parents are constantly looking for new activities to engage, educate, exercise, and entertain their kids.  Today’s parent also demands great service, a great product, and great communication AND is willing to pay for it. Meanwhile, legacy youth sports leagues operate the same way they did twenty-five years ago. As in any industry today, there is room for an innovator. (Steve Cox, i9 Sports Franchise Owner)

Other opportunities to capitalize on the growing youth sports industry include:

  • Sporting Good AssortmentNew and Used Equipment Stores
    • ​as kids outgrow their equipment or change sports, there is plenty of used equipment deserving of a second wind
  • Photography/Videography Services
    • parents also enjoy capturing their kids’ big moments and team membership on film — weekend photographers can carve out a very lucrative niche taking team photos, individual portraits and live action shots
  • Online Management Tools/Apps
    • managing registrations, fees, scheduling, logistics, team stats, rosters, and even background checks for volunteers can be cumbersome, and innovate thinkers are providing powerful online tools to help grassroots organizations
  • Local / Regional Sports Media Content Providers
    • streaming video of local and regional games is becoming big business, especially in rural communities where high school sports teams often take on a bigger role in the absence of professional sports found in larger metro areas

Sports PhotographerHere is a great article highlighting some specific companies within these niches of the growing youth sports industry. Another group, The Sports & Education Expo, is planning to hold shows around the country to bring resources and information about youth sports to athletes, parents, coaches, directors and more. The first show is scheduled for Dec 13-15, 2013 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

For any current or prospective entrepreneurs interested in the youth sports industry, GeoMetrx can provide an in-depth location analysis including an understanding of the competitive landscape. Call us at 1.888.848.4436 or visit us on the web to request a demo today.

Tutoring Services – An Inspiring Opportunity

School Bus Loading2Labor Day has come and gone and in its wake new clothes are being donned, lunch boxes are being packed, yellow school buses are rolling by, crossing guards are providing safe routes, kids are toting backpacks, and bells are ringing in school halls everywhere, officially ushering in a new school year; and with it comes the competition to be the best. In fact, competition to be accepted into the best schools continues to escalate, and not just at the collegiate level. The desire for parents to have their kids earn a place in highly sought after public and private middle schools and high schools is a growing trend in the U.S.  The trend is spurring the growth of the educational service industry, particularly tutoring services; an estimated $5-7 billion market.

In 2012, there were just over 78 million Americans, ages 3 and older, enrolled in school. That amounts to 1 out of every 4 people, or 26.4% of the population. (Source: U.S. Census, Current Population Survey Data on School Enrollment). According to the U.S. Department of Education, about 55.3 million students will attend PK-12 in the fall of 2013. Public schools account for 50.1 million of those students, and private schools another 5.2 million. That number is expected to reach 58.4 million by the year 2021.

There are many opportunities available for entrepreneurs and franchisees that go well beyond traditional remedial tutoring services in math, science and English, including early education, music, dance, art, and language, as well as a growing demand for standardized and state testing preparation. Barriers to entry are low and anyone with an education has the potential to enter the field. In the wake of decreased public education funding, there is a growing number of unemployed educators, providing a trained talent pool of individuals already devoted to inspiring the next generation. Nearly 350,000 teaching positions were lost from 2009 to 2012 alone, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Education Enrollment Chart

While tutoring services once focused on helping students who were falling behind or those who were challenged with a learning disability, they are now being sought after to give non-struggling students that extra boost. Parents, anxious for their children to do well in Tutorschool, to score well on standardized and state tests, and to be accepted into the best schools and programs, are hiring tutors at very young ages. Many parents want to ensure their children are performing on par or above the level of their peers. Adults returning to school are also looking for a leg-up on their competition.

How and where tutoring services are accessed is also changing. In-home tutoring services was once the most common method of connecting tutors to students. Tutoring and learning centers were the next evolution, allowing service providers to establish centralized locations, increasing efficiencies as well as profits. Most recently, parents and students are turning to online services. While some tutoring services cater to just one of these delivery methods, others are using a combination to reach their audience. While this field is competitive, the opportunities are many. Any tutoring service can tailor these options to best fit their market niche, and are likely to find it to be quite lucrative.

For any current or prospective entrepreneurs interested in the education services industry, GeoMetrx can provide an in-depth location analysis including an understanding of the competitive landscape. Call us at 1.888.848.4436 or visit us on the web to request a demo today.

Reinventing the Modern Book Store: A New Chapter Begins

Reinventing the Modern Book Store: A New Chapter Begins

The digital age has brought about a vast amount of change in how we live our everyday lives and it has had a major impact on the business world as well. One of the most tangible changes has been in the media industry. The increasing interest and reliance on electronic publications and less reliance on traditional paper and ink has taken a toll. Many small, local newspapers have shuttered their windows across the country, while larger, major metropolitan newspapers have become hybrid publishers offering both electronic and hard-copy products. Magazines and book publishers have become hybrids as well. Meanwhile, the book store industry has had to begin an entirely new chapter.

Speculation that physical books will one day disappear, thanks to e-books, is a frequent topic among avid readers, many fearing the worst. Fueling the fire, industry giant Borders filed for bankruptcy in February 2011, and reported it would be turning to sales of e-readers and e-books to save the company. E-books have advantages over real books such as the ability to carry thousands of titles in the palm of one’s hand, but they have disadvantages as well and will never be seen as an ideal replacement for those who prefer ‘real’ books.

Book fans tend to echo one another when defining, nay defending, their passion for ‘real’ books…

“…the touch, the feel, the smell, the texture; the joy of browsing the shelves, viewing covers and brightly colored spines; the wonder of opening to a random page; and most importantly the ability to ‘curl up’ with a really good book…”

E-books are here to stay, there is little doubt of that, but printed books are here to stay as well. E-books, while the fastest growing segment of the publishing industry, account for just 20% of all sales reported by publishers. Growth of the segment was 43% in 2012; very respectable indeed, but down from the triple digit growth seen in the years 2008 through 2011, when they burst into the mainstream. Michael Pietsch, CEO of the Hachette Book Group, cites a survey from 2012 that found half of all readers had no interest in buying e-books and, further, the vast majority of people who buy e-books continue to buy print books as well.

According to IBIS Research, book stores are collectively an $18 billion industry which includes companies selling, “a broad range of book and newspaper merchandise including trade books, textbooks, magazines, paperbacks and religious books, and excludes “retailers that operate primarily as used merchandise stores or electronic shopping and mail-order houses.”

In recent years, the traditional book store industry has suffered as a result of the weak economic climate during the recession, increased competition from e-commerce and mass merchandisers, as well as changing consumer behavior. Industry consolidation and an overall printed book sales decline is expected to continue.

What does all this mean for retail book stores? Will they simply cease to exist and become a quaint throwback, nostalgically remembered as part of the ‘old days?’ Hardly! The industry is certainly undergoing change, but the experts don’t anticipate that happening any time soon. Rather, book stores across America, from small towns to large cities, are writing a new chapter, and reinventing themselves along the way.

Successful book store owners are finding new ways to become an integral part of their communities, providing more than just shelves to browse. They are becoming a community resource, offering space and services for many activities, including:

  • poetry readings
  • game nights
  • book club meetings
  • events (weddings, parties, etc.)
  • young reader activities
  • local author book signings
  • local artist and musician exhibitions
  • writer’s work shops
  • book publishing services
  • printing services*

*”The patented Espresso Book Machine® (EBM) makes a paperback book in minutes, at point of need. Through its EspressNet® digital catalog of content, over seven million in-copyright and public-domain titles are available on the network. The technology is also ideal for self and custom publishing.”

Book stores are expanding their product offerings as well. In addition to the growing trend of on-site coffees shops and cafes, book stores are now providing a wide array of book related merchandise, self-branded items, and even vintage used books right alongside new books of the same genre. In some communities, book stores are partnering with and opening shops inside local libraries!

Book stores provide an experience that digital technology cannot replace. They connect readers to the topics, people and places they love and enjoy the most. People, by and large, believe in book stores, but they need a compelling reason not to order from a faceless online entity just to save a few dollars. As the Huffington Post so eloquently stated in its HuffPost Books blog, “Bookstores will only survive if they make the most of the very attributes that make them not Amazon.”

For any current or prospective business owners interested in the book store industry, GeoMetrx can provide an in-depth site location analysis including demographic, income and traffic data as well as a view of the competitive landscape. Call us at 1.888.848.4436 or visit us on the web to request a demo today.

Golf Industry on the Upswing

Golf Industry on the Upswing: Market Entry Opportunities

Golfing in the U.S. is estimated to be a $25 billion industry – $20 billion in greens fees, $4 billion in equipment and $1 billion in apparel sales. In addition to operating golf courses and country clubs, other industry activities include providing food and beverage services, equipment rental and instruction. Not included are driving ranges which are part of the $9 billion Golf Driving Ranges and Family Fun Centers industry, which we will highlight in a future newsletter.

As has been the case for many industries, the serious and lingering economic downturn has had an impact on the golf industry as people have cut back on discretionary and recreational spending. However, in 2012, there was a measurable rebound in the number of golf outings with golfers playing about 490 million rounds on U.S. courses, up 5.7% from 2011, according to the National Golf Foundation. Industry analysts estimate that U.S. golf course revenues will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.75% by 2016.

Successful companies in the industry are those who drive up demand through strong marketing and maintain efficient operations as many costs are fixed, whether players are on the fairways or not. Some of the most successful US companies include American Golf, ClubCorp, Evergreen Alliance, and KemperSports. Small companies can be successful as well using location and unique marketing strategies to their advantage.

There are approximately 15,500 golf facilities in the US, both public and private. Nearly three-fourths are public courses, and of those about 20% or, 2,450, are municipal courses. Much of the revenue for private courses is generated from annual membership dues, while public courses rely mainly on “daily fees.” While the total number of golf courses has dropped from its all-time high of 16,000 set in 2004, IBISWorld reports that interest in golf continues to grow.

In order for the golf industry to remain strong, the sport must not only continue to appeal to the retiring baby-boomer generation, it must also engage young new players. Creating affordable entry points for players, especially juniors, is a must. One group doing just that is the Wadsworth Golf Charities Foundation. The organization is partnering with a variety of community and business organizations to build ‘feeder short courses’ of three, six or nine holes.

Golf courses come in many different sizes and settings, offering a variety of price point opportunities for market entry.

Sizes

  • 18 hole: standard, full-size course with a mix of par 3,4 and 5 holes
  • 9 hole: half a standard course with a mix of par 3, 4 and 5 holes
  • Executive: 9 or 18 holes, shorter than standard course, with more par 3 and fewer par 4 and 5 holes
  • Par 3: 9 or 18 holes, shorter than an executive course, with all par 3 holes
  • Approach or “Pitch and Putt”: 30-40yd length holes used by players to practice pitching and chipping and by beginners (drop a ball, pitch it to the green and putt it in)

Settings

  • Links course: built on sandy coastlines, open to the wind, few trees, natural watering of rough and fairways, fast fairways, slow greens, large and deep bunkers
  • Parkland course: typically located inland, built in park like atmosphere, plenty of trees, manicured fairways, fast greens
  • Desert course: built in the desert, tees, fairways and greens are lush, but often the only grass in the area

Source: about.com guide

For any current or prospective business owners interested in the golf industry, GeoMetrx can provide an in-depth site location analysis including demographic, income and traffic data as well as a view of the competitive landscape. Call us at 1.888.848.4436 or visit us on the web to request a demo today.

The Winning Ticket – State Lotteries are Big Business for Authorized Retailers

The Winning Ticket
State Lotteries are Big Business for Authorized Retailers

If you saw the 1998 movie “Waking Ned Devine,” you’ll never forget the opening scene when poor Ned dies of shock with a smile on his face and the winning lottery ticket firmly grasped in his hand. The remainder of the movie is filled with the hilarious high jinks of his fellow townsfolk as they attempt to claim the money.

We all dream of that magical moment when all five little white ping-pong sized balls match our numbers and then, to our absolute amazement, the red Powerball (or gold Mega Millions ball)  pops up and matches too!!! And that’s exactly what happened in Florida earlier this month for the lucky ticket holder of the one winning ticket sold at a Publix grocery store in the highest Powerball jackpot in history; an estimated $590.5 million. The winner can take an annual annuity payment over 30 years for the $590.5 million, or a one-time cash payment of approximately $370 million (the present value of the installment payments). In addition, the retailer where the winning ticket was sold will also receive an $85,000 bonus commission. The ticket holder hasn’t come forward yet to claim the prize; let’s hope they are more fortunate than poor Ned Divine!

The 43 states where lotteries were legal in 2012 earned more than $19 billion in profit from lottery ticket sales of nearly $68.8 billion. Authorized lottery retailers earn commissions and bonuses worth an estimated 4% of annual ticket sales. Business establishments such as convenience stores, grocery stores, drug stores, bowling alleys, sports bars, and even hotels are excellent locations for lottery retailers. Lottery retailers often experience increased foot traffic and higher revenues as result of being lottery locations as well. These businesses share the following ideal attributes:

  • Location has high in-store traffic;
  • Discretionary income or impulse products are sold at the location; and
  • Point-of-purchase materials are prominently displayed to build product awareness

​There are 6 states that do not have lotteries of any kind. The other 44 states (Wyoming passed a bill to allow for a lottery starting in the summer of 2013), has its own lottery board, rules and regulations and game offerings. In addition, there are two large multi-state lotteries organizations which administer Mega Millions and Powerball in 45 jurisdictions (soon to be 46). The Mega Millions Consortium is operated by 12 states and the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), which oversees Powerball, is owned and operated by 31 states, Washington D.C. and the US Virgin Islands.

Prior to 2010, retailers could only sell tickets for the multi-state lottery of which their state was a member. Since 2010, the two organizations signed an agreement to allow cross-sales in one another’s jurisdictions. Together, Powerball and Mega Millions offer jackpot lovers the chance to play four times a week with Powerball drawings on Wednesdays and Saturdays and Mega Millions drawings on Tuesdays and Fridays.

On January 15, 2012, the cost of a Powerball ticket increased from $1 to $2. There was much speculation how the increase would affect ticket sales, with some believing players would simply cut their play in half. However, the response has been positive and five of the biggest jackpots have occurred since the increase.

For any current or prospective business owners interested in becoming an authorized lottery retailer, GeoMetrx can provide an in-depth site location analysis including demographic, income and traffic data as well as a view of the competitive landscape. Call us at 1.888.848.4436 or visit us on the web to request a demo today.

Tax Preparation – A Year-Round Opportunity

Tax Preparation – A Year-Round Opportunity

Many tax preparation specialists, as well as other tax professionals, offer year-round services including tax debt settlement, tax resolutions, audit assistance, bookkeeping, record keeping, financial advice and consultation, tax education, payroll services and more.

Tax professionals are dedicated to the challenge of keeping up with the tax code and informing their clients of important changes that need to be addressed throughout the year, rather than simply focusing on January 1st through April 15th only. Tax code changes often affect the way individuals and businesses need to operate throughout the year in order to minimize the tax liability they will incur. And as the tax code continues to become increasingly complex, the demand for tax preparation professionals continues to grow as well.

Whether you are interested in opening a sole proprietorship, becoming part of an existing franchise or creating a new franchise, at GeoMetrx we have the tools you need to assess the opportunities, locate the ideal site location, and create, evaluate and align territories. Additionally, we have an exhaustive list of Business Establishment datasets by NAICS code including the one depicted below displaying the concentration of Accounting / Tax Preparation / Bookkeeping and Payroll Services businesses.  Each red dot represents 25 establishments within that geographical region.

For more information on how to obtain access to GeoMetrx datasets, contact us today at 1.888.848.4436.

Tax Preparation Industry

Many tax professionals can be found relaxing on beaches around the globe, basking in the sunshine and the relief of making it through yet another frenzied tax season. The vast majority of Americans rely heavily on these professionals, especially as the annual impending approach of tax day on April 15th creates a ‘sinking’ feeling for many of us. The Titanic also sank on April 15th, 1912… coincidence??? Maybe, maybe not! The 16th amendment permanently establishing the federal income tax was ratified the following year in 1913, though it wouldn’t be for another 41 years, in 1954, that  April 15th would officially become tax day; it had previously been March 15th.

Thankfully, this industry of tax professionals, more than 1.2 million strong, is there to take the helm and steer us safely through each year. Over 140 million individual and family tax returns are filed annually. Of those, three out of five, or 60%, pay someone else to fill out the forms, and another 29% turn to software to help navigate the complexity of the tax code. In the last decade alone, the U.S. tax code has more than tripled in size, comprising over 73,000 pages, and containing more than 3.8 million words. In comparison, War and Peace consists of 1,440 pages, and just under 600,000 words. The average adult reads 300 wpm – that’s more than 210 hours of reading to get through all of the rules and regulations. 

This is why so many Americans turn to tax professionals. Not keeping up with the latest tax code changes can be costly, whether as a result of not taking advantage of all eligible tax deductions and credits, or by filing an inaccurate return that may result in an audit by the IRS.  In 2013, some of the biggest changes included payroll tax hikes, Medicare and Social Security wage ceiling shifts, and Affordable Care Act surcharges on unearned income, just to name a few.

The tax preparation industry was estimated to have generated $7.7 billion in revenue last year. According to Franchise Help, the majority of tax preparations are performed by individuals (37%) or small mom and pop firms operated by less than ten employees (53%). The three largest tax preparation franchises are:

  • H&R Block
  • Liberty Tax
  • Jackson Hewitt

While Americans and politicians continue to clamor for a flat tax, or at least a simplified tax code, industry experts don’t expect this to happen any time soon, if ever. The reasons for this are myriad, and accordingly, the tax preparation industry is expected to continue growing at an estimated rate of 4%, compounded annually, through 2015, and most likely beyond.

Under our current system, there will always be a demand for competent tax preparers, despite the fear that an increase in tax preparation software will displace the experts. According to Franchise Help, “…the data is contrary to this perspective. Studies confirm that no magic tax calculator has enabled people to easily find all their deductions and hiring someone with a tax preparer certification translates into larger tax refunds. As Americans reach higher tax brackets they become more willing to outsource this stressful task.”

It should be noted, however, that under new IRS rules, tax professionals are now required to have specific credentials. For those who have been in the profession for the past several decades, many are opting to leave the industry rather than go through retraining and certification. This is creating an opportunity for new and energetic entrepreneurs to enter the market.

There are many opportunities for entrepreneurs and franchisors within the tax preparation industry. As with any business, location is important, and our GeoMetrx web-based mapping software is loaded with rich demographic data for retail site selection, consumer profiling and market analysis. For more information or a demo call us at 1.888.848.4436.

GeoMetrx Common Ground News: Volume 2: Issue 4 – Tax Preparation Industry

See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 2 : ISSUE 4 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK.  Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.

Volume 2 : Issue 4

April 2013

Welcome to Common Ground News

In this Issue:

* Feature Article – Tax Preparation Industry

* Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping
application at [1]GeoMetrx “How to Create a Territory Heirarchy from Scratch”

* Thematic Map – Tax Preparation: A Year Round Opportunity

* Trivia Challenge​​ – Third Time is the Charm…

This and all our newsletters are available through our Knowledge Center resource
listed on our website. We encourage you to share our Common Ground News with
your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our website and
make a comment on the [2]contact us page or send us an email
at [3]info@geo-e.com.

—-Kent Hargesheimer,

Managing Partner

Geo-Legend

Phone: 1.888.848.4436

Web: [4]www.geo-e.com

[5]www.geometrx.com

[6]www.geoprinter.com

[7]www.gis4less.com

Email:

[8] [9]info@geo-e.com

Follow Us:

[10][11] [12][gif] [13]

Blog: [14]Common Ground Blog

Newsletter Archives
• [15]March 2013
• [16]February 2013
• [17]January 2013
• [18]December 2012
• [19]Previous Issues

Tax Preparation Industry

[facebooklike][twittertweet]

Many tax professionals can be found this week relaxing on beaches around the
globe, basking in the sunshine and the relief of making it through yet another
frenzied tax season. The vast majority of Americans rely heavily on these
professionals, especially as the annual impending approach of tax day on April
15th creates a ‘sinking’ feeling for many of us. The Titanic also sank on April
15th, 1912… coincidence??? Maybe, maybe not! The 16th amendment permanently
establishing the federal income tax was ratified the following year in 1913,
though it wouldn’t be for another 41 years, in 1954, that April 15th would
officially become tax day; it had previously been March 15th.

Thankfully, this industry of tax professionals, more than 1.2 million strong, is
there to take the helm and steer us safely through each year. Over 140 million
individual and family tax returns are filed annually. Of those, three out of
five, or 60%, pay someone else to fill out the forms, and another 29% turn to
software to help navigate the complexity of the tax code. In the last decade
alone, the U.S. tax code has more than tripled in size, comprising over 73,000
pages, and containing more than 3.8 million words. In comparison, War and Peace
consists of 1,440 pages, and just under 600,000 words. The average adult reads
300 wpm – that’s more than 210 hours of reading to get through all of the rules
and regulations.

This is why so many Americans turn to tax professionals. Not keeping up with the
latest tax code changes can be costly, whether as a result of not taking
advantage of all eligible tax deductions and credits, or by filing an inaccurate
return that may result in an audit by the IRS. In 2013, some of the biggest
changes included payroll tax hikes, Medicare and Social Security wage ceiling
shifts, and Affordable Care Act surcharges on unearned income, just to name a
few.

The tax preparation industry was estimated to have generated $7.7 billion in
revenue last year. According to [20]Franchise Help, the majority of tax
preparations are performed by individuals (37%) or small mom and pop firms
operated by less than ten employees (53%). The three largest tax preparation
franchises are:

* H&R Block
* Liberty Tax
* Jackson Hewitt

While Americans and politicians continue to clamor for a flat tax, or at least a
simplified tax code, industry experts don’t expect this to happen any time soon,
if ever. The reasons for this are myriad, and accordingly, the tax preparation
industry is expected to continue growing at an estimated rate of 4%, compounded
annually, through 2015, and most likely beyond.

Under our current system, there will always be a demand for competent tax
preparers, despite the fear that an increase in tax preparation software will
displace the experts. According to [21]Franchise Help, “…the data is contrary to
this perspective. Studies confirm that no magic tax calculator has enabled
people to easily find all their deductions and hiring someone with a tax
preparer certification translates into larger tax refunds. As Americans reach
higher tax brackets they become more willing to outsource this stressful
task.”

It should be noted, however, that under new IRS rules, tax professionals are now
required to have specific credentials. For those who have been in the profession
for the past several decades, many are opting to leave the industry rather than
go through retraining and certification. This is creating an opportunity for new
and energetic entrepreneurs to enter the market.

There are many opportunities for entrepreneurs and franchisors within the tax
preparation industry. As with any business, location is important, and our
[22]GeoMetrx web-based mapping software is loaded with rich demographic data for
retail site selection, consumer profiling and market analysis. For more
information or a demo call us at 1.888.848.4436.

Tips & Techniques –

​How to Create a Territory Hierarchy from Scratch

One of the most common tasks performed utilizing our [23]GeoMetrx application is
creating a territory heirarchy. A territory heirarchy can have multiple levels.
For example, ZIP Codes can be assigned to individual representatives, which are
part of a larger District, and several districts can comprise a Region, which
then reports to a larger Division.

This month’s Tip & Technique guide provides a step-by-step walk-through on how
to create a territory heirarchy from scratch, as well as some optional steps to
further customize your territory heirarchy(ies).

[24]”How to Create a Territory Hierarchy from Scratch”

[25]

Tax Preparation: A Year-Round Opportunity

[facebooklike][twittertweet]

Many tax prepareration specialists, as well as other tax professionals, offer
year-round services including tax debt settlement, tax resolutions, audit
assistance, bookkeeping, record keeping, financial advice and consultation, tax
education, payroll services and more.

Tax professionals are dedicated to the challenge of keeping up with the tax code
and informing their clients of important changes that need to be addressed
throughout the year, rather than simply focusing on January 1st through April
15th only. Tax code changes often affect the way individuals and businesses need
to operate throughout the year in order to minimize the tax liability they will
incur. And as the tax code continues to become increasingly complex, the demand
for tax preparation professionals continues to grow as well.

Whether you are interested in opening a sole proprietorship, becoming part of an
existing franchise or creating a new franchise, at [26]GeoMetrx we have the
tools you need to assess the opportunities, locate the ideal site location, and
create, evaluate and align territories. Additionally, we have an exhaustive list
of Business Establishment datasets by NAICS code including the one depicted
below displaying the concentration of Accounting / Tax Preparation / Bookkeeping
and Payroll Services businesses. Each red dot represents 25 establishments
within that geographical region.

Click here to see a [27]larger version of this map.

For more information on how to obtain access to [28]GeoMetrx datasets, contact
us today at 1.888.848.4436.

April 2013 – Trivia Challenge

It took three tries to get the Federal Income Tax to stick, eventually becoming
the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1913.

Prior to that:

1) In what year was the first income tax imposed and how many years was it in
place before being repealed?

2) In what year was the income tax revived for a second time before being ruled
unconstitutional the following year?

[29]Click Here for the Answers

References

1. http://here.mappingresources.com/
2. http://here.mappingresources.com/contact-us/
3. mailto:info@geo-e.com?subject=October%202012%20Newsletter%20Feedback
4. http://www.geo-e.com/
5. http://here.mappingresources.com/
6. http://www.geoprinter.com/
7. http://www.gis4less.com/
8. mailto:info@geo-e.com
9. mailto:info@geo-e.com
10. http://www.facebook.com/GeoMetrx
11. https://twitter.com/#!/geometrx_
12. http://www.linkedin.com/company/691866
13. http://here.mappingresources.com/feed/
14. http://here.mappingresources.com/blog/
15. http://here.mappingresources.com/2013/03/geometrx-common-ground-news-volume-2-issue-3/
16. http://here.mappingresources.com/2013/02/geometrx-common-ground-news-volume-2-issue-2/
17. http://here.mappingresources.com/2013/01/geometrx-common-ground-news-volume-2-issue-1/
18. http://here.mappingresources.com/2012/12/geometrx-common-ground-news-volume-1-issue-12/
19. http://here.mappingresources.com/category/newsletters/
20. http://www.franchisehelp.com/industry-reports/tax-preparation-industry-report
21. http://www.franchisehelp.com/industry-reports/tax-preparation-industry-report
22. http://here.mappingresources.com/
23. http://here.mappingresources.com/
24. http://here.mappingresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Creating-a-Territory-Hierarchy-from-Scratch.pdf
25. http://here.mappingresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Creating-a-Territory-Hierarchy-from-Scratch.pdf
26. http://here.mappingresources.com/
27. http://here.mappingresources.com/common-ground-news-trivia-maps/
28. http://here.mappingresources.com/
29. http://here.mappingresources.com/newsletter-trivia-answers/

Consumer Attitudes: “Can’t Bear Untidiness”

Consumer Attitudes: “Can’t Bear Untidiness”

Whether at home or in the office, it is easy to become overwhelmed by clutter. The amount of information and products bombarding us in our daily lives is astounding. Controlling our environment is key to improving productivity, mental sanity and overall happiness. According to a recent study conducted in January 2011, by Office Max and Kelton Research, only 32% of adults feel they are very organized, and of the remaining 68%, only 1% claim they don’t want to be. That means nearly 2 out of every 3 adults in the U.S. admit there is much room for improvement. Men admit to being less organized than women, and women admit to being more motivated to get organized.

At GeoMetrx, we have a variety of consumer attitudes datasets including the one depicted below showing the percentage of adults who “can’t bear untidiness.”  The darker the brown, the higher the percentage of adults who feel this way within that geographical region.

Click here to see a larger version of this map.

For more information on how to obtain access to GeoMetrx datasets, contact us today at 1.888.848.4436.

Home Organization Industry: A Clean Sweep

Home Organization Industry: A Clean Sweep

It’s that time of year when the sun starts to shine more, temperatures begin to rise, birds are chirping, delicate flowers push through the earth, fresh breezes gently waft through open windows and many of us are inspired to do our annual spring cleaning, giving ourselves a fresh clean start to the season. For many this also means uncluttering the clutter, and getting ourselves organized. As Isabella Mary Betton wrote in The Book of Household Management, 1861:

 “A place for everything and everything in its place”

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by clutter with the sheer amount of ‘stuff’ we accumulate every day from junk mail to household sundries to all the other bits and pieces that come through the door every day. Whether we are packrats who have difficulty parting with things or minimalists who are compelled to toss out the excess, organization is the key to maintaining one’s sanity. An entire industry of both products and services has been built around our need to organize our homes and offices, and that industry continues to grow even in a sluggish economy.

HOME ORGANIZATION PRODUCTS

According to the Freedonia Group, a leading international business research company, the US Demand for home organization products will increase 3.6% annually, reaching $8.6 billion in 2015.

Decorative products such as bins, baskets and totes account for the largest share of product sales at 37%, while modular unit products are expected to exhibit the largest annual gains of nearly 5% annually through 2015. The dual role of baskets, et.al., being both decorative and functional, is particularly appealing to consumers, as home organizers can easily add on to these storage systems and rearrange them as their needs change. Modular units, while not necessarily decorative in nature are also highly adaptable, making them a popular choice as well.

Product market segments particularly driving the growth of the home organization industry include closet systems and garage systems. Also, the impact of the shifting lifestage of baby boomers is creating a growing number of empty nesters who are moving to smaller homes at the same time their children are moving into college housing. Both groups represent an increased opportunity for marketing space-saving home organization products.

Source: The Freedonia Group, "Home Organization Products: US Industry Study" June 2011

Garage systems are anticipated to grow most rapidly at 5.5% annually through 2015. The Freedonia Group credits this growth to several factors including the relative newness of the segment and increased product offerings combined with larger garage spaces and consumer desires to modify garages into hobby and other activity spaces. More information can be obtained through the full study #2774.

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION SERVICES

In January 2011, Office Max and Kelton Research teamed up to conduct a workplace organization survey of 1,000 adults. The survey assessed their attitudes and behaviors regarding organization and revealed that “clutter at home or the office plagues their productivity, mentality, happiness and confidence as many feel embarrassed by how untidy they are.” ​Despite this, actually getting organized is difficult for many of us.

Have no fear, there is help out there! The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) is a non-profit association representing the home and office organization industry around the world. The association has approximately 4,000 members, and 35 active chapters worldwide, representing the full spectrum of the global industry including professional organizers, productivity specialists, authors,  educators, trainers, manufacturers, and more.

Professional organizers and productivity specialists serve both the home and business sectors helping clients manage space, information, time, events, and even photos and other collections. In 2007, the industry began certifying professionals, and the resulting CPO world-class certification is recognized as the industry standard. According to NAPO, the top five reasons professional organizers are hired are:

• Too much clutter
• General disorganization
• Difficulty determining what to keep and/or discard
• Difficulty finding things
• Selling a home or moving

There are many opportunities for entrepreneurs and franchisors within the professional organizing industry from sole proprietorships to consultancy or subcrontractor companies to multi-faceted corporations. Individuals with a passion for order and efficiency are perfect for this industry. As with any business, location is important. Our GeoMetrx web-based mapping software is loaded with rich demographic data for retail site selection, consumer profiling and market analysis. For more information or a demo call us at 1.888.848.4436.

GeoMetrx Common Ground News: Volume 2: Issue 3 – Home Organization Industry: A Clean Sweep

See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 2 : ISSUE 3 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK.  Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.

Volume 2 : Issue 3

March 2013

Welcome to Common Ground News

Upcoming Events:

• GeoMetrx will be attending the [1]Multi-Unit Franchising Conference at
Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, March 27-29. Come by Booth #627 to meet Kent
Hargesheimer, Rich Mithoff and Patrick O’Neill.

In this Issue:

* Feature Article – Home Organization Industry: A Clean Sweep

* Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping
application at [2]GeoMetrx “How to Create a National Level Data Table of
Miscellaneous Geographies”

* Thematic Map – Consumer Attitudes: “Can’t Stand Untidiness”

* Trivia Challenge​​ – A Big Basket or…?

This and all our newsletters are available through our Knowledge Center resource
listed on our website. We encourage you to share our Common Ground News with
your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our website and
make a comment on the [3]contact us page or send us an email
at [4]info@geo-e.com.

—-Kent Hargesheimer,

Managing Partner

Geo-Legend

Phone: 1.888.848.4436

Web: [5]www.geo-e.com

[6]www.geometrx.com

[7]www.geoprinter.com

[8]www.gis4less.com

Email:

[9] [10]info@geo-e.com

Follow Us:

[11][12] [13][gif] [14]

Blog: [15]Common Ground Blog

Newsletter Archives
• [16]February 2013
• [17]January 2013
• [18]December 2012
• [19]November 2012
• [20]Previous Issues

Home Organization Industry: A Clean Sweep

[facebooklike][twittertweet]

It’s that time of year when the sun starts to shine more, temperatures begin to
rise, birds are chirping, delicate flowers push through the earth, fresh breezes
gently waft through open windows and many of us are inspired to do our annual
spring cleaning, giving ourselves a fresh clean start to the season. For many
this also means uncluttering the clutter, and getting ourselves organized. As
Isabella Mary Betton wrote in The Book of Household Management, 1861:

“A place for everything and everything in its place”

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by clutter with the sheer amount of ‘stuff’ we
accumulate every day from junk mail to household sundries to all the other bits
and pieces that come through the door every day. Whether we are packrats who
have difficulty parting with things or minimalists who are compelled to toss out
the excess, organization is the key to maintaining one’s sanity. An entire
industry of both products and services has been built around our need to
organize our homes and offices, and that industry continues to grow even in a
sluggish economy.

HOME ORGANIZATION PRODUCTS

According to the [21]Freedonia Group, a leading international business research
company, the US Demand for home organization products will increase 3.6%
annually, reaching $8.6 billion in 2015.

Decorative products such as bins, baskets and totes account for the largest
share of product sales at 37%, while modular unit products are expected to
exhibit the largest annual gains of nearly 5% annually through 2015. The dual
role of baskets, et.al., being both decorative and functional, is particularly
appealing to consumers, as home organizers can easily add on to these storage
systems and rearrange them as their needs change. Modular units, while not
necessarily decorative in nature are also highly adaptable, making them a
popular choice as well.

Product market segments particularly driving the growth of the home organization
industry include closet systems and garage systems. Also, the impact of the
shifting lifestage of baby boomers is creating a growing number of empty nesters
who are moving to smaller homes at the same time their children are moving into
college housing. Both groups represent an increased opportunity for marketing
space-saving home organization products.

Source: The Freedonia Group, “Home Organization Products: US Industry Study”
June 2011

Garage systems are anticipated to grow most rapidly at 5.5% annually through
2015. The [22]Freedonia Group credits this growth to several factors including
the relative newness of the segment and increased product offerings combined
with larger garage spaces and consumer desires to modify garages into hobby and
other activity spaces. More information can be obtained through the full study
[23]#2774.

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION SERVICES

In January 2011, Office Max and Kelton Research teamed up to conduct a
[24]workplace organization survey of 1,000 adults. The survey assessed their
attitudes and behaviors regarding organization and revealed that “clutter at
home or the office plagues their productivity, mentality, happiness and
confidence as many feel embarrassed by how untidy they are.” ​Despite this,
actually getting organized is difficult for many of us.

Have no fear, there is help out there! The National Association of Professional
Organizers ([25]NAPO) is a non-profit association representing the home and
office organization industry around the world. The association has approximately
4,000 members, and 35 active chapters worldwide, representing the full spectrum
of the global industry including professional organizers, productivity
specialists, authors, educators, trainers, manufacturers, and more.

Professional organizers and productivity specialists serve both the home and
business sectors helping clients manage space, information, time, events, and
even photos and other collections. In 2007, the industry began certifying
professionals, and the resulting CPO world-class certification is recognized as
the industry standard. According to NAPO, the top five reasons professional
organizers are hired are:

• Too much clutter
• General disorganization
• Difficulty determining what to keep
and/or discard
• Difficulty finding things
• Selling a home or moving

There are many opportunities for entrepreneurs and franchisors within the
professional organizing industry from sole proprietorships to consultancy or
subcrontractor companies to multi-faceted corporations. Individuals with a
passion for order and efficiency are perfect for this industry. As with any
business, location is important. Our [26]GeoMetrx web-based mapping software is
loaded with rich demographic data for retail site selection, consumer profiling
and market analysis. For more information or a demo call us at 1.888.848.4436.

Tips & Techniques –

​How to Create a National Level Data Table of Miscellaneous Geographies

[27]GeoMetrx offers a variety of options for starting any project or analysis.
The ‘Geography Selection’ option is particularly useful when desiring to create
reports based on standard geographies such as states, counties, etc. as well as
creating custom regions, trade areas, labor sheds or territories.

This month’s Tip & Technique guide provides a walk-through on how to create a
National Level Data Table of Miscellaneous Geographies analysis report. In this
example we have generated an analysis report of ranked MSAs for Population and
Income across all states.

[28]”How to Create a National Level Data Table of Miscellaneious Geographies”

[29]

Consumer Attitudes:

“Can’t Bear Untidiness”

[facebooklike][twittertweet]

Whether at home or in the office, it is easy to become overwhelmed by clutter.
The amount of information and products bombarding us in our daily lives is
astounding. Controlling our environment is key to improving productivity, mental
sanity and overall happiness. According to a recent [30]study conducted
in January 2011, by Office Max and Kelton Research, only 32% of adults feel they
are very organized, and of the remaining 68%, only 1% claim they don’t want to
be. That means nearly 2 out of every 3 adults in the U.S. admit there is much
room for improvement. Men admit to being less organized than women, and women
admit to being more motivated to get organized.

At [31]GeoMetrx, we have a variety of consumer attitude datasets including the
one depicted below showing the percentage of adults who “can’t bear untidiness.”
The darker the brown, the higher the percentage of adults who feel this way
within that geographical region.

[32]

Click here to see a [33]larger version of this map.

For more information on how to obtain access to [34]GeoMetrx datasets, contact
us today at 1.888.848.4436.

March 2013 – Trivia Challenge

1) Where is the world’s largest basket and what is it?

[35]Click Here for the Answers

References

1. http://www.multiunitfranchisingconference.com/
2. http://here.mappingresources.com/
3. http://here.mappingresources.com/contact-us/
4. mailto:info@geo-e.com?subject=October%202012%20Newsletter%20Feedback
5. http://www.geo-e.com/
6. http://here.mappingresources.com/
7. http://www.geoprinter.com/
8. http://www.gis4less.com/
9. mailto:info@geo-e.com
10. mailto:info@geo-e.com
11. http://www.facebook.com/GeoMetrx
12. https://twitter.com/#!/geometrx_
13. http://www.linkedin.com/company/691866
14. http://here.mappingresources.com/feed/
15. http://here.mappingresources.com/blog/
16. http://here.mappingresources.com/2013/02/geometrx-common-ground-news-volume-2-issue-2/
17. http://here.mappingresources.com/2013/01/geometrx-common-ground-news-volume-2-issue-1/
18. http://here.mappingresources.com/2012/12/geometrx-common-ground-news-volume-1-issue-12/
19. http://here.mappingresources.com/2012/11/geometrx-common-ground-news-volume-1-issue-11/
20. http://here.mappingresources.com/category/newsletters/
21. http://www.freedoniagroup.com/
22. http://www.freedoniagroup.com/
23. http://www.freedoniagroup.com/FractionalDetails.aspx?DocumentId=557388
24. http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/officemax/46659/docs/46659-NewsWorthy_Analysis.pdf
25. http://www.napo.net/
26. http://here.mappingresources.com/
27. http://here.mappingresources.com/
28. http://here.mappingresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Creating-a-National-Data-Table-of-Miscellaneous-Geographies.pdf
29. http://here.mappingresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Creating-a-National-Data-Table-of-Miscellaneous-Geographies.pdf
30. http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/officemax/46659/docs/46659-NewsWorthy_Analysis.pdf
31. http://here.mappingresources.com/
32. http://here.mappingresources.com/common-ground-news-trivia-maps/
33. http://here.mappingresources.com/common-ground-news-trivia-maps/
34. http://here.mappingresources.com/
35. http://here.mappingresources.com/newsletter-trivia-answers/

The Evolution of the Grocery Store Industry: Newly Emerging Niche Market Opportunities

The Evolution of the Grocery Store Industry: Newly Emerging Niche Market Opportunities

Back in the 1800s, long before we had cars and refrigeration, food shopping was a much different task than it is now in the modern era. In order to gather all the food items needed, shoppers had to visit several different shopkeepers. Grocers at that time sold mostly canned goods and non-perishable staples (‘dry goods’), while greengrocers sold produce and butchers sold meat. These shopkeepers were separate entities, though they often clustered together for convenience.  Additionally, these shops were not self-serve as they are today. Employees worked behind the counter and filled customers’ orders. Many offered delivery services as well.

“The only constant is change”

And the grocery industry is no exception! After years of little change, the 1920s ushered in a new trend for grocery stores. Owners began establishing regional networks, or chains, of stores. The result was a newly realized economy of scale, offering lower prices for customers than the many small ‘mom and pop’ owned stores could provide. By the 1930s, these grocery store chains not only continued to expand their market areas, they also began to expand their stock.  This new supermarket concept encompassed selling a wider variety of food items beyond just dry goods, as well as offering health and beauty products and more, all under one roof.

The Great Depression further influenced the grocery industry with supermarkets focusing less on personal service and becoming more utilitarian in nature.  Store owners sold goods by placing the stock on shelves and leaving the work of selecting and handling prodcuts to the customer. In some stores the goods were simply left in the packing crate in a no-frills format. By the end of the decade the expanding grocery chains began consolidating their locations. Industry leaders, such as A&P, were replacing five or six smaller stores with one large super store wherever possible. This created even greater profit margins on an inverse scale – sales were increasing as the number of actual stores was decreasing.

By the 1950s, as the advent of the automobile contributed to the redistribution of the population from city centers to suburban communities, so too did it increase consumers’ choices. Competition among neighboring grocery stores made it necessary to increase advertising and introduce customer loyalty programs such as trading stamps, games and contests.  However, these programs increased overhead at a rate faster than gross margins and eventually most if not all of these programs were abandoned. In order to remain competitive and profitable in the following decades, supermarkets chains tried a new approach – discounting – by expanding their offerings with additional general merchandise and cutting prices.  Many chains accomplished this by either placing grocery and discount stores side by side or housing both under one roof. A new customer loyalty tactic, an evolution of price-cutting, was the introduction of savings card programs  which provide loyal shoppers with sales prices and reward points.

As we’ve entered a new millennium, the grocery industry continues to carve out creative strategies to maintain growth and profitability. These strategies include offering private label brands, larger store sizes, and specialty services such as delicatessens, ready-to-eat dishes, bakeries, pharmacies, etc.  Some grocery stores rent space to other businesses such as banks, barbershops and other consumer services.

“Everything old is new again”

As technology infiltrates our lives, many of us long for a simpler and more nostalgic way of life. There is a growing demand among consumers for local, community-oriented businesses. The grocery industry is responding. Small business owners are popping up in communities everywhere to fill niche markets including ethnic food, natural and organic foods and locally produced goods.  As with any business, location is important. Our GeoMetrx web-based mapping software is loaded with rich demographic data for retail site selection, consumer profiling and market analysis. For more information or a demo call us at 1.888.848.4436.

Movie Rental Kiosks: A “Reel” Opportunity

Movie Rental Kiosks: A “Reel” Opportunity

Hollywood has long held a special place in the hearts of Americans, and watching movies has become one of our most beloved pastimes. A good movie catapults us into another world and allows our imaginations to run free, creating an almost hypnotic-like state of being. For a couple of precious hours we can leave the realities of our own world behind whether sitting in a darkened theater or in the comfort of our own living room. Regardless of how we obtain access to movies our hunger for them is likely to never be satisfied, as we’re  always anxiously awaiting our next escape.

It’s amazing to think how far the movie industry has come in such a short time – just a little over a century – and it boggles the mind to imagine where it will be in another century.  The changes in the movie distribution marketplace are gradual as one technology eventually replaces another, such as “talkies” signaling an end to the Silent Era with the release of The Jazz Singer in 1927. Next, televisions began to appear in living rooms little by little, creating the first real competition for the big studios. By 1962, more than 90% of American homes had television sets, pushing the motion picture industry to create more spectacular entertainment in order to keep audiences filling the theaters.

In 1976, JVC marketed the first VHS (Video Home System) device and forever changed the motion picture industry. Audiences could now rent movies from the myriad of neighborhood video stores that popped up overnight, and gave rise to industry giants such as Blockbuster, Hollywood Video and Family Video. The VHS era had nearly a 30 year run before being outmoded by digital technology. The last major motion picture on VHS was A History of Violence, released in 2006. Digital technology has swept away the industry, and ironically, the first major motion picture to be released on DVD (digital video disc) was Twister in 1997.

The digital era offers a wide variety of options in addition to DVDs for the home audience including:

• DVR (digital video recording) of broadcast and cable programming
• Instant streaming access to free and subscription programming
• On-demand viewing – rent from home/pay-per-view

Americans have become accustomed to convenience and control, and the digital era of home entertainment provides both in abundance. Online streaming has come a long way in the past few years and continues to be the wave of the future. Full-length, high resolution movies can now be downloaded in just a few moments to smartphones or any other electronic device – wow!  We can watch nearly anything, anywhere, anytime.

Despite instant access, DVDs are still a major aspect of the industry and distribution channels are the name of the game. DVDs can be rented from a video store, a stand-alone kiosk or through a mail order subscription. Brick and mortar stores are becoming dinosaurs. While physical stores can offer a large variety both locally and in-network, the overhead cost makes them much less competitive with newer distribution channels. Video rental giant, Blockbuster, continues to struggle in the brick and mortar format.  At its peak in 2004, there were more than 9,000 stores around the world; now less than 500 remain. New owners, Dish Network, plan to keep these stores operating as long as they remain profitable.

Netflix and similar companies dealt the first blow to brick and mortar stores by offering mail-order subscriptions at a much lower per movie cost. Mail-order rentals allow customers to ‘rent from home’ at their convenience by selecting movies online, waiting for delivery and simply returning the movie in a pre-paid envelope when finished viewing. Many of these subscription services offer a variety of monthly plans with different levels of concurrent rentals and exchanges. The biggest advantages of these programs are low cost and a large inventory of movie selections, while the biggest disadvantage is waiting for delivery.

DVD kiosk rentals delivered a second  blow to brick and mortar stores offering the advantage of both lower prices and increased convenience. Industry leaders such as Redbox, with its nationwide network, as well as regional giants such as DVDXpress, have greatly penetrated the market. DVD rental kiosks can be found in variety of locations including gas station/mini-marts, grocery stores, restaurants, and more. Customers can select and rent movies at any kiosk through an interactive display or movies can be selected and reserved online, guaranteeing the movie will be available at a chosen location until a specified time. The disadvantages of kiosks are two-fold. Kiosks have a limited amount of storage and therefore offer a reduced inventory selection. As a result kiosks run the risk of being out of stock of specific titles, especially popular new-releases.

The DVD Kiosk business is still booming despite the competition of online streaming and instant downloads. Entry into the market is fairly low cost compared to other start-ups which require more space and overhead. Check out this infographic from www.onlinedegrees.com for a more detailed review of the DVD rental vs. online streaming landscape. The GeoMetrx online territory mapping application can assist new and existing entrants into the market with territory mapping and management as well. Contact us for a demo today at 1.888.848.4436.

Christmas Tree Farms: An Industry to Celebrate

Even before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had special meaning in many cultures, particularly during winter. Evergreen boughs were often hung over doors and windows in celebration of the winter solstice. Christmas trees can trace their roots to these ancient traditions, with the earliest written records dating back to the 1500s. In 1510 there is reference to a tree in the market place in Riga, Latvia decorated with roses representing the Virgin Mary. The members of the Merchant Guild danced around the tree and then set it afire. By the 17th century trees in Germany were decorated with apples to commemorate Adam and Eve Day celebrated on December 24th on the early Christian calendar. Soon after, edible ornaments and lighted candles became popular tree decorations in parts of Europe. By the 1800s, Christmas trees were introduced in the United States, and not surprisingly they quickly morphed from small tabletop decorations to large floor-to-ceiling displays; our innovative bigger, better, faster spirit has been alive and well in America from the get-go!

In 1851, the first Christmas trees were sold commercially in the U.S. and the manufacture and sale of commercial ornaments and other decorations soon followed. The first trees sold were selected randomly from local forests; however, by the early 1900s overharvesting was a serious problem, and the evergreen population was becoming decimated. The first Christmas Tree Farm in the U.S. was established in 1901 in New Jersey. Teddy Roosevelt, the great outdoorsman and naturalist that he was, tried to put an end to the Christmas tree tradition in an effort to preserve the forests. His two sons persuaded him that if managed properly, Christmas tree farming would not be harmful to the environment, and in fact, would support wildlife and ecosystems, which they do to this day.

According to the USDA 2007 Census of Agriculture (conducted every 5 years), there are more than 13 thousand tree farms in the U.S. representing nearly every state and providing an estimated 100,000 jobs. In 2007, these farms harvested nearly 17.5 million trees. The top 5 states are shown in the table below:

The following maps visually depict Christmas Tree Farms across the U.S.

It is estimated that approximately 350 million Christmas trees are growing across the country at this moment. The time it takes for a Christmas tree to mature and reach its ideal height of 6-7 feet ranges from 4 to 15 years depending on location and variety. The average growing time is 7 years. For each tree harvested annually, one to three seedlings are replanted the following spring.

The National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), representing the Christmas tree industry, conducts an annual consumer poll and estimates 30.8 million trees were sold in 2011, from more than 15,000 farms. The market value of the trees was $1.07 billion, with the mean average of dollars spent resting at $34.87. The vast majority of those trees were pre-cut (84%), and the remainder were harvested at ‘cut-your-own’ establishments (16%). In comparison to real trees, artificial trees accounted for 9.5 million purchases in 2011, with consumers spending $670 million. The average artificial tree lasts for 5 to 7 years before being sent to a landfill, where it could last for hundreds of years, whereas real trees are biodegradable and completely recyclable.

The most common Christmas Tree species are: Balsam Fir, Douglas-Fir, Fraser Fir, Noble Fir, Scotch Pine, Virginia Pine and White Pine. There are more than 4,000 Christmas tree recycling programs for real trees in the U.S., and 93% of consumers participate in these programs each year. Some reuses of the trees include:

• Mulch from chipped branches
• Path and trail cover from shredded trees
• Sand and soil erosion barriers around lakes, rivers and deltas
• Refuge and feeding areas for fish when sunk in private fish ponds
• Living (replanted) trees when purchased with a containerized root ball

Entrepreneurial opportunities in the Christmas Tree industry are abundant from growers to sellers to recyclers. Our GeoMetrx online mapping application is the perfect business tool allowing you to visualize the market landscape, measure your competitors and carve out your niche.

GeoMetrx Common Ground News: Volume 1: Issue 12 – Christmas Tree Farms: An Industry to Celebrate!

See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 1 : ISSUE 12 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK.  Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.

Volume I : Issue 12

December 2012

Welcome to Common Ground News

Wishing you Happy Holidays!

In this issue:

* Feature Article – Christmas Tree Farms: An Industry to Celebrate!

* Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping
application at [1]GeoMetrx “How to Remove ZIP Codes from a Territory”

* Thematic Map – Charitable Contributions

* Trivia Challenge​​ – Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Trivia

This and all our newsletters are available through our Knowledge Center resource
listed on our website. We encourage you to share our Common Ground News with
your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our website and
make a comment on the [2]contact us page or send us an email at
[3]info@geo-e.com.

—-Kent Hargesheimer,

Managing Partner

Christmas Tree Farms: An Industry to Celebrate

Even before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all
year had special meaning in many cultures, particularly during winter. Evergreen
boughs were often hung over doors and windows in celebration of the winter
solstice. Christmas trees can trace their roots to these ancient traditions,
with the earliest written records dating back to the 1500s. In 1510 there is
reference to a tree in the market place in Riga, Latvia decorated with roses
representing the Virgin Mary. The members of the Merchant Guild danced around
the tree and then set it afire. By the 17th century trees in Germany were
decorated with apples to commemorate Adam and Eve Day celebrated on December
24th on the early Christian calendar. Soon after, edible ornaments and lighted
candles became popular tree decorations in parts of Europe. By the 1800s,
Christmas trees were introduced in the United States, and not surprisingly they
quickly morphed from small tabletop decorations to large floor-to-ceiling
displays; our innovative bigger, better, faster spirit has been alive and well
in America from the get-go!

In 1851, the first Christmas trees were sold commercially in the U.S. and the
manufacture and sale of commercial ornaments and other decorations soon
followed. The first trees sold were selected randomly from local forests;
however, by the early 1900s overharvesting was a serious problem, and the
evergreen population was becoming decimated. The first Christmas Tree Farm in
the U.S. was established in 1901 in New Jersey. Teddy Roosevelt, the great
outdoorsman and naturalist that he was, tried to put an end to the Christmas
tree tradition in an effort to preserve the forests. His two sons persuaded him
that if managed properly, Christmas tree farming would not be harmful to the
environment, and in fact, would support wildlife and ecosystems, which they do
to this day.

According to the [20]USDA 2007 Census of Agriculture (conducted every 5 years),
there are more than 13 thousand tree farms in the U.S. representing nearly every
state and providing an estimated 100,000 jobs. In 2007, these farms harvested
nearly 17.5 million trees. The top 5 states are shown in the table below:

The following maps visually depict Christmas Tree Farms across the U.S.

[21][Christmas-Tree-Farms-Establishments-by-State.jpg] [22][Christmas-Tree-Farms-Harvested-by-State.jpg]

It is estimated that approximately 350 million Christmas trees are growing
across the country at this moment. The time it takes for a Christmas tree to
mature and reach its ideal height of 6-7 feet ranges from 4 to 15 years
depending on location and variety. The average growing time is 7 years. For each
tree harvested annually, one to three seedlings are replanted the following
spring.

The [23]National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), representing the Christmas
tree industry, conducts an annual consumer poll and estimates 30.8 million trees
were sold in 2011, from more than 15,000 farms. The market value of the trees
was $1.07 billion, with the mean average of dollars spent resting at $34.87.
The vast majority of those trees were pre-cut (84%), and the remainder were
harvested at ‘cut-your-own’ establishments (16%). In comparison to real trees,
artificial trees accounted for 9.5 million purchases in 2011, with consumers
spending $670 million. The average artificial tree lasts for 5 to 7 years before
being sent to a landfill, where it could last for hundreds of years, whereas
real trees are biodegradable and completely recyclable.

The most common Christmas Tree species are: Balsam Fir, Douglas-Fir, Fraser Fir,
Noble Fir, Scotch Pine, Virginia Pine and White Pine. There are more than 4,000
Christmas tree recycling programs for real trees in the U.S., and 93% of
consumers participate in these programs each year. Some reuses of the trees
include:

• Mulch from chipped branches
• Path and trail cover from shredded trees
• Sand and soil erosion barriers around lakes, rivers and deltas
• Refuge and feeding areas for fish when sunk in private fish ponds
• Living (replanted) trees when purchased with a containerized root ball

Entrepreneurial opportunities in the Christmas Tree industry are abundant from
growers to sellers to recyclers. Our [24]GeoMetrx online mapping appliation is
the perfect business tool allowing you to visualize the market landscape,
measure your competitors and carve out your niche.

Tips & Techniques –

Removing ZIPs from a Territory

Creating territories in [25]GeoMetrx is one of the most valuable assets of our
online application. Once territories are created there are many ways to
customize them to meet your exact needs. ZIP Codes can be helpful for some
companies and ‘clutter’ for others. Additionally, when realigning territories it
may become necessary to remove certain ZIP Codes. It’s easy to do, just follow
the simple steps in our:

[26]”How to Remove ZIP Codes from a Territory Guide”

[27][Tip-Image-Remove-ZIP-Codes.png]

Charitable Contributions Map

[facebooklike][twittertweet]

America is a generous country. In 2011, $298B was donated to charities by
individuals, corporations and foundations. With 65% of households giving
annually, individuals accounted for the lion’s share of donations at $217.8B.
Additional information on charitable contributions can be found by visiting the
[28]National Philanthropic Trust website.

At [29]GeoMetrx, we have variety of charitable contribution datasets including
overall giving as reflected in the map below. Other charitable contribution
datasets include:

• Arts/Culture/Humanities
• Education
• Environmental
• Health
• Political Organizations
• Private Foundations
​• Public Radio
• Public Television
• Religious
​• Social Services/Welfare
• Other

[30]

Click here to see a [31]larger version of this map.

For more information on how to obtain access to [32]GeoMetrx datasets, contact
us today at 1.888.848.4436.

❀ ❀ ❀

December 2012 – Trivia Challenge

1) When did the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree

tradition begin?

2) In 2007 the tree has been lit with HOW MANY

energy-effiecient LED’s powered by solar panels?

[33]Click here for the answers!

References

1. http://here.mappingresources.com/
2. http://here.mappingresources.com/contact-us/
3. mailto:info@geo-e.com?subject=October%202012%20Newsletter%20Feedback
4. http://www.geo-e.com/
5. http://here.mappingresources.com/
6. http://www.geoprinter.com/
7. http://www.gis4less.com/
8. mailto:info@geo-e.com
9. mailto:info@geo-e.com
10. http://www.facebook.com/GeoMetrx
11. https://twitter.com/#!/geometrx_
12. http://www.linkedin.com/company/691866
13. http://here.mappingresources.com/feed/
14. http://here.mappingresources.com/blog/
15. http://www.icontact-archive.com/Gp73aByODKH-ry6sYclS3euLhMZkxZby?w=3
16. http://here.mappingresources.com/2012/10/geometrx-common-ground-news-volume-1-issue-10/
17. http://here.mappingresources.com/2012/09/geometrx-common-ground-news-volume-1-issue-9/
18. http://here.mappingresources.com/2012/08/geometrx-common-ground-news-volume-1-issue-8/
19. http://here.mappingresources.com/category/newsletters/
20. http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/index.php
21. http://here.mappingresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Christmas-Tree-Farms-Establishments-by-State.jpg
22. http://here.mappingresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Christmas-Tree-Farms-Harvested-by-State.jpg
23. http://www.realchristmastrees.org/dnn/default.aspx
24. http://here.mappingresources.com/
25. http://here.mappingresources.com/
26. http://here.mappingresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/How-to-Remove-ZIP-Codes-from-a-Territory.pdf
27. http://here.mappingresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/How-to-Remove-ZIP-Codes-from-a-Territory.pdf
28. http://www.nptrust.org/philanthropic-resources/charitable-giving-statistics
29. http://here.mappingresources.com/
30. http://here.mappingresources.com/common-ground-news-trivia-maps/
31. http://here.mappingresources.com/common-ground-news-trivia-maps/
32. http://here.mappingresources.com/
33. http://here.mappingresources.com/newsletter-trivia-answers/

Hunting Industry Overview

Fall is in the air and our thoughts turn to a bountiful harvest table. The leaves have turned beautiful and brilliant colors and now gently drift downward landing softly and creating nature’s most amazing carpet. In yards everywhere the leaves are raked into piles readied for composting or burning. In the forest they remain undisturbed except for the wildlife foraging among them… and those hunting the foragers.

Hunting, while once a necessary means of survival, is now predominantly considered a recreational activity or sport, albeit a hotly debated one. There are two distinct and strongly opposing sides. Hunters believe that we are part of the food chain and that the animals have lived a better and freer life than those raised in captivity. Hunters are living off the land like their ancestors; hunting one’s own meat, it is argued, is no different than maintaining one’s own garden, and is considered a healthier dietary source in place of purchasing domesticated meat from the butcher or industrially-farmed vegetables from the grocer. The loudest argument against hunting is animal rights, but this article is not about the debate, and rather about the hunting industry itself.

Hunting is a $34 billion industry, according to the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation (FHWAR). The survey is conducted every five years. A preliminary report was released in August 2012, and the final report is due out later this month. The survey gathers data on participation and expenditures for hunting, fishing and other wildlife activities including photography, observation, feeding (birds and other small animals), and maintaining natural areas for the benefit of wildlife.

In 2011, more than 6% of the population, 13.7 million Americans (16 and older) went hunting. Another 1.8 million Americans, aged 6 to 15, also hunted. Participation increased 9% since 2006, when there were a reported 12.5 million active hunters in the U.S. Big game, such as elk, deer and wild turkey, is the most common prey which drew 11.6 million hunters, 85%, in 2011. One-third, 33%, hunted small game including squirrels, rabbits, quails and pheasants. Less than one-fifth of hunters, 19%, went after migratory birds: geese, ducks, doves, etc. Fewer yet, just 16%, hunted other game such as coyotes, groundhogs and raccoons.

The $34 billion spent on hunting in 2011, was comprised of:

• Equipment – 41% ($14.0B)
• Travel – 31% ($10.5B)
• Other – 25% ($8.5B); e.g. land leasing and ownership, and conservation
• Licenses and Fees  – 3% ($1.0B).

The industry grew by 30% compared to 2006, when spending totaled $22.9 billion.

It is estimated that the hunting industry supports more than 1 million jobs in the U.S.  The major industry segments include: Manufacturing and Distribution; Gear and Equipment Retail Sales; Industry Services (guides, clubs, ranges, private and commercial game reserves, trade shows, etc.); Publications and Associations. There is no single industry giant, though some retailers are growing rapidly such as Bass Pro Shops, Cabella’s and Gander Mountain. Opportunities for entrepreneurs and franchisors alike are plentiful.

A Real Lego Land: “Cargotecture”

A Real Lego Land: “Cargotecture”

Resourcefulness: the ability to solve a difficult problem with creativity.  Or perhaps, stated differently, an essential quality of an entrepreneur. One such team of entrepreneurs, Robert Humble and Joel Egan of Hybrid Architecture in Seattle are exactly that – resourceful. For the past decade they have been refurbishing old storage containers, the type used to transport goods by ship, rail and truck, into usable office, retail and residential space. Joel Egan coined the term “cargotecture” to to describe the method of stacking and linking retired containers together like Legos to create new and usable spaces.

Three Squared, a Detroit firm, has announced they will begin construction in early 2013 on a condominium project known as Exceptional Green Living on Rosa Parks. The result will be a 4-story, 20-unit,  energy efficient complex including amenities such as balconies and landscaped patios. The structure will be built utilizing 93 discarded containers, stacked and interlocked to form the first such multi-family housing unit in the U.S.

Other notable cargotecture projects around the country include:

The Box Office in Providence, Rhode Island – a 3-story, 12,000 sq. ft. office complex designed by architects Peter Gill Case and Joe Haskett, and builder Joshua Brandt

 

Dekalb Market in Brooklyn, New York – a community setting that includes a collection of eateries, work-sell spaces, entrepreneurial office space, and a performance venue developed by Urban Space, ORE Design & Technology, Youngwoo & Associates, Jennifer Lyon, and Joann Kim-Nunez 

 

Lei-Sui Residence in Kirkland, Washington – a 2,500 sq.ft. home on Lake Washington with an adaptable floor plan, rainwater catchment and filtering system, hydronic heating, and photovoltaics designed by HyBrid Architecture and built by HyBrid Assembly

 

Muvbox in Montreal, Toronto, Paris and New York – this innovative group has designed movable restaurants from recycled steel storage containers that “pop” open for business in  under 90 seconds, whether serving simple and traditional street fare or a more refined menu including drinks and lobster

This is a growing space and the possibilities are only limited by imagination. It just goes to show you’re never too old to play with Legos!

US Turkey Industry – Let’s Talk Turkey

US Turkey Industry – Let’s Talk Turkey

In 2011, the US turkey industry raised 248.5 million turkeys and earned nearly $5 billion in gross farm income. The same number of turkeys is expected to be raised in 2012 as well. The U.S.  is the biggest consumer of turkey. Last year the average amount of turkey eaten per person was 16.1 lbs. Dating back to 1970, nearly half of all turkey was consumed during the holidays; today that number is just 31%. The industry has greatly expanded turkey processing, providing a wider variety of cuts and parts, thus making it easier for consumers to enjoy turkey year-round.

Turkey is now the fourth most common protein choice in the U.S. The top three meats per capita consumed in pounds are:

• Chicken – 82.9 lbs
• Beef – 57.3 lbs
• Pork – 45.7 lbs

Our Canadian neighbors to the north are the next biggest turkey fans, consuming 9.2 lbs. per capita, followed by the European Union at 7.9 lbs. per capita. The U.S. exported more than 300,000 tons of turkey in 2011, valued at $599.5 million, an increase in value of 29% from the prior year.

The top turkey producing states are:

Source: National Turkey Federation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The map below, from the 2007 USDA Census of Agriculture depicts the location of turkey farms in the U.S.:

For more information about turkey production in the U.S., please visit the National Turkey Federation website.

GeoMetrx Common Ground News: Volume 1: Issue 10 – ZIP Codes: Then and Now

See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 1 : ISSUE 10 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK.  Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.

To sign up to receive the very latest and all future Common Ground Newsletters, you can sign up at the link in the top right corner of this website.

Volume I : Issue 10

October 2012

Welcome to Common Ground News

In this issue:

* Feature Article – ZIP Codes: Then and Now

* Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping
application at [1]GeoMetrx “Creating Territory Reports: a video tutorial”

* Thematic Map – ZIP Code Overlays – understanding the difference between
boundaries, polygons and points; plus how to research valid and invalid ZIP
Codes

* Trivia Challenge​​ – Average ZIP Code Populationl

This and all our future newsletters are available through our Knowledge Center
resource listed on our website. We encourage you to share our Common Ground
News with your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our
website and make a comment on the [2]contact us page or send us an email at
[3]info@geo-e.com.

—-Kent Hargesheimer,

Managing Partner

Geo-Legend

Phone: 1.888.848.4436

Web: [4]www.geo-e.com

[5]www.geometrx.com

[6]www.geoprinter.com

[7]www.gis4less.com

Email:

[8] [9]info@geo-e.com

Follow Us:

[10][11] [12][gif] [13]

Blog: [14]Common Ground Blog

Newsletter Archives:
• [15]September 2012
• [16]August 2012
• [17]July 2012
• [18]Previous Issues

ZIP Codes: Then and Now

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ZIP Codes, those handy little five digits (okay, sometimes nine… ZIP+4) are
something we use regularly, yet probably don’t think much about. They’ve existed
since the beginning of time, right? Or at least since the inception of the
Postal Service (USPS), right? Wrong! In fact, they have only been in existence
for about 50 years. Since then, their use has reached far beyond the intention
of their initial purpose, which was simply to improve the efficiency of mail
delivery, but more on that in a bit.

The Zone Improvement Plan – ZIP Code system – has roots that reach back to WWII.
In 1943, the Postal Service implemented postal zones for large cities as a way
of making mail sorting easier for the new and inexperienced postal clerks who
were filling in for those who had gone into military service. Cities were
assigned a two-digit code. For example:

• Rochester, NY – 11

• Minneapolis, MN – 16

• Boston, MA – 24

• Los Angeles, CA – 54

This system remained in place until July 1, 1963, when the current ZIP Code
system was implemented. The country was divided into ten geographical regions
(groups of states), and the first digit of the codes designated the area: zero
in the Northeast all the way to nine in the West. The second and third digits,
combined with the first, identify a sectional center facility (SCF), which is a
postal facility that serves as a processing and distribution center for an area.
In most cases there is one SCF for every unique 3-digit ZIP Code range, although
some SCFs cover several. The fourth and fifth numbers identify a much more
specific area whether a district, city, town, village or a smaller area within
these. There are currently over 42,000 ZIP Codes in use today.

Within a 3-digit ZIP Code region, the main town or city is typically assigned
the first, or lowest, ZIP Codes in the region, with subsequent towns being
assigned ZIP Codes in alphabetical order; which would explain why ZIP Code
numbers often are not numerically adjacent to one another. ZIP Codes were
introduced to streamline mail delivery only, and there are some exceptions to
ZIP Code assignments based on the confines of geographical features and mail
delivery routes. Therefore, ZIP Codes cannot be used to pinpoint exact
locations, such as can be done with the lat/long system used in mapping and GIS
technology. One such anomaly, for example, is 00501 which is assigned to the
IRS center in Holtsville, NY; most other NY ZIP Codes begin with 1.

There are four types of ZIP Codes: Unique; P.O. Box; Military; and Standard.
Unique ZIP Codes are assigned to a high volume address including government
agencies, universities and even some businesses such as 12345 for General
Electric in Schenectady, NY (note: thousands of children send letters to this
ZIP Code each year that are addressed to Santa Claus, because it’s the most
logical ZIP Code for the North Pole, of course!). P.O. Boxes, which are located
at post offices around the country are assigned a ZIP Code that is only used for
those P.O. Boxes. Military ZIP Codes are assigned to a US Military Institution
APO/FPO/DPO. The remainder of ZIP Codes are Standard, which are the most common
and assigned to home and business addresses in the areas surrounding SCFs and
other Post Office facilities.

During the 1960s and 70s, the USPS heavily promoted the usage of the new ZIP
Codes, and even utilized a cartoon character mascot, Mr. ZIP, to encourage the
adoption of the system by everyone. Ironically, the only time the USPS ever
issued a stamp promoting the use of ZIP Codes, they didn’t utilize Mr. ZIP,
though he was often depicted on the covers of stamp booklets, and in the selvage
portion of stamp panes. Use of ZIP Codes was not required at first, however,
beginning in 1967, mailers were required to pre-sort second and third-class bulk
mail by ZIP Code.

Today ZIP Codes are required on:

• Express Mail

• Commercial First-Class Mail

• First-Class Package Service

• Periodicals

• Standard Mail

• Package Services and Parcel Select

• U.S. Military Addresses

• APO and FPO Addresses

• Official Mail

• Business Reply Mail

• Merchandise Return Service Mail

The only mail not required to have ZIP Codes is single-piece First-Class mail,
Priority Mail, single-piece Parcel Post, and pieces with a simplified address
(i.e. addressed to “Postal Customer” or other generic recipient) that do not
fall in a category listed above.

In 1983, the system was expanded one more time with the introduction of the ZIP
+ 4 codes, which use the basic five-digit codes, plus four more digits to
further segment geographic areas such as city blocks, apartment complexes, and
in some cases individuals, such as a particular business, that receive
high-volumes of mail, but do not have their own Unique ZIP Code. The ZIP + 4 is
not mandatory except for certain presorted mailings. In a further effort to
provide even more specific delivery point information, the USPS, through the use
of sophisticated optical readers, applies an 11 digit Postnet barcode to most
mail pieces, greatly increasing the speed and accuracy of mail delivery.

Image Courtesy of [19]www.neodynamic.com

ZIP Codes have become more than a string of numbers placed on an envelope to
speed up delivery. Though it was unintended, the use of ZIP Codes in sales and
marketing applications, internet technology, data collection and analysis, GIS
and more is far reaching. Delivery companies such as FedEx, UPS and others
require USPS ZIP Codes for routing their deliveries, rather than developing
their own segmentation systems. ZIP Codes are also used in online applications
such as locator software, which returns business and store location results and
distances calculated from the lat/long center-points of ZIP Codes.

However, the most prolific use of ZIP Codes outside of delivery and location
sourcing is marketing and data applications. The U.S. Census Bureau and many
other statistical collection agencies use ZIP Codes as a way of tracking and
amalgamating data. Direct mail campaigns use ZIP Codes to target potential
customers (“birds of a feather flock together”). Retail stores regularly collect
ZIP Codes as a way of determining the location of their customer base, and will
often use this data when selecting new sites. When used in combination with
credit card numbers, even more data can be collected by businesses. While many
of us hesitate to share our ZIP Code at point-of-sale transactions, doing so
enriches the data we use in our businesses to better serve our customers and to
develop sound business strategies. So don’t be selfish – share that ZIP!

Tips & Techniques –

Creating Territory Reports

Visualizing your territories is extremely valuable, and being able to combine
that with data output is exponentially even more useful. In our most recent
video tutorial, we show you how to create territory reports step by step.

Reports allow you to see the your data both visually and in table format
simultaneously. Once you have created your report you can either download the
information to a spreadsheet for analytical purposes or send it to other team
members directly via email. Reports can include information from any of the
variable data sets in [20]GeoMetrx including data you have uploaded.

[21]Click here to view the video.

[22]

ZIP Code Overlays: Boundaries, Polygons and Points

[facebooklike][twittertweet]

In [23]GeoMetrx there are three ZIP Code Overlay options: Boundaries; Polygon;
and Point.

– The Boundaries overlay provides exactly that, a visible boundary, or border,
around a polygon shape representing a STANDARD ZIP Code area, which is assigned
to a particular geographic area of homes and businesses.

– The Polygon Overlay adds the STANDARD ZIP Code Number to the map.

– The Point Overlay adds ZIP Code numbers to the map that are assigned to
either P.O. Boxes or UNIQUE addresses. UNIQUE addresses are ZIP Codes that have
been assigned to a single high-volume mail recipient such as a business,
university or government entity.

In the above example 75208 is a Standard ZIP Code assigned to all the homes and
businesses within the blue polygon boundary surrounding it, while 75285 and
75263 are assigned to a Unique entity and P.O. Box, respectively, and are
represented as points.

When uploading data to [24]GeoMetrx it’s important to understand the difference
between the polygon ZIP Codes and point ZIP Codes. If your dataset includes any
Unique or P.O. Box ZIP Codes, and you only select ZIP (Polygon) the software
will treat those codes as invalid. However, if you choose the ZIP (Point/Poly)
option when uploading all the ZIP Codes in your dataset will upload properly.

If you still bump up against and invalid ZIP Code when uploading data, it may
truly be invalid. Our [25]GeoMetrx ZIP Code database is updated regularly in
conjunction with USPS changes. The USPS regularly realigns ZIP Codes in an
effort to accommodate population growth and operational needs. The USPS
maintains an up-to-date online look-up tool which is the best resource to check
the validity of a ZIP Code. To access this resource
visit: [26]https://tools.usps.com/go/ZipLookupAction_input. If you click the
“Cities by ZIP Code” tab, you can input individual ZIPs without also providing
an address. The look-up results are displayed immediately in the dialog window
as shown below:

For more information on how to obtain access to [27]GeoMetrx datasets, contact
us today at 1.888.848.4436.

❀ ❀ ❀
❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀
❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀

October 2012 – Trivia Challenge

1) What is the average population per ZIP Code according to the 2010 Census?

[28]Click here for the answers!

References

1. http://here.mappingresources.com/
2. http://here.mappingresources.com/contact-us/
3. mailto:info@geo-e.com?subject=October%202012%20Newsletter%20Feedback
4. http://www.geo-e.com/
5. http://here.mappingresources.com/
6. http://www.geoprinter.com/
7. http://www.gis4less.com/
8. mailto:info@geo-e.com
9. mailto:info@geo-e.com
10. http://www.facebook.com/GeoMetrx
11. https://twitter.com/#!/geometrx_
12. http://www.linkedin.com/company/691866
13. http://here.mappingresources.com/feed/
14. http://here.mappingresources.com/blog/
15. http://here.mappingresources.com/2012/09/geometrx-common-ground-news-volume-1-issue-9/
16. http://here.mappingresources.com/2012/08/geometrx-common-ground-news-volume-1-issue-8/
17. http://here.mappingresources.com/2012/07/geometrx-common-ground-news-volume-1-issue-7/
18. http://here.mappingresources.com/category/newsletters/
19. http://www.neodynamic.com/
20. http://here.mappingresources.com/
21. http://here.mappingresources.com/2012/10/creating-territory-reports-with-geometrx/
22. http://here.mappingresources.com/2012/10/creating-territory-reports-with-geometrx/
23. http://here.mappingresources.com/
24. http://here.mappingresources.com/
25. http://here.mappingresources.com/
26. https://tools.usps.com/go/ZipLookupAction_input
27. http://here.mappingresources.com/
28. http://here.mappingresources.com/newsletter-trivia-answers/

Bicycling Heat Map

GeoMetrx Data in Action: Bicycling Heat Map

This is a follow-up post to our Bike Sharing article. Bicycling is a great activity. It promotes a healthier lifestyle and provides zero-emissions transportation. In addition to our GeoMetrx data used to create the heat map below, here are some more bicycling statistics:

• Bicycling is the second most popular outdoor activity in the U.S. after running/jogging (Outdoor Foundation, Outdoor Recreation Participation Topline Report 2011)

• 83% of Americans want to maintain or increase the small percentage of funding that helps build sidewalks, bike lanes and bike paths (Princeton Survey Research Associates International, 2012)

• The number one reason given for not bicycling is lack of access to a bicycle (National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2008)

Further anecdotal information reveals that men outnumber women 3 to 1 when it comes to cycling, and those with lower incomes tend to ride bikes more often for utilitarian purposes while those with higher incomes are more likely to ride for recreation. New immigrants to the U.S. ride bicycles more frequently than native born U.S. citizens, and most European countries do not report significant differences in frequency or purpose by gender or income level.

Below is a heat map depicting the percent of U.S. Adults (18+) that have ridden a bicycle within the last year, whether riding a mountain bike or a road bike. The southeast region dispalys the lowest level of activity (yellow) while the rest of the country has greater participation (green).

Click to see a larger version of this map.

For more information on how to obtain access to GeoMetrx datasets, contact us today at 1.888.848.4436.

Creating Territory Reports with GeoMetrx

This how-to video will show you the steps on creating reports for your Sales or Franchise Territories using GeoMetrx. Video length is 6:10.

Franchising Opportunity: Bike Sharing

Franchising Opportunity: Bike Sharing

We are living in an age of increase – increasing population, oil and gas prices, pollution, traffic congestion, infrastructure crisis, and even our waist lines. You might think the last item on that list is out of place; however, many of our modern conveniences have a direct link to our lack of exercise. Beyond walking the halls of the office, many of us get little to no meaningful regular exercise. We drive to and from everything: work, shops, school, church, kids’ activities, even the gym… when we go. Some of us even use the car to travel to the end of the driveway to retrieve our mail! In the United States, we own 30% of the automobiles produced in the world and yet we account for just 5% of the worldwide population. Can we reverse this trend of being so heavily car-dependent?

Bicycling is a growing industry as the activity is gaining popularity across our nation. Bicycling has the ability to decrease all of the negatives listed above. One particular new trend within the industry in the United States has the potential to transform our sedentary, gas-guzzling ways – bike sharing. Bike sharing has become very popular in European cities. It’s a straightforward, green commuter concept which replaces short trips ordinarily made by car. Large fleets of bicycles are made available at closely spaced rental stations. Bikes can be rented on the spot for a low hourly or weekly rate by tourists or other occasional riders, and low-cost affordable membership packages can be purchased by frequent users. Bike sharing is ideal for cities of any size, corporations with sprawling facilities and school campuses. Participants need not be troubled with bike maintenance, storage or even theft.

Anderson Corporation in Bayport, MN is a leader in bike at work programs. With more than 3 million square feet of ground to cover within their plant, everyone from maintenance mechanics to executives utilize company supplied bicycles to get from place to place. This innovative program not only saves time and money by increasing the efficiency of getting from one end of the factory to the other allowing for quicker response times, it also promotes a healthier environment and a healthier lifestyle. Many companies are now making bicycles available for employees to use during breaks to run errands in town as well.

New York University is a leader among campus programs. As of 2010, nearly 90 universities have introduced bike sharing programs for their students. Demand is coming from the students and in the case of NYU, as well as others, the actual programs have been developed by the students themselves.

        “The NYU Bike Share provides free short-term bicycle rentals
to NYU students, faculty, and staff. The program was proposed
and developed by a student-led Green Grant team, with
funding, organizational and planning support from the NYU
Office of Sustainability. It’s founded on the idea that
bicycling can be a safe, healthy, sustainable, and fun way
to get around New York City. The Bike Share seeks to lower
the barriers to entry (such as cost and inexperience)
that prospective cyclists face at NYU.”  

The Bikes Belong Coalition, founded in 1999, is an organization of bicycle retailers and suppliers who have banded together to promote bicycling. According to their 2011 report on bicycling trends in the U.S., there has been a large increase in funding for bicycling. Many cities are incorporating bicycling into their urban planning including bike sharing programs. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, half of all trips made are less than 3 miles. This behavior lends itself well to bicycling and bike sharing programs. Leading the way are groups such as B-Cycle, a collaborative effort of Humana, Trek and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, with locations in over a dozen cities; Nice Ride, a non-profit organization in Minneapolis, MN; and companies such as Alta Bike Share and DecoBike, consultants and partners with several local municipalities.

In the 70 largest cities in the U.S., the League of American Bicyclists reports that bicycle commuting has risen 63% in the last decade, yet this only accounts for 1% of urban commuters. Tim Blumenthal, president of Bikes Belong would like to see that number rise to 5%. Bike sharing programs will play a big part in achieving this goal, along with continued bike friendly improvements, such as safer and more plentiful bike lanes. There are currently an estimated 15 bike sharing programs in operation in our cities with 17 more planned for this year alone, according to CNN Money.

In America, we are used to being the leaders. For now, Europe is well ahead of us, but the yellow jersey is within our grasp if we choose to stay in the chase. If you are interested in starting a bike sharing business, our GeoMetrx territory mapping application can help you stay ahead of the competition.

GeoMetrx Common Ground News: Volume 1: Issue 9 – Franchising Opportunity: Bike Sharing

See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 1 : ISSUE 9 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK.  Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.

To sign up to receive the very latest and all future Common Ground Newsletters, you can sign up at the link in the top right corner of this website.

Volume I : Issue 9

September 2012

Welcome to Common Ground News

In this issue:

* Feature Article – Franchising Opportunity: Bike Sharing

* Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping
application at [1]GeoMetrx​​: “Measuring Distances”

* Thematic Map – Bicycling Heat Map

* Trivia Challenge​​ – Bicycle History

This and all our future newsletters are available through our Knowledge Center
resource listed on our website. We encourage you to share our Common Ground
News with your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our
website and make a comment on the [4]contact us page or send us an email at
[5]info@geo-e.com.

—-Kent Hargesheimer,

Managing Partner

 

Franchising Opportunity: Bike Sharing

We are living in an age of increase – increasing population, oil and gas prices,

pollution, traffic congestion, infrastructure crisis, and even our waist lines.
You might think the last item on that list is out of place; however, many of our
modern conveniences have a direct link to our lack of exercise. Beyond walking
the halls of the office, many of us get little to no meaningful regular
exercise. We drive to and from everything: work, shops, school, church, kids’
activities, even the gym… when we go. Some of us even use the car to travel to
the end of the driveway to retrieve our mail! In the United States, we own 30%
of the automobiles produced in the world and yet we account for just 5% of the
worldwide population. Can we reverse this trend of being so heavily
car-dependent?

Bicycling is a growing industry as the activity is gaining popularity across our
nation. Bicycling has the ability to decrease all of the negatives listed above.
One particular new trend within the industry in the United States has the
potential to transform our sedentary, gas-guzzling ways – bike sharing. Bike
sharing has become very popular in European cities. It’s a straightforward,
green commuter concept which replaces short trips ordinarily made by car. Large
fleets of bicycles are made available at closely spaced rental stations. Bikes
can be rented on the spot for a low hourly or weekly rate by tourists or other
occasional riders, and low-cost affordable membership packages can be purchased
by frequent users. Bike sharing is ideal for cities of any size, corporations
with sprawling facilities and school campuses. Participants need not be troubled
with bike maintenance, storage or even theft.

Anderson Corporation in Bayport, MN is a leader in bike at work programs. With
more than 3 million square feet of ground to cover within their plant, everyone
from maintenance mechanics to executives utilize company supplied bicycles to
get from place to place. This innovative program not only saves time and money
by increasing the efficiency of getting from one end of the factory to the other
allowing for quicker response times, it also promotes a healthier environment
and a healthier lifestyle. Many companies are now making bicycles available for
employees to use during breaks to run errands in town as well.

New York University is a leader among campus programs. As of 2010, nearly 90
universities have introduced bike sharing programs for their students. Demand is
coming from the students and in the case of NYU, as well as others, the actual
programs have been developed by the students themselves.

“The [21]NYU Bike Share provides free short-term bicycle rentals

to NYU students, faculty, and staff. The program was proposed

and developed by a student-led Green Grant team, with

funding, organizational and planning support from the NYU

Office of Sustainability. It’s founded on the idea that

bicycling can be a safe, healthy, sustainable, and fun way

to get around New York City. The Bike Share seeks to lower

the barriers to entry (such as cost and inexperience)

that prospective cyclists face at NYU.”

The [22]Bikes Belong Coalition, founded in 1999, is an organization of bicycle
retailers and suppliers who have banded together to promote bicycling. According
to their 2011 report on bicycling trends in the U.S., there has been a large
increase in funding for bicycling. Many cities are incorporating bicycling into
their urban planning including bike sharing programs. According to the U.S.
Department of Transportation, half of all trips made are less than 3 miles. This
behavior lends itself well to bicycling and bike sharing programs. Leading the
way are groups such as B-Cycle, a collaborative effort of Humana, Trek and
Crispin Porter + Bogusky, with locations in over a dozen cities; Nice Ride, a
non-profit organization in Minneapolis, MN; and companies such as Alta Bike
Share and DecoBike, consultants and partners with several local municipalities.

In the 70 largest cities in the U.S., the [23]League of American Bicyclists
reports that bicycle commuting has risen 63% in the last decade, yet this only
accounts for 1% of urban commuters. Tim Blumenthal, president of Bikes Belong
would like to see that number rise to 5%. Bike sharing programs will play a big
part in achieving this goal, along with continued bike friendly improvements,
such as safer and more plentiful bike lanes. There are currently an estimated 15
bike sharing programs in operation in our cities with 17 more planned for this
year alone, according to [24]CNN Money.

In America, we are used to being the leaders. For now, Europe is well ahead of
us, but the yellow jersey is within our grasp if we choose to stay in the chase.
If you are interested in starting a bike sharing business, our [25]GeoMetrx
territory mapping application can help you stay ahead of the competition.

Tips & Techniques –

Measuring Distance on a Strategy or Territory Map

The tool panel in [26]GeoMetrx has many useful utilities. The RULER tool allows
you to measure distance from one point on the map to another, or cumulatively to
multiple points on the map. This can be helpful when trying to determine travel
distances and times when defining territories.

To measure distance:

① Click on the RULER icon in the tool panel

② Click on the location on the map where you want to begin your measurement

③ Move the cursor to your first measurement point and click. A hover box will
display the measurement in miles.

④ Repeat for as many points as you want to measure. The hover box will display
the current segment distance as well as the cumulative distance up to that
point.

⑤ Double click when you are finished and the distance segment markers will
disappear.

Bicycling: Heat Map

[facebooklike][twittertweet]

Bicycling is a great activity. It promotes a healthier lifestyle and provides
zero-emissions transportation. In addition to our [27]GeoMetrx data used to
create the heat map below, here are some more bicycling statistics:

• Bicycling is the second most popular outdoor activity in the U.S. after
running/jogging (Outdoor Foundation, [28]Outdoor Recreation Participation
Topline Report 2011)

• 83% of Americans want to maintain or increase the small percentage of funding
that helps build sidewalks, bike lanes and bike paths ([29]Princeton Survey
Research Associates International, 2012)

• The number one reason given for not bicycling is lack of access to a bicycle
([30]National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior,
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2008)

Further anecdotal information reveals that men outnumber women 3 to 1 when it
comes to cycling, and those with lower incomes tend to ride bikes more often for
utilitarian purposes while those with higher incomes are more likely to ride for
recreation. New immigrants to the U.S. ride bicycles more frequently than native
born U.S. citizens, and most European countries do not report significant
differences in frequency or purpose by gender or income level.

Below is a heat map depicting the percent of U.S. Adults (18+) that have ridden
a bicycle within the last year, whether riding a mountain bike or a road bike.
The southeast region dispalys the lowest level of activity (yellow) while the
rest of the country has greater participation (green).

[31]

Click to see a [32]larger version of this map.

For more information on how to obtain access to [33]GeoMetrx datasets, contact
us today at 1.888.848.4436.

❀ ❀ ❀

September 2012 – Trivia Challenge

1) In what year was the very first “bicycle” invented?

2) What was this invention with two inline wheels actually called? (Hint: it was
not called a bicycle)

[34]Click here for the answers!

References

1. http://here.mappingresources.com/
2. http://here.mappingresources.com/
3. http://here.mappingresources.com/
4. http://here.mappingresources.com/contact-us/
5. mailto:info@geo-e.com?subject=February%202012%20Newsletter%20Feedback
6. http://www.geo-e.com/
7. http://here.mappingresources.com/
8. http://www.geoprinter.com/
9. http://www.gis4less.com/
10. mailto:info@geo-e.com
11. mailto:info@geo-e.com
12. http://www.facebook.com/GeoMetrx
13. https://twitter.com/#!/geometrx_
14. http://www.linkedin.com/company/691866
15. http://here.mappingresources.com/feed/
16. http://here.mappingresources.com/blog/
17. http://here.mappingresources.com/2012/08/geometrx-common-ground-newsletter-volume-1-issue-9/
18. http://here.mappingresources.com/2012/07/geometrx-common-ground-news-volume-1-issue-7/
19. http://here.mappingresources.com/2012/06/geometrx-common-ground-news-volume-1-issue-6/
20. http://here.mappingresources.com/category/newsletters/
21. http://www.nyu.edu/sustainability/campus.projects/bike.share/
22. http://www.bikesbelong.org/
23. http://www.bikeleague.org/
24. http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/08/09/the-worlds-most-popular-way-to-get-around/
25. http://here.mappingresources.com/
26. http://here.mappingresources.com/
27. http://here.mappingresources.com/
28. http://www.outdoorindustry.org/images/researchfiles/OIA_Participation2011Topline.pdf?133
29. http://blog.bikeleague.org/blog/2012/05/new-survey-americans-overwhelmingly-support-bikeped-funding/
30. http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Research+&+Evaluation/National+Survey+of+Bicyclist+and+Pedestrian+Attitudes+and+Behavior
31. http://here.mappingresources.com/common-ground-news-trivia-maps/
32. http://here.mappingresources.com/common-ground-news-trivia-maps/
33. http://here.mappingresources.com/
34. http://here.mappingresources.com/newsletter-trivia-answers/

Customer Spotlight: Medafor, Inc.

Customer Spotlight: Medafor, Inc.

We would like to welcome our newest customer, Medafor, Inc., to our GeoMetrx family. Having been in business for more than a decade, Medafor is a rapidly growing medical technology company providing products to the major surgical hemostatic markets around the world including the United States, China and Japan. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the company has built itself from the ground up based on its expertise in hemostatic technology and has developed groundbreaking products that have met with resounding success in the surgical world.

Originally, the company’s products were focused on the OTC, Military and pre-hospital EMT markets, and then, in September 2006, Medafor received FDA approval for ARISTA®AH for use in surgical applications. ARISTA®AH is a sterile, absorbable hemostatic powder consisting of Microporous Polysaccharide Hemospheres (MPH®), Medafor’s patented blood clotting technology, derived from purified plant starch. Usage of the product begins clotting the blood on contact, accelerating the body’s natural processes. Hospitals will occasionally administer a bleeding time test prior to certain surgical procedures. If a patient is not suffering from a bleeding disorder, the test generally takes less than ten minutes. Ten minutes, however, is a long time to bleed on the operating table, which helps emphasize both the importance and the popularity of this breakthrough product in a surgical environment.

According to Millennium Research Group (MRG), the global authority on medical technology market intelligence, “the United States market for surgical hemostats, internal tissue sealants and adhesion barriers will grow strongly, reaching a total of $1.7 billion by 2016. In particular, the market for combination surgical hemostats will grow at an average of nearly 15 percent per year.” Medafor is well-positioned in this market, and with its continued excellence, and focus on marketing and business strategy development, the company is expected to continue increasing its market share in this high growth industry.

Currently, Medafor has a growing team of over 120 independent sales representatives in the United States and an equally impressive distribution network around the world. By joining forces with GeoMetrx, Medafor has put our online application to use to optimize its sales territories. Optimizing sales territories creates many efficiencies including territory alignment, elimination of overlap, minimized travel time, balanced workload, increased productivity and much more.

Another valuable feature offered by GeoMetrx is the ability to upload and assimilate a company’s proprietary data. Medafor is taking full advantage of this opportunity as well and can now aggregate, compare, rank and map its own customer data, in addition to utilizing the many other strategic planning benefits of visualizing one’s own data.

Medafor team members, Neil Hauger, Shawn Perry, and Joe Schmitzer, recently traveled to Bend, Oregon to meet with GeoMetrx’s Rich Mithoff and Patrick O’Neill for a custom training session of our online mapping application. During their visit, they experienced the scenic beauty and charm of this small town that has become an international mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. They wrapped up their stay with a visit to one of Bend’s many microbreweries, 10 Barrel Brewing Company. Cheers and welcome to the family!

High Speed Rail: A Vision for the Future

High Speed Rail: A Vision for the Future

The U.S. owes much of its early growth and prosperity to the railroads, and if the visionaries of our country persevere, they may once again regain their prior glory attained during the “Golden Age” of railroading.  Railroads enjoyed the height of their popularity for more than a half-century during the 1880s to 1920s, before other modes of transportation, such as automobiles and airplanes, began to compete in moving goods and people across vast distances.  According to American-Rails.com, “…1916 saw peak mileage at over 254,000 [miles of track] and railroads held virtually 100% of all interstate traffic, both passenger and freight.”

By the end of WWII, the railroad industry was in serious decline, and by the time the 1970s arrived, railroad operators had to cut back so severely that the trains, and even the tracks themselves, were in serious disrepair. Many of the famous railroad companies collapsed during this era, and out of the ashes arose what is now Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation), a government owned corporation.  The industry was deregulated in 1980, and has slowly been making a comeback ever since. Today, the industry is experiencing a rebirth as many industry leaders and politicians are pushing for the advent of a high-speed US rail system equivalent to those now operating in the European Union, and parts of Asia.

While our passenger system is lacking, our freight rail system is widely held to be the best in the world. The freight rail system, surprisingly perhaps, is running out of capacity as the demand has surged in the last decade to levels that have not been seen since WWII.  Other factors contributing to the revival of the railroad industry are:

• our aging infrastructure
• roadway traffic congestion
• eventual depletion of fossil fuel reserves
• a growing eco-consciousness to reduce our impact on the earth

The challenges facing the industry are great, yet many believe they can be overcome.  These include the varying interests of policy-makers, land rights, the financial obligation of project development and construction, and the lack of connecting local public transportation in many metropolitan areas. Visionaries see the need today to build a passenger rail system that can free us from our utter dependence on the automobile tomorrow. America has long been a world leader and it is, therefore, somewhat baffling that the installation of a high speed rail system is not a higher national priority.

Passenger routes in the US, both current and proposed, are a patchwork of many private regional systems. California is in the midst of long-term planning to build a high speed rail corridor through its central valley that will connect northern cities to southern cities with trains that will travel at 200mph. The northeast is host to the fastest trains currently in operation with the U.S. Amtrak’s Acela service traveling from Boston to Washington at speeds up to 150mph. Improvements are planned that will take the top speed to 160mph.  In comparison, most high speed trains in Europe travel at approximately 110 to 185mph.  The Chinese Shanghai Maglev Train, operating via magnetic levitation, has a top speed of 268mph.

European rail companies are wrestling one another for future control of the industry and the lion’s share of billions in profits, while back in America, we continue to argue whether high speed rail should even exist. One organization, US High Speed Rail Association, an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(6) trade association is focused on “advancing a state-of-the-art national high speed rail network across the country.” The organization hopes to “organize and mobilize the industry with a shared vision for a 21st century, 17,000 mile national high speed rail system built in phases for completion by 2030.” The map below depicts their vision.

While the future of railroads in the US is unknown, one thing is certain – how people will travel in the future impacts long term strategies for many businesses. In the heydays of Route 66, many businesses popped up overnight along the popular east-west corridor. However, as the new Insterstate Highway System eventually bypassed the road, many businesses either closed down or relocated. A national high speed rail system will certainly change the face of America in much the same way, disrupting traffic patterns businesses currently rely upon.

Businesses in large cities with well-established public transportation will fair better than those in metropolitan and suburban areas that are predominantly car-dependent. As local markets develop public transportation to support high speed rail traffic, consumer shopping behaviors will change as well. People who rely on public transportation tend to shop more often and purchase smaller amounts of goods compared with people living in suburbs and driving large vehicles who tend to make fewer trips but purchase greater amounts.

GeoMetrx Common Ground News Volume 1: Issue 7 – High Speed Rail: A Vision for the Future

See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 1 : ISSUE 7 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK.  Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.

To sign up to receive the very latest and all future Common Ground Newsletters, you can sign up at the link in the top right corner of this website.

Volume I : Issue 7

July 2012

Welcome to Common Ground News

In this issue:

Feature Article – High Speed Rail: A Vision for the Future

Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping application at GeoMetrx​​​​: “Designing Custom Reports”

Thematic Map – Train Travel – Heat Map (Adult Population %)

Trivia Challenge​​ – Subway Train Trivia

Upcoming Events – GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series “Utilizing Your Own Data”

This and all our future newsletters are available through our Knowledge Center resource listed on our website.  We encourage you to share our Common Ground News with your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our website and make a comment on the contact us page or send us an email at info@geo-e.com.

—-Kent Hargesheimer,
Managing Partner

Geo-Legend

Phone: 1.888.848.4436

Web:  www.geo-e.com
www.geometrx.com
www.geoprinter.com

Email:

info@geo-e.com

Follow Us:

Blog:

Common Ground Blog

Upcoming Events
GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series

“Utilizing Your
Own Data”

THURSDAY, August 23rd at 11am PST / 2pm EST

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
High Speed Rail: A Vision for the Future

The U.S. owes much of its early growth and prosperity to the railroads, and if the visionaries of our country persevere, they may once again regain their prior glory attained during the “Golden Age” of railroading.  Railroads enjoyed the height of their popularity for more than a half-century during the 1880s to 1920s, before other modes of transportation, such as automobiles and airplanes, began to compete in moving goods and people across vast distances.  According to American-Rails.com, “…1916 saw peak mileage at over 254,000 [miles of track] and railroads held virtually 100% of all interstate traffic, both passenger and freight.”

By the end of WWII, the railroad industry was in serious decline, and by the time the 1970s arrived, railroad operators had to cut back so severely that the trains, and even the tracks themselves, were in serious disrepair. Many of the famous railroad companies collapsed during this era, and out of the ashes arose what is now Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation), a government owned corporation.  The industry was deregulated in 1980, and has slowly been making a comeback ever since. Today, the industry is experiencing a rebirth as many industry leaders and politicians are pushing for the advent of a high-speed US rail system equivalent to those now operating in the European Union, and parts of Asia.

While our passenger system is lacking, our freight rail system is widely held to be the best in the world. The freight rail system, surprisingly perhaps, is running out of capacity as the demand has surged in the last decade to levels that have not been seen since WWII.  Other factors contributing to the revival of the railroad industry are:

• our aging infrastructure
• roadway traffic congestion
• eventual depletion of fossil fuel reserves
• a growing eco-consciousness to reduce our impact on the earth

The challenges facing the industry are great, yet many believe they can be overcome.  These include the varying interests of policy-makers, land rights, the financial obligation of project development and construction, and the lack of connecting local public transportation in many metropolitan areas. Visionaries see the need today to build a passenger rail system that can free us from our utter dependence on the automobile tomorrow. America has long been a world leader and it is, therefore, somewhat baffling that the installation of a high speed rail system is not a higher national priority.

Passenger routes in the US, both current and proposed, are a patchwork of many private regional systems. California is in the midst of long-term planning to build a high speed rail corridor through its central valley that will connect northern cities to southern cities with trains that will travel at 200mph. The northeast is host to the fastest trains currently in operation with the U.S. Amtrak’s Acela service traveling from Boston to Washington at speeds up to 150mph. Improvements are planned that will take the top speed to 160mph.  In comparison, most high speed trains in Europe travel at approximately 110 to 185mph.  The Chinese Shanghai Maglev Train, operating via magnetic levitation, has a top speed of 268mph.

European rail companies are wrestling one another for future control of the industry and the lion’s share of billions in profits, while back in America, we continue to argue whether high speed rail should even exist. One organization, US High Speed Rail Association, an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(6) trade association is focused on “advancing a state-of-the-art national high speed rail network across the country.” The organization hopes to “organize and mobilize the industry with a shared vision for a 21st century, 17,000 mile national high speed rail system built in phases for completion by 2030.” The map below depicts their vision.

While the future of railroads in the US is unknown, one thing is certain – how people will travel in the future impacts long term strategies for many businesses. In the heydays of Route 66, many businesses popped up overnight along the popular east-west corridor. However, as the new Insterstate Highway System eventually bypassed the road, many businesses either closed down or relocated. A national high speed rail system will certainly change the face of America in much the same way, disrupting traffic patterns businesses currently rely upon.

Businesses in large cities with well-established public transportation will fair better than those in metropolitan and suburban areas that are predominantly car-dependent. As local markets develop public transportation to support high speed rail traffic, consumer shopping behaviors will change as well. People who rely on public transportation tend to shop more often and purchase smaller amounts of goods compared with people living in suburbs and driving large vehicles who tend to make fewer trips but purchase greater amounts.

Tips & Techniques – Designing Custom Reports

GeoMetrx has a host of standard reports including executive summaries, detailed demographics, and specific variables such as traffic counts. In addition to the pre-built, quick access reports, you can also  design your own custom reports.

To create a custom report:

Train Travel – Heat Map

Our GeoMetrx online mapping application excels in creating rich demographic reports, demographic mapping, aligning & mapping sales or franchise territories, performing market analysis, retail site selection and much more. You can use our available current year demographic datasets or upload your own company data to aggregate, compare, rank and map data on demand.

Below is a heat map depicting Domestic Railroad Travel, generated from our GeoMetrx mapping application. The data is depicted at the county level and population percents increase from the light yellow to dark green areas.

Click to see a larger version of this map.

For more information on how to obtain access to these datasets, contact us today at 1.888.848.4436.

❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀

July 2012 – Trivia Challenge

1) Where is the oldest subway in the world?
2) Where is the oldest subway tunnel in the world?

Click here for the answers!

Travel and Tourism: A Panorama of Opportunity

Travel and Tourism: A Panorama of Opportunity

Humans are curious by nature. From the moment we are born we begin to explore the world around us and as soon as we gain mobility we just keep on moving. For many, this curiosity develops into a lifelong passion to travel the world and experience life to the fullest, creating memories that last a lifetime. We travel for many reasons, both business and pleasure. Personal travel is often motivated by the desire to meet new people, reconnect with friends, spend time with loved ones, escape the daily routine, discover new things, see breathtaking vistas, gain a sense of freedom, relax, enjoy, ponder… the list is endless.

Our desire to see the world has a tremendous economic impact. In 2010, the U.S. travel industry amassed $1.8 trillion in spending by domestic and international visitors; $759 billion in direct travel expenditures and another $1 trillion in other industries (Source: The U.S. Travel Association) Direct spending by travelers averaged $2 billion a day, $86.6 million an hour, $1.4 million a minute and $24,000 per second.

Travel and tourism accounted for an impressive 2.7% of our nation’s 2010 GDP (gross domestic product), supporting 14 million jobs in the U.S, and it ranks among the top 10 industries in 48 states for employment.  The reach of the industry is global. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), travel and tourism accounts for 9% of GDP globally and supports 255 million jobs around the world, or one in 12 jobs. The WTTC expects the industry to grow about 3% in 2012, and eventually account for one out of every 10 jobs. As the U.S. economy continues pulling out of its long downturn, Jan Freitag, a senior vice president at Smith Travel Research cited a 4.1 percent gain in first-quarter hotel bookings. The number of hotel workers increased 3.2% in March, and hotel occupancy levels have reached 63.6%, which is close to the historic average. (Source: Bloomberg Business Week)

U.S. travel and tourism industry data can be further divided by leisure vs. business travel, with leisure travel accounting for the lion’s share of activity. More than 1.9 billion person-trips were made in 2010.  Of those, 1.5 billion were for leisure travel, and 448 million were for business purposes. A person-trip is defined as one person traveling away from home overnight in paid accommodations or traveling to places more than 50 miles from home, one-way. The U.S. Travel Association cites the top five leisure travel activities for domestic travelers as follows:

•  Visiting Relatives
•  Shopping
•  Visiting Friends
•  Rural Sightseeing
•  Beaches

The broad reach of the travel and tourism industry combined with the needs and interests of the individual traveler makes it ideal for small business owners and franchisors to enter the market. Travelers come in many varieties and desire a broad spectrum of offerings. Some prefer eating and lodging at well-known national chains while others seek out local mom and pop establishments. Some prefer adventurous outdoor treks, while others opt for full-service destination resorts. Some like to repeat the same vacation year after year, while others have a long list of places they’d like to visit within their lifetime, never visiting the same location twice.

The travel industry, despite its size, can be very competitive. Whether offering trip planning services, transportation, lodging, activities or other travel services, specializing in a niche market can help limit the competition. There is a vast panorama of opportunity for business owners who can combine their passion with sound business decisions and thorough market research; they have the road map to success laid out before them.

Pest Control – Industry Overview

Franchising Opportunities: Pest Control

The pest control industry provides a variety of services to homeowners and businesses, such as locating, identifying, destroying, catching, controlling and repelling pests. These services are provided in a variety of ways including applying chemicals, installing physical barriers, and setting traps. Some pest control service companies cater to the humanitarian customer base by capturing and releasing critters back into the wild.

The U.S. pest control industry generated an estimated $11 billion last year, as reported by IBISWorld, the largest independent publishers of U.S. industry research. The report, released in April 2012, reveals the industry has grown an average of 2.9% over the last 5 years. Over 21,500 business establishments provide nearly 110,700 jobs. Most of these are small firms with only a few employees, while there are several national giants as well, such as Terminix (part of ServiceMaster) and Orkin (a subsidiary of Rollins). These larger companies benefit from brand recognition as well as national advertising, and offer franchise opportunities. Smaller companies have the advantage of providing high-quality personal service and growing customer loyalty.

As the economy continues to recover, the housing market is recovering as well. This alone is increasing demand from homeowners for regular inspections and treatments of termites and other pests. Hotel and restaurant industry standards and regulations are also creating increased demand for pest control services. The recent uptick in bed bug outbreaks has further propelled the demand for professional services. Whether opting to start a franchise or your own business, the pest control industry has relatively easy market entry, though training and licensing is required before offering services to customers, particularly those that involve the application of chemicals and other pesticides. Watch for our next post featuring a Professional Exterminator Usage heat map and the expected impact of this season’s warmer than average temperatures.

GeoMetrx Map Templates

Learn how to create & save map templates in GeoMetrx. Video length 4:11.

GeoMetrx Common Ground News Volume 1: Issue 6 – Travel and Tourism: A Panorama of Opportunity

See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 1 : ISSUE 6 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK.  Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.

To sign up to receive the very latest and all future Common Ground Newsletters, you can sign up at the link in the top right corner of this website.

Volume I : Issue 6

June 2012

Welcome to Common Ground News

In this issue:

Feature Article – Travel and Tourism: A Panorama of Opportunity

Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping application at GeoMetrx​​​​: “Changing the Drawing Order of Overlays”

Thematic Map – Domestic Travel Heat Map (Point of Origin)​

Trivia Challenge​​ – America’s Top Tourist Attractions

Upcoming Events – GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series “Utilizing Your Own Data”

This and all our future newsletters are available through our Knowledge Center resource listed on our website.  We encourage you to share our Common Ground News with your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our website and make a comment on the contact us page or send us an email at info@geo-e.com.

—-Kent Hargesheimer,
Managing Partner

Geo-Legend

Phone: 1.888.848.4436

Web:  www.geo-e.com
www.geometrx.com
www.geoprinter.com

Email:

info@geo-e.com

Follow Us:

Blog:

Common Ground Blog

Upcoming Events
GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series

“Utilizing Your
Own Data”

THURSDAY, June 14th at 11am PST / 2pm EST

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Travel and Tourism: A Panorama of Opportunity

Humans are curious by nature. From the moment we are born we begin to explore the world around us and as soon as we gain mobility we just keep on moving. For many, this curiosity develops into a lifelong passion to travel the world and experience life to the fullest, creating memories that last a lifetime. We travel for many reasons, both business and pleasure. Personal travel is often motivated by the desire to meet new people, reconnect with friends, spend time with loved ones, escape the daily routine, discover new things, see breathtaking vistas, gain a sense of freedom, relax, enjoy, ponder… the list is endless.

Our desire to see the world has a tremendous economic impact. In 2010, the U.S. travel industry amassed $1.8 trillion in spending by domestic and international visitors; $759 billion in direct travel expenditures and another $1 trillion in other industries (Source: The U.S. Travel Association) Direct spending by travelers averaged $2 billion a day, $86.6 million an hour, $1.4 million a minute and $24,000 per second.

Travel and tourism accounted for an impressive 2.7% of our nation’s 2010 GDP (gross domestic product), supporting 14 million jobs in the U.S, and it ranks among the top 10 industries in 48 states for employment.  The reach of the industry is global. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), travel and tourism accounts for 9% of GDP globally and supports 255 million jobs around the world, or one in 12 jobs. The WTTC expects the industry to grow about 3% in 2012, and eventually account for one out of every 10 jobs. As the U.S. economy continues pulling out of its long downturn, Jan Freitag, a senior vice president at Smith Travel Research cited a 4.1 percent gain in first-quarter hotel bookings. The number of hotel workers increased 3.2% in March, and hotel occupancy levels have reached 63.6%, which is close to the historic average. (Source: Bloomberg Business Week)

U.S. travel and tourism industry data can be further divided by leisure vs. business travel, with leisure travel accounting for the lion’s share of activity. More than 1.9 billion person-trips were made in 2010.  Of those, 1.5 billion were for leisure travel, and 448 million were for business purposes. A person-trip is defined as one person traveling away from home overnight in paid accommodations or traveling to places more than 50 miles from home, one-way. The U.S. Travel Association cites the top five leisure travel activities for domestic travelers as follows:

• Visiting Relatives
• Shopping
• Visiting Friends
• Rural Sightseeing
• Beaches

The broad reach of the travel and tourism industry combined with the needs and interests of the individual traveler makes it ideal for small business owners and franchisors to enter the market. Travelers come in many varieties and desire a broad spectrum of offerings. Some prefer eating and lodging at well-known national chains while others seek out local mom and pop establishments. Some prefer adventurous outdoor treks, while others opt for full-service destination resorts. Some like to repeat the same vacation year after year, while others have a long list of places they’d like to visit within their lifetime, never visiting the same location twice.

The travel industry, despite its size, can be very competitive. Whether offering trip planning services, transportation, lodging, activities or other travel services, specializing in a niche market can help limit the competition. There is a vast panorama of opportunity for business owners who can combine their passion with sound business decisions and thorough market research; the road map to success is laid out before them, awaiting their exploration.

Tips & Techniques – Changing the Drawing Order of Overlays

There are many different overlay options available in GeoMetrx including ZIP Code Boundaries, ZIP Code Numbers, County Boundaries, City Labels, Roads, Airports, Rivers and more. When selecting and displaying the overlays on your map, one overlay feature can be covered by another. Changing the order of the overlays to best display the information you need to see is quick and easy.

To change the drawing order:

1) Expand the list of Overlays in the Map Panel by clicking on the +/- sign
2) Click the name of any Overlay and the Edit Overlays dialog box displays
3) In the Group list, select All Overlays – (choose this to alter drawing order)
4) Select the overlay that you want to move up or down in the drawing order, and drag it to the location where you want it to draw. Overlays at the bottom of the list are drawn last, and therefore on top of others.

In the two images below you can see the differences in the order of the overlays of the ZIP Code Number Overlay vs. City Label Overlay and the ZIP Code Boundary Overlay vs. the County Boundary Overlay:

Image 1: ZIP Code Number and County Boundary are at the end of the list and are drawn last, thereby placing them on top of other features

Image 2: City Labels and ZIP Code Boundaries are now at the end of the list and drawn last. Note that ‘Chicago’ can now be clearly seen in the second image, and the ZIP Code Boundaries (blue line) are drawn on top of the wider yellow County Boundaries, making both visible.

Click on any of the above images for a larger viewable version in order to see the true detail of the overlay drawing changes.

Changing the order of overlays is a quick and simple feature and when utilized  can make all the difference in presentation, yet it is often an overlooked option. Try it, we think you’ll like what you see!

Domestic Travelers

Our GeoMetrx online mapping application excels in creating rich demographic reports, demographic mapping, aligning & mapping sales or franchise territories, performing market analysis, retail site selection and much more. You can use our available current year demographic datasets or upload your own company data to aggregate, compare, rank and map data on demand.

Our extensive travel industry data includes the following categories:

• Domestic Travel (Traveled Last Year; 11+ Roundtrips)
• Mode of Travel (Boat/Ship; Bus; Car; Plane; Railroad; RV; Other-Truck)
• Cruise Ship – Areas Traveled (multiple locations)
• Foreign Travel – Country Visited (multiple countries)
• Foreign Travel – Reason for Trip (multiple reasons measured)
• Travel Agent Services Used
• Hotel/Motel – Stay; Loyalty Program
• Average Amount Spent
• Travel Preferences (Organized Activities; Prefer Travel Abroad; Prefer
Travel Domestic; Prefer Different Location Every Trip; and more)
• Business Establishment Data and Retail Potential (Travel Services;
Hotels and Other Accomodations)

Below is a heat map of the point of origin of domestic travelers last year, generated from our GeoMetrx mapping application. The data is depicted at the county level and population percents increase from the lighter to darker areas. Demographic data, such as population density, combined with competitive business data is an extremely useful resource for determining market potential.

Click to see a larger version of this map.

For more information on how to obtain access to these datasets, contact us today at 1.888.848.4436.

❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀

June 2012 – Trivia Challenge

1) According to Forbes.com, what were the top three most visited American Tourist Attractions in 2009, in terms of number of visitors?

Click here for the answers!

U.S. Child Population Density Map

U.S. Child Population Density Map

Children’s interests are broad. Parents are constantly looking for new avenues of exploration to fuel their offsprings’ natural inquisitiveness and enthusiasm. With the large variety of children’s enrichment franchise opportunities currently available, a thorough market analysis can help determine which activities are abundant in a market and which are lacking a substantial presence. As this industry continues to burgeon, introducing new and innovative services for children is limited only by one’s imagination.

Below is a density map of the population count of children (ages 0-17) in the lower 48 states generated from our GeoMetrx mapping application. The population counts increase from the lighter to darker areas. Demographic data, such as population density, combined with competitive business data is an extremely useful resource for determining market potential.

Successful franchisors utilize these data and mapping tools to create highly refined territories, which is important in both sparsely and densely populated areas. The location of competitors can be overlaid on the map and enhanced by distance and drive-time radiuses. Being able to visualize data geographically, rather than merely presented in tables and charts, allows for a greater understanding of market opportunities and risks.

Summertime Fun: Children’s Enrichment Franchises

Children’s Enrichment Franchises

Across the nation, the last school bells of the year are ringing and kids are celebrating the arrival of summer break. Swimming pools, park outings, ball games, summer camps, backyard barbecues and so much more await them. On average, kids are out of school for 6 to 12 weeks and parents are scrambling to finalize their children’s summer activities schedules while balancing the child’s interests with the family budget. Fortunately there are many children’s enrichment franchises in operation offering parents and kids a wide variety of choices. The growing number of children in the U.S. keeps this industry among the top franchise trends in America, and not just during the summer, but all year-round.

The number of children in the U.S. has been steadily rising since the mid-1980s and is projected to continue well into the future. By the year 2030, it is expected the number of children under 18 will reach nearly 88 million.

Further driving demand for summertime activities as well as extracurricular activities during the school year is the number of households with working parents. In 2010, the estimate for the number of households with children under 18 reached 35.2 million. The following pie charts reflect the employment status in two-parent married households and single-parent households.

The most common categories for children’s enrichment franchises are:

Art Programs: painting, cooking, music, drama, photography, etc.
Education / Tutoring: mathematics, science, technology, early childhood
development, foreign languages, etc.
Sports and Fitness: sports clubs, dance, martial arts, children’s gyms, etc.

Traditionally businesses offering child enrichment programs operate from a fixed location with families providing transportation to and from the activity venue. However, a growing trend in the industry is the advent of mobile activities, in which the main program or supplementary programs are brought to the children in after-school care programs, day care facilities, summer resident programs and more. Whether operating from a fixed location, providing a mobile activity or offering private instruction, the opportunities are boundless. (For a comprehensive list of children’s products and services franchise opportunities visit Entrepreneur.com.)

Working with children can be a very rewarding experience, yet it’s not for everyone. It takes a special mix of business and personal skills including patience, flexibility, a sense of fun and wonderment, empathy, and a lot of energy!  Finding the right franchise opportunity is also a special mix combining the business owner’s skills and interests with the best opportunities within a market. The GeoMetrx business database, along with our demographic data, can help franchisors evaluate territories to reveal the competitive landscape, market size and ROI potential. Whether expanding into new markets or realigning existing territories, it’s vital in today’s economy to map your success.

GeoMetrx Common Ground News Volume 1: Issue 5 – Summertime Fun: Children’s Enrichment Franchises

See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 1 : ISSUE 5 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK.  Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.

To sign up to receive the very latest and all future Common Ground Newsletters, you can sign up at the link in the top right corner of this website.

Volume I : Issue 5

May 2012

Welcome to Common Ground News

In this issue:

Feature Article – Summertime Fun: Children’s Enrichment Franchises

Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping application at GeoMetrx​​​​: “Saving Map Views” – how to save and retrieve multiple map locations without readjusting settings

Thematic Map – Where Are All the Children?​​

Trivia Challenge​​

Upcoming Events – GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series “Utilizing Your Own Data”

This and all our future newsletters will soon be available through our Knowledge Center resource listed on our website.  We encourage you to share our Common Ground News with your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our website and make a comment on the contact us page or send us an email at info@geo-e.com.

—-Kent Hargesheimer,
Managing Partner

Geo-Legend

Phone: 1.888.848.4436

Web:  www.geo-e.com
www.geometrx.com
www.geoprinter.com

Email:

info@geo-e.com

Follow Us:

Blog:

Common Ground Blog

Upcoming Events
GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series

“Utilizing Your
Own Data”

THURSDAY, June 14th at 11am PST / 2pm EST

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Summertime Fun: Children’s Enrichment Franchises

Across the nation, the last school bells of the year are ringing and kids are celebrating the arrival of summer break. Swimming pools, park outings, ball games, summer camps, backyard barbecues and so much more await them. On average, kids are out of school for 6 to 12 weeks and parents are scrambling to finalize their children’s summer activities schedules while balancing the child’s interests with the family budget. Fortunately there are many children’s enrichment franchises in operation offering parents and kids a wide variety of choices. The growing number of children in the U.S. keeps this industry among the top franchise trends in America, and not just during the summer, but all year-round.

The number of children in the U.S. has been steadily rising since the mid-1980s and is projected to continue well into the future. By the year 2030, it is expected the number of children under 18 will reach nearly 88 million.

Further driving demand for summertime activities as well as extracurricular activities during the school year is the number of households with working parents. In 2010, the estimate for the number of households with children under 18 reached 35.2 million. The following pie charts reflect the employment status in two-parent married households and single-parent households.

The most common categories for children’s enrichment franchises are:

• Art Programs: painting, cooking, music, drama, photography, etc.
• Education / Tutoring: mathematics, science, technology, early childhood
development, foreign languages, etc.
• Sports and Fitness: sports clubs, dance, martial arts, children’s gyms, etc.

Traditionally businesses offering child enrichment programs operate from a fixed location with families providing transportation to and from the activity venue. However, a growing trend in the industry is the advent of mobile activities, in which the main program or supplementary programs are brought to the children in after-school care programs, day care facilities, summer resident programs and more. Whether operating from a fixed location, providing a mobile activity or offering private instruction, the opportunities are boundless. (For a comprehensive list of children’s products and services franchise opportunities visit Entrepreneur.com.)

Working with children can be a very rewarding experience, yet it’s not for everyone. It takes a special mix of business and personal skills including patience, flexibility, a sense of fun and wonderment, empathy, and a lot of energy!  Finding the right franchise opportunity is also a special mix combining the business owner’s skills and interests with the best opportunities within a market. The GeoMetrx business database, along with our demographic data, can help franchisors evaluate territories to reveal the competitive landscape, market size and ROI potential. Whether expanding into new markets or realigning existing territories, it’s vital in today’s eco nomy to map your success.

Tips & Techniques – Saving Map Views

In GeoMetrx you can save multiple map views, allowing you to easily navigate among your locations. Saving a Map View is quick and easy.  Saved map views retain the area, scale, and any overlays thus reducing the time and frustration of adjusting your map whenever you switch from one location to another.

To Save a Map View:
• select Strategy Map
• format with your preferred settings
• click the drop down arrow in the Map Panel
• select Save Map View
• in the dialog box enter a name and an
optional description
• click Save as New Map

To Return to a Map View:
• click drop down arrow in Map Panel
• select Restore Map View
• Select the view you want to see from the list of saved map views
• click Restore Selected Map View

You can also delete any map views in this step as well by selecting the saved map view from the list and clicking on Delete Selected Map View.

This is probably one of the most valuable yet least used features in GeoMetrx. Try it, you’ll like it!

Where Are All the Children?

Children’s interests are broad. Parents are constantly looking for new avenues of exploration to fuel their offsprings’ natural inquisitiveness and enthusiasm. With the large variety of children’s enrichment franchise opportunities currently available, a thorough market analysis can help determine which activities are abundant in a market and which are lacking a substantial presence. As this industry continues to burgeon, introducing new and innovative services for children is limited only by one’s imagination.

Below is a density map of the population count of children (ages 0-17) in the lower 48 states generated from our GeoMetrx mapping application. The population counts increase from the lighter to darker areas. Demographic data, such as population density, combined with competitive business data is an extremely useful resource for determining market potential.

U.S. POPULATION DENSITY (Ages 0-17)

Click to see a larger version of this map.

Successful franchisors utilize these data and mapping tools to create highly refined territories, which is important in both sparsely and densely populated areas. The location of competitors can be overlaid on the map and enhanced by distance and drive-time radiuses. Being able to visualize data geographically, rather than merely presented in tables and charts, allows for a greater understanding of market opportunities and risks.

❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀   ❀

May 2012 – Trivia Challenge

1) What is the most popular sports-related activity among children aged 7 to 17?

Click here for the answers!

The Growing Locavore Movement: A Ripe Opportunity

The Growing Locavore Movement: A Ripe Opportunity

 
Whether you tout the philosophy of the locavore movement or stand behind the economic theory of free trade, your defenders as well as your detractors will be on hand, ready and willing to share their opinion. Yet, no matter which side of the debate you are on, one fact cannot be denied – the locavore movement is growing, and the opportunties for entrepreneurs are ripe. Based on research conducted by the USDA Economic Research Service, the movement was estimated to have generated $4.8 billion in sales in 2008, and it is projected that locally grown foods will generate nearly $7 billion in sales in 2012.

It’s a movement that is gradually reshaping the economics of the agriculture industry and spurring a revival of small farms, something many thought would never happen. Prior to WWII, nearly two out of five Americans lived on farms and food was locally grown and marketed. Rarely was food transported further than a day’s distance. After WWII our infrastructure expanded greatly, transportation costs decreased and refrigeration became more accessible. These changes allowed meats and produce to be transported greater distances at competitive prices. The increasing eco-conscious focus on sustainability has fueled the locavore movement and caused a major shift in how food is being grown and sold in America.

The term locavore was introduced in 2005 on World Environment Day when four women in Northern California kicked-off a month-long dietary challenge “Celebrate Your Foodshed: Eat Locally”, and began calling themselves “locavores.” A locavore is someone who either exclusively or primarily eats foods from their local or regional foodshed. There is no single definition of what defines a local foodshed as distances vary regionally and are also impacted by population density; yet many locavores use a 100-mile radius as a general guide. Produce sold within 24 hours of harvest is usually considered local as well. In comparison, mass-market food items consumed in the U.S. travel an average of 1,300 to 2,000 miles from farm to store according to ATTRA – National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

Locavores have a wide variety of beliefs in support of the movement. In the minds of many, local foods are those that come from small farms that have developed social and economic relationships within the local community. A national study conducted by the Food Marketing Institute in 2009 uncovered the top three reasons for participation cited by consumers:

• 82% – freshness of the products
• 75% – support for the local economy
• 58% – knowing the source of the product

While pinpointing exactly how many people are joining the locavore movement is difficult, there are many signs that it’s gaining mainstream attention. Nearly 80% of respondents in a 2006 national survey said they occasionally to always purchased fresh produce directly from growers (Source: USDA, ERR-97 May 2010). Increased demand is creating opportunities for farmers and growers to expand their marketing channels. Local foods are being sold through farmer’s markets, roadside stands, winter markets, food co-ops, CSAs (community supported agricultural groups), supermarkets, specialty stores, restaurants, hospitals, schools and more.

There are numerous public programs and policies that support local food initiatives and provide financing for local food systems. An example is the farm-to-school programs in which some or all of the produce needs of the school cafeteria are met by nearby farms. The National Farm to School Network, which began with just a handful of farm-to-school programs in the late 90’s, and climbed to 1,000 in 2005, is now estimated to have reached 2,518 programs as of 2012.

Farmers Markets are increasing in numbers across the nation as well. According to the USDA, there were 7,175 farmers markets in 2011, a 17% increase from 2010.

Large retailers are yielding shelf space to meet consumer demand for locally grown foods. Stores such as Walmart, Safeway, Meijer and Weis Markets are participating in local food initiatives. Local restaurants are meeting the demands of their patrons to provide local foods as well. According to a survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association, 89% of fine-dining and nearly 30% of fast food operators served locally sourced items in 2008; while both believed these items would become more popular, 90% and nearly 50%, respectively.

In St. Louis, Missouri an innovative partnership is bringing “Mobile Markets” to commuters using public transportation for the March-October growing season. Whatever the motivation of individual locavores, the movement is gaining momentum and the opportunities for entrepreneurs are ripe, whether choosing to enter the market by starting a small urban farm, becoming an intermediary, selling direct-to-consumer, or any of the other numerous entry points. As always, any market entry or expansion should be backed by thorough research to develop a solid strategy.

Franchise Times Spring/Summer 2012 SuperBook

Web Resources: Franchise Times Spring/Summer 2012 Superbook

 
The Spring/Summer 2012 SuperBook of Franchise Opportunities, published by Franchise Times is out. This free resource is available in digital format online, putting a substantial amount of information at the fingertips of anyone interested in the franchising industry.


The SuperBook includes a comprehensive list of franchise opportunities ranging from Automotive Services to Retail Businesses, and everything in between. Additionally, the SuperBook contains advice columns covering topics such as site selection, how to read a franchise disclosure document (FDD), and some ‘do’s-and don’ts’ every franchisee should review. Also inside, you’ll find a glossary of terms and an upcoming events calendar.

Franchise Times is a leading news and information source for the franchising industry, publishing 10 issues each year. The company provides a variety of directories including financing, vendors, and legal resources (see the annual April issue). Other publications include the Restaurant Finance Monitor and Foodservice News.

Home Health Care Industry – Franchise Opportunities

Home Health Care: The Aging of America

 
The fastest growing demographic in the U.S. is the 65+ age group.  By the year 2030, it is projected that one out of every five Americans, 70 million people, will be over the age of 65. As the “boomers” continue to age, this figure is expected to reach as high as 88.5 million. Kids born today will just be reaching adulthood in 2030. How will our changing population affect their career choices and options? One thing is for certain, there will be many more opportunities in the senior care industry, including both products and services such as:

Housing Pharmaceuticals Financial Services
Home care Medical equipment Insurance
Home safety Personal healthcare Legal Services
Mobility Physical therapy

According to Franchise Help, home health care is the largest segment of the senior care industry among franchises, both medical and non-medical.  The most common medical services provided are private nursing, administering antibiotics and rehabilitation assistance. Non-medical services most often include aiding seniors with chores, preparing meals, overseeing medication schedules, bathing and general companionship.  First Research estimates that US home health care is a $57 billion industry.

As much of the financing for seniors is provided by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, all of which must function under set prices, businesses compete on quality, reputation, referrals and other subjective measures rather than price. Companies that excel at putting people, processes and systems together to provide top notch customer care and a positive customer experience will have ample opportunity to succeed in this industry now and well into the future.

GeoMetrx Common Ground News Volume 1: Issue 4 – The Growing “Locavore” Movement: A Ripe Opportunity

See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 1 : ISSUE 4 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK.  Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.

To sign up to receive the very latest and all future Common Ground Newsletters, you can sign up at the link in the top right corner of this website.

Volume I : Issue 4

April 2012

Welcome to Common Ground News

In this issue:
Feature Article – The Growing “Locavore” Movement: A Ripe Opportunity

Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping application at GeoMetrx​​ – “Customizing Territory Colors” – how to access the color selection dialog box using the Alignment panel

Thematic Map – Gardening: A Growing Hobby

Trivia challenge​​ – Tomato Trivia

Upcoming Events – GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series “Best Practices for Building and Managing Your Territories”

This and all our future newsletters will soon be available through our Knowledge Center resource listed on our website.  We encourage you to share our Common Ground News with your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our website and make a comment on the contact us page or send us an email at info@geo-e.com.

—-Kent Hargesheimer,
Managing Partner

Geo-Legend

Phone: 1.888.848.4436

Web:  www.geo-e.com
www.geometrx.com
www.geoprinter.com

Email:

info@geo-e.com

Follow Us:

Blog:

Common Ground Blog

Upcoming Events
GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series

“Best Practices for Building and Managing Your Territories”

THURSDAY, April 19th at 11am PST / 2pm EST

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
The Growing “Locavore” Movement: A Ripe Opportunity

Whether you tout the philosophy of the locavore movement or stand behind the economic theory of free trade, your defenders as well as your detractors will be on hand, ready and willing to share their opinion. Yet, no matter which side of the debate you are on, one fact cannot be denied – the locavore movement is growing, and the opportunties for entrepreneurs are ripe. Based on research conducted by the USDA Economic Research Service, the movement was estimated to have generated $4.8 billion in sales in 2008, and it is projected that locally grown foods will generate nearly $7 billion in sales in 2012.

It’s a movement that is gradually reshaping the economics of the agriculture industry and spurring a revival of small farms, something many thought would never happen. Prior to WWII, nearly two out of five Americans lived on farms and food was locally grown and marketed. Rarely was food transported further than a day’s distance. After WWII our infrastructure expanded greatly, transportation costs decreased and refrigeration became more accessible. These changes allowed meats and produce to be transported greater distances at competitive prices. The increasing eco-conscious focus on sustainability has fueled the locavore movement and caused a major shift in how food is being grown and sold in America.

The term locavore was introduced in 2005 on World Environment Day when four women in Northern California kicked-off a month-long dietary challenge “Celebrate Your Foodshed: Eat Locally”, and began calling themselves “locavores.” A locavore is someone who either exclusively or primarily eats foods from their local or regional foodshed. There is no single definition of what defines a local foodshed as distances vary regionally and are also impacted by population density; yet many locavores use a 100-mile radius as a general guide. Produce sold within 24 hours of harvest is usually considered local as well. In comparison, mass-market food items consumed in the U.S. travel an average of 1,300 to 2,000 miles from farm to store according to ATTRA – National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

Locavores have a wide variety of beliefs in support of the movement. In the minds of many, local foods are those that come from small farms that have developed social and economic relationships within the local community. A national study conducted by the Food Marketing Institute in 2009 uncovered the top three reasons for participation cited by consumers:
82% – freshness of the products
75% – support for the local economy
58% – knowing the source of the product
While pinpointing exactly how many people are joining the locavore movement is difficult, there are many signs that it’s gaining mainstream attention. Nearly 80% of respondents in a 2006 national survey said they occasionally to always purchased fresh produce directly from growers (Source: USDA, ERR-97 May 2010). Increased demand is creating opportunities for farmers and growers to expand their marketing channels. Local foods are being sold through farmer’s markets, roadside stands, winter markets, food co-ops, CSAs (community supported agricultural groups), supermarkets, specialty stores, restaurants, hospitals, schools and more.

There are numerous public programs and policies that support local food initiatives and provide financing for local food systems. An example is the farm-to-school programs in which some or all of the produce needs of the school cafeteria are met by nearby farms. The National Farm to School Network, which began with just a handful of farm-to-school programs in the late 90’s, and climbed to 1,000 in 2005, is now estimated to have reached 2,518 programs as of 2012.

Farmers Markets are increasing in numbers across the nation as well. According to the USDA, there were 7,175 farmers markets in 2011, a 17% increase from 2010.

Large retailers are yielding shelf space to meet consumer demand for locally grown foods. Stores such as Walmart, Safeway, Meijer and Weis Markets are participating in local food initiatives. Local restaurants are meeting the demands of their patrons to provide local foods as well.  According to a survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association, 89% of fine-dining and nearly 30% of fast food operators served locally sourced items in 2008; while both believed these items would become more popular, 90% and nearly 50%, respectively.

In St. Louis, Missouri an innovative partnership is bringing “Mobile Markets” to commuters using public transportation for the March-October growing season.  Whatever the motivation of individual locavores, the movement is gaining momentum and the opportunities for entrepreneurs are ripe, whether choosing to enter the market by starting a small urban farm, becoming an intermediary, selling direct-to-consumer, or any of the other numerous entry points. As always, any market entry or expansion should be backed by thorough research to develop a solid strategy.

Tips & Techniques – Changing the Color of a Territory on the Map

You can quickly and easily customize each of your territories in GeoMetrx and you can choose from a preselected chart of colors or select a custom color.

To change the color of a territory:
Display your territories on Strategy Map.
In the Alignment Panel, click the colored square to the left of the territory name.
The Select Color dialog box displays.

To set the color, you have several choices:
Click the colored square that represents the color that you want.
Enter color values in the Red, Green and Blue text boxes.
Enter the color number in the Hex text box.
Use the slider on the rainbow color scale to select the range of color, and then drag the dot in the colored rectangle until the Current sample displays the color you want to use.
Click OK. The territory displays in the color you chose.

Gardening: A Growing Hobby

In the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, we often seek refuge in our hobbies and interests in hopes of maintaining balance and finding purpose. Gardening has long been a favorite leisure time activity for many Americans, allowing us to reconnect with nature and providing many a sense of peace and harmony with the world.

A fast growing trend in gardening is the participation of the younger generation taking part in home and community gardening projects. According to Dr. Charlie Hall, Professor of Horticulture at Texas A&M, “Gen Y’s are embracing a connection with plants based on economics, environmental impact, health and wellness,” as reported by the Garden Media Group in their latest Garden Trends Report. GMG’s research also shows that vegetable gardening has increased by 20% and community gardening by 60% over last year. In 2010, the average household spent $600 on their yards and gardens.

Below is a heat map of gardening across the lower 48 generated from our GeoMetrx mapping application. The dark green areas show the highest concentration of leisure gardeners. What’s of particular note is that every county across the country has some level of participation ranging from 13.6% to 55% of the population.

Click to see a larger version of this map.

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April 2012 – Trivia Challenge

1) Is a TOMATO a vegetable or a fruit?

2) TRUE or FALSE: In 1893, the Supreme Court ruled on the TOMATO’s status.

Click here for the answers!

5 Strategies to Optimize Your Territories

With technology options around every corner sales organizations today are faced with a serious challenge. Produce more with less. How does your organization handle this issue? Don’t worry, it’s a rhetorical question, one to get the wheels turning…

Click here to Download this White Paper

Expanding Distribution Channels and Exploring New Markets

Every business, no matter how large or how small, wants to sell more of its existing products and services. In order to do so, businesses must expand their market reach to acquire additional customers. Increasing sales in existing markets through advertising and marketing strategies is certainly not to be overlooked; however, the most effective way to gain new customers is to create new distribution channels that reach untapped markets. This can be accomplished by such methods as:

• adding retail locations (corporate and/or franchised)
• establishing more production facilities
• developing reseller relationships (wholesaler, dealer, consultant, etc.)
• providing online sales opportunities

Placement (a.k.a. distribution) is one of the “4 Ps” of marketing: product, promotion, price, placement. Gaining new customers through expanding distribution channels has many benefits including: a) boosted profits through increased revenues and reduced per-unit production costs; b) raised awareness among consumers improving brand recognition; and c) reduced market risks by spreading the risks over multiple channels.

The most critical step of any expansion strategy is to evaluate potential markets by comparing their attributes to those of your target market. If you are not certain of your target market, begin by examining your current customer base for common characteristics and interests. Characteristics (demographics) are things such as age, gender, ethnicity, income, education, occupation, marital status, presence of children, pet ownership, owners vs. renters, etc. Interests (psychographics) are things such as attitudes, behaviors, values, hobbies, leisure activities, lifestyles (health/diet/exercise, etc.), politics, religion, media choices, etc. Be sure to evaluate the data that connects your customers to your products and services.

Defining your target market is the hard part. Once you’ve identified who you are targeting the next step is to locate those markets with the highest concentrations of potential customers. Visualizing your data on an interactive map is one of the best ways to evaluate potential markets as well as site locations. Maps allow you to assess a variety of attributes in addition to your target data including traffic patterns, travel times, competitor locations, business establishments and more. Take a look at this month’s thematic map below to see mapped data in action.

GeoMetrx Common Ground News Volume 1: Issue 3 – Expanding Distribution Channels and Exploring New Markets

See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 1 : ISSUE 3 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK.  Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.

To sign up to receive the very latest and all future Common Ground Newsletters, you can sign up at the link in the top right corner of this website.

Volume I : Issue 3

March 2012

Welcome to Common Ground News

In this issue:

Feature Article – Expanding Distribution Channels and Exploring New Markets

Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping application at GeoMetrx​​ – “Saving a Map Project” – how to create and save overlay and theme settings and reuse them as a template

Thematic Map – St. Patrick’s Day – Where are the Domestic and Micro-Brew Fans Located?  Plus this month’s trivia challenge​​

Upcoming Events – GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series “Best Practices for Building
and Managing Your Territories”

This and all future newsletters will be available on our website under ‘news.’  We encourage you to share our Common Ground News with your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our website and make a comment on the contact us page or send us an email at info@geo-e.com.

—-Kent Hargesheimer,
Managing Partner

Geo-Legend

Phone: 1.888.848.4436

Web:  www.geo-e.com
www.geometrx.com
www.geoprinter.com

Email:

info@geo-e.com

Follow Us:

Blog:

Common Ground Blog

Upcoming Events
GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series

• “Best Practices for Building and Managing Your Territories”

THURSDAY, April 19th at 11am PST / 2pm EST

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Expanding Distribution Channels and Exploring New Markets

Every business, no matter how large or how small, wants to sell more of its existing products and services. In order to do so, businesses must expand their market reach to acquire additional customers. Increasing sales in existing markets through advertising and marketing strategies is certainly not to be overlooked; however, the most effective way to gain new customers is to create new distribution channels that reach untapped markets. This can be accomplished by such methods as:

adding retail locations (corporate and/or franchised)
establishing more production facilities
developing reseller relationships (wholesaler, dealer, consultant, etc.)
providing online sales opportunities

Placement (a.k.a. distribution) is one of the “4 Ps” of marketing: product, promotion, price, placement. Gaining new customers through expanding distribution channels has many benefits including: a) boosted profits through increased revenues and reduced per-unit production costs; b) raised awareness among consumers improves brand recognition; and c) reduced market risks by spreading the risks over multiple channels.

The most critical step of any expansion strategy is to evaluate potential markets by comparing their attributes to those of your target market. If you are not certain of your target market, begin by examining your current customer base for common characteristics and interests. Characteristics (demographics) are things such as age, gender, ethnicity, income, education, occupation, marital status, presence of children, pet ownership, owners vs. renters, etc.  Interests (psychographics) are things such as attitudes, behaviors, values, hobbies, leisure activities, lifestyles (health/diet/exercise, etc.), politics, religion, media choices, etc. Be sure to evaluate the data that connects your customers to your products and services.

Defining your target market is the hard part. Once you’ve identified who you are targeting the next step is to locate those markets with the highest concentrations of potential customers. Visualizing your data on an interactive map is one of the best ways to evaluate potential markets as well as site locations. Maps allow you to assess a variety of attributes in addition to your target data including traffic patterns, travel times, competitor locations, business establishments and more. Take a look at this month’s thematic map below to see mapped data in action.

Tips & Techniques – Saving a Map Project

Applying all the same settings from one trade area location to another in GeoMetrx can be time consuming and tricky. Saving your map as a project will make the task easier and give you the results you want.

Watch this short video tutorial and learn how quick and easy it is to save your project overlay and thematic prefrences. Once you’ve saved your project you can change trade area locations and resave the project with a different file name. The next time you access the GeoMetrx territory mapping application you can quickly reload any of your saved projects saving you the time and frustration of recreating your settings.

“Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!”

That’s Irish for Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Celebrated on March 17th, the day honors the most recognized patron saint of Ireland. Over time it has also evolved into a celebration of Irish culture. Whether of Irish descent or not, many revel in the traditions of the holiday from wearing green to attending parades to enjoying beer and traditional Irish fare.

In recognition of the merriment of the month, our thematic map topic for March is beer! We have plotted domestic beer drinkers across the nation. The light colored areas (think light beer) have the lowest concentration of domestic beer drinkers, whereas the darker (think stouts) represent the areas with the highest concentration of domestic beer drinkers.

Click to see a larger version of this map.

​Next we plotted the percent of micro-brewed beer drinkers across the US. When contrasting the two maps there is more than meets the eye. One might conlcude that dark areas on the domestic map that are now light on the micro-brew map would indicate folks in those locations prefer national domestics to local micro-brews. We would suggest the difference is actually due to the lack of availability of micro-brews. In fact, the dark areas on the micro-brew map align with regions that sport a lot of micro-brew activity.

Click to see a larger version of this map.

A great website, The Beer Mapping Project, is a compilation of locations of micro-breweries, brewpubs and other craft beer outlets. Accessing the site’s regional maps, we’ve taken a closer look at three areas where there is clearly a difference between our domestic and microbrew maps: north central Michigan, south central Florida, and the greater Denver, Colorado corridor. The three maps, shown below, reveal that in Michigan and Florida, there is a complete absence of micro-breweries and brew pubs in the disparate areas. The Denver corridor, on the other hand, shows a comparitively high volume of craft beer activity.

As we noted above, expanding into new markets is an excellent way to increase sales of exisiting products and services. It’s essential to conduct thorough market research which includes identifying markets with heavy concentrations of potential customers who fit your company’s target profile. As this example illustrates, it’s important to consider many factors and utilize all your resources of information to find the best new markets.

♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣   ♣

March 2012 – Trivia Challenge

1) True or False: There are more U.S. Residents who claim Irish ancenstry than the entire population of Ireland itself.

2) As of November 2011, how many breweries were operating in the U.S.?

a) 1,142
b) 1,927
c) 2,011
d) 2,348

Click here for the answers!

 

How to Create Territories

Demonstrates how to create new territories based on counts of businesses and population using the base territory manager module in GeoMetrx. Using this module, you can select individual geographies (like ZIP Codes or Counties) to combine, or select sets of geographies by drawing a polygon on the map using the polygon select tool. Also show how to save different versions of territories you have created. Video length is 6:30.

International Franchise Expo (IFE) Moves to New York City

International Franchise Expo (IFE) Moves to New York City:

For the past 20 years the International Franchise Expo (IFE) has been held in our nation’s capital.  This year, however, the big event will take place in the Big Apple!  The IFE is America’s biggest franchise event showcasing franchise concepts from every imaginable industry both domestic and international.  In addition to franchise opportunities available at every investment level, product suppliers, industry service providers, and trade publications will join the exhibitors.

The expo boasts 40 free seminars including topics such as “Getting Ready to Franchise Your Business,” “Taking Your Franchise System to the Next Level,” and “Best Practices for Start Up & Early Stage Franchisors.” New York City is touted as being an excellent location for the event, drawing from a diverse population of 28 million as well as being the media capital of the world.

The event, which is organized by MFV, also conducts annually the West Coast Franchise Expo (WCFE) in Los Angeles (October 12-14, 2012) and the Franchise Expo South (FES) in Miami Beach (January 11-13, 2013).  For more insight from Blue Mau Mau on the move of the IFE to New York City, click here.

Fitness Center Franchises

Even before the launch of the Let’s Move campaign by First Lady Michelle Obama, aimed at raising a healthier generation of kids, the fitness center industry has shown steady growth and solid profits for more than two decades.  The campaign, targeting childhood obesity, recognizes that parents play a key role in making healthy choices for their children. Parents are encouraged to adopt a lifestyle of healthy eating and regular exercise for the entire family. Fitness Center franchises offer a variety of opportunities and expertise to help families reach their healthy lifestyle goals.

Fitness Center franchises also have proven to be a profitable business opportunity for many. According to a study published by First Research in November 2011, the US fitness centers industry consists of about 22,000 companies and non-profits operating more than 30,000 centers across the US.  Annual revenues total nearly $22 billion, with the 50 largest companies accounting for approximately 30% of revenue. Some of the major players include Planet Fitness (434 locations), Gold’s Gym (690 locations), Snap Fitness (1,190 locations), Curves (7,263 locations) and Jazzercise (8,181 locations).

Entrepreneur.com provides a list of 45 Fitness Center Franchises including detailed information about each opportunity.  Entry fee investments start as low as $2,500 for Platoon Fitness and can reach as much as $3.9 million for Gold’s Gym ($898.5K to $3.89M).  The average investment ranges from $180K to $325K. Opening a fitness center requires careful planning and research and many factors should be considered. Finding the right location hinges on selecting an area heavily comprised of target market customers. Below is a GeoMetrx map depicting the percent of the adult population that exercise at private facilities across the country.

Source: GeoMetrx 2012

GeoMetrx has a vast array of data to help franchisors and franchisees identify markets and define territories based on targeted customer profiles, including up-to-date demographics, business data, competitor profiles, lifestyle behaviors, segmentation, and more. Company owned data can be uploaded as well to further enhance any site analysis by radius, drive-time or custom drawn areas.  Call us today at 1.888.848.4436 or click here to request a demo.

Site Selection: CherryBerry Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Bar

The two most important factors affecting the success of any retail business are customers and location, so much so you can’t have one without the

other; they are inseparable. However, unlike the age-old question ‘which came first, the chicken or the egg,’ we know that finding customers comes before finding the right location. While it’s true that “location, location, location” is absolutely critical to the success of any retail business, you must first define your target customer profile.

When identifying your target customer, think of them in demographic (census) terms. What age group does your product or service appeal to?  Are there children in the household? Are they homeowners or renters? Do they drive? What is their income range (can they afford your product or service)?  What are their hobbies and interests? Once you have your target customer profile in hand, it’s time to locate them – where they live, where they work, where they shop, where they play.

Our spotlight franchise, CherryBerry Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Bar, headquartered in Broken Arrow, OK, is rapidly expanding. The majority of stores are located in the mid-west, with locations reaching as far as Colorado, North Dakota, North Carolina, Florida, and Texas; and many new locations are opening soon. The CherryBerry business model is simple in design and highly popular. Customers grab a dish, fill it with any of 50+ rotating flavors of frozen yogurt, add as many toppings as they choose, place it on the scale and pay a flat per ounce fee – easy, quick, delicious, and a healthy choice too!

CherryBerry offers franchise opportunities and uses the power of GeoMetrx to optimize territories and provide detailed data for site selection analysis and more. Each CherryBerry franchise territory is unique and careful site selection within those territories can make the difference in the level of success of each store. Following is a site selection comparison for two CherryBerry locations – one in Enid, OK and one in Glenpool, OK. As you can see from the maps below, the Enid store is located in a more densely populated area than the Glenpool store, yet both stores are flourishing.

A more detailed site analysis reveals some of CherryBerry’s secrets to choosing successful locations:

 

GeoMetrx Common Ground News Volume 1: Issue 2 – Customer Spotlight: CherryBerry Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt – Site Selection​

See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 1 : ISSUE 2 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK.  Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.

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Volume I : Issue 2

February 2012

Welcome to Common Ground News

In this issue:

Feature Article – Customer Spotlight: CherryBerry Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt – Site Selection​

Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping application at GeoMetrx​​ – “Using Unique Competitor Icons on Your Maps”

Thematic Map – Valentine inspired cities and towns. Is Romance on the Horizon? Plus our monthly trivia challenge​​

Upcoming Events – GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series “Best Practices for Building and Managing Your Territories” “Franchise Mapping”

This and all future newsletters will be available on our website under ‘news.’  We encourage you to share our Common Ground News with your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our website and make a comment on the contact us page or send us an email at info@geo-e.com.

—-Kent Hargesheimer, Managing Partner

Geo-Legend

Phone: 1.888.848.4436

Web:  www.geo-e.com
www.geometrx.com
www.geoprinter.com

Email:

info@geo-e.com

Follow Us:

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Upcoming Events

GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series

• “Best Practices for Building and Managing Your Territories”

WEDNESDAY, February 15th at 11am PST / 2pm EST

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

——————————————————

• “Franchise Mapping”

THURSDAY, February 16th at 11am PST / 2pm EST

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Customer Spotlight:
CherryBerry Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Bar – Site Selection

The two most important factors affecting the success of any retail business are customers and location, so much so you can’t have one without theother; they are inseparable. However, unlike the age-old question ‘which came first, the chicken or the egg,’ we know that finding customers comes before finding the right location. While it’s true that “location, location, location” is absolutely critical to the success of any retail business, you must first define your target customer profile.

When identifying your target customer, think of them in demographic (census) terms. What age group does your product or service appeal to?  Are there children in the household? Are they homeowners or renters? Do they drive? What is their income range (can they afford your product or service)?  What are their hobbies and interests? Once you have your target customer profile in hand, it’s time to locate them – where they live, where they work, where they shop, where they play.

Our spotlight franchise, CherryBerry Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Bar, headquartered in Broken Arrow, OK, is rapidly expanding. The majority of stores are located in the mid-west, with locations reaching as far as Colorado, North Dakota, North Carolina, Florida, and Texas; and many new locations are opening soon. The CherryBerry business model is simple in design and highly popular. Customers grab a dish, fill it with any of 50+ rotating flavors of frozen yogurt, add as many toppings as they choose, place it on the scale and pay a flat per ounce fee – easy, quick, delicious, and a healthy choice too!

CherryBerry offers franchise opportunities and uses the power of GeoMetrx to optimize territories and provide detailed data for site selection analysis and more. Each CherryBerry franchise territory is unique and careful site selection within those territories can make the difference in the level of success of each store. Following is a site selection comparison for two CherryBerry locations – one in Enid, OK and one in Glenpool, OK. As you can see from the maps below, the Enid store is located in a more densely populated area than the Glenpool store, yet both stores are flourishing.

A more detailed site analysis reveals some of CherryBerry’s secrets to choosing successful locations:

Tips & Techniques – Using Unique Competitor Icons on Your Maps

In GeoMetrx, you can now display competitors on your maps with unique icons or symbols.  You can either upload your own icons, or let the software generate them.

In order to display your customers you need to import a file with competitor information and include a field that designates an icon will be used.

Just look for Create Competitors by following the menus My Sites, Territories and Data>Groups.  Once you’ve created your competitor group you will have a section on the Map Panel called My Competitors.  From here you can choose to display each competitor with a unique symbol or icon and its trade area.

Is There Romance on the Horizon?

How close are you to finding Romance, Harmony or even your Romeo?  Look no further than our monthly thematic map!  We’ve included a dozen roses, er… cities and towns with names that conjure up images and thoughts of Valentine’s Day. Did you know some of these towns, such as Loveland, CO, have a Valentine’s remailing program providing a romantic postmark on a card for that extra-special someone? Last year volunteers in Colorado cancelled over 160,000 cards and letters from more than 110 countries.

February’s map also includes a thematic layer depicting the percentage of ‘never married’ folks in the U.S. The light pink represents the areas with the fewest and the dark red represents the areas with the highest concentration. Will Valentine’s Day 2012 be the year some of these folks find their soulmate?

Click to see a larger version of this map.

February 2012 – Trivia Challenge

In addition to the United States, can you name the five other countries that celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Click here for the answers!

Fast Casual Dining – A Growing Market

Fast Casual Dining - A Growing MarketWhat exactly is Fast Casual dining?  Fast Casual dining restaurants, a relatively new market concept, have found their niche sandwiched between fast food and casual dining.  These restaurants are upscale quick service formats that offer more service along with higher quality food than their traditional fast food counterparts, yet do not provide the full table-side service associated with casual dining.

Perhaps surprisingly, this market segment has increased in popularity since the onset of the economic downturn reaching back to 2007. When you think about it though, it makes a lot of sense.  As Americans, we love our food and we love dining out, but we have to keep a watchful eye on our budgets and our waistlines.  The beauty of Fast Casual dining is that it allows us to double dip when tightening our belts.  The menus tend to be healthier than traditional fast food options, therefore reducing our calorie intake; add to that lower than average bills compared to casual dining, and we save again. Voila, the double-dip!

The NPD Group, a leading market research company, conducts the NPD Recount, a bi-annual census of restaurant counts.  According to their most recent report, the number of Fast Casual dining units has grown from 11,013 in 2007 to 13,643 in 2011.  In addition to the rise in total units, annual traffic at Fast Casual restaurants has also increased from 4% to as much as 11% during each of the past five years.  Conversely, traffic has been on the decline for fast food, casual dining and midscale establishments for the past three years, consecutively.

Source: The NPD Group, Inc.

FastCasual.com, which reports on the important news, events, trends and people in the $23.5 billion fast casual restaurant industry segment, will release their 7th annual Top 100 Movers & Shakers report in March 2012.   Which companies do you think will top the list this year?

Here were the top five 2011 Movers & Shakers:

When the time is right to expand, every business should conduct a thorough and complete site location analysis, and it is critical for franchisors to provide optimized franchise territories.  GeoMetrx enables you to build and define the right territories and select the best sites.  Call or email us today at info@geo-e.com for more info and let us help you map your success!

GeoMetrx 2012 Territory Training Manual

So you want to know what can GeoMetrx do for you?

Download this PDF and get started reading up and learning how to use all the features and functions of GeoMetrx to build your business.

Please contact us to get a copy of the AtlasandGlobeWIcon.csv dataset.

Click to Download PDF

50 Pages

GeoMetrx 2012 Base Training Manual

So you want to know what can GeoMetrx do for you?

Download this PDF and get started reading up and learning how to use all the features and functions of GeoMetrx to build your business.

Please contact us to get a copy of the AtlasandGlobeWIcon.csv dataset.

Click to Download PDF

60 Pages

Super Bowl Sunday – Battle of the Pizza

Super Bowl Sunday has practically become another holiday for many, even those that aren’t full-fledged football fans.  More than 100 million folks will gather for parties in homes across the country this Sunday to watch the New York Giants take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI (46).   And what is a party without food?  Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest snack-consuming days in the U.S., second only to Thanksgiving.

The most popular items on party menus are chips with dips, wings, and pizza.  It is estimated that nearly 60% of all takeout food ordered on Super Bowl Sunday is pizza (Source:  WPDE).  That got us to wondering here at GeoMetrx what the pizza playbook looks like between New York and Boston.  We sunk our teeth into our Simmons Consumer Behavior database to find out.

The top 3 most visited pizza chains in both markets are Pizza Hut, Domino’s and Papa John’s, respectively.   The match-up for patronizing Papa John’s, the NFLs official pizza, reveals Patriot area fans are nearly 20% more likely than Giants area fans to order their pies from Papa John’s.  But there are plenty of other teams in the hunt for a piece of the pie this Sunday.  Round Table Pizza shows the highest propensity for intercepting calls for pizza in both markets.  Other top performers are Sbarro in the New York area and Papa Gino’s in the Boston area.

For more fun-filled pizza facts and to find great pizza near you visit Pizza.com.  If you’d like to find out more about our Consumer Behavior databases and how to use the information to enhance your business decisions just give us call at 1.888.848.4436.

Franchise Opportunities for Veterans

Thousands upon thousands of young men and women who have so heroically served in the U.S. military are beginning to come home in droves, and many of them are joining the ranks of the unemployed.  As of December 2011, 7.7%, or 857,000 of our veterans, were unemployed according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  In this post, we’d like to share with you an organization that is working hard to help this very deserving group of men and women by providing franchise opportunities for veterans.

The International Franchise Association (IFA) is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide.  In 1991, the IFA founded the VetFran initiative, a program which proudly boasts that “…more than 400 IFA franchisor member companies offer  financial incentives, training and mentoring to veterans interested in small business ownership and/or a career path in franchising. Since the program’s inception, more than 2,100 veterans have become franchise business owners through VetFran.” In fact, according to a recent study conducted for the IFA’s Educational Foundation, one out of every seven franchise businesses is owned and operated by a U.S. military veteran, which accounts for more than 66,000 businesses, employing over 815,000 workers, and generating more than $41 billion in GDP.

Some of the factors that contribute to the success of veteran-owned franchises include their strong leadership skills, personal discipline, team player mentality, systematic approach to achieving tasks, openness to receiving training and guidance while following a proven model, and feeling connected to a support structure by being part of a franchise family.

For a list of specific franchise ownership incentives for veterans visit the VetFran Directory.  Whether veteran or civilian-owned, all franchisors can improve their business by using tools that will help in mapping their success.  Give us a call today to learn more about how GeoMetrx can help your business improve.

How to Save Map Projects in GeoMetrx

Demonstrates exactly how to create, save, and reopen map projects in GeoMetrx. Other GeoMetrx features covered include; thematic mapping, changing or adding new map symbols, and map customization. Video length is 4:11.

Resale Shops: A Booming Industry

As one of the franchise industries to watch in 2012, let’s take a closer look at Resale Shops. Ever since the economy turned south, consumers have been turning in increasing numbers to resale and thrift shops in just about every durable good category.  The resale industry is booming as consumer’s look for ways to stretch each and every dollar further.  New stores continue to enter the industry while established businesses are opening additional locations.  According to NARTS, the Association of Resale Professionals, the industry has experienced a 7% growth in the number of stores for each of the past two years.  There are currently more than 30,000 resale, consignment and thrift shops in the United States.

As the recession continues and our economic future remains uncertain, consignment store shoppers are a cross section of all age groups and socio-economic classes.  It’s become quite chic to shop resale, and it no longer carries the stigma it once did.  Retro is the new black!  According to NARTS, “…about 16-18% of Americans will shop at a thrift store during a given year. For consignment/resale shops, it’s about 12-15%. To keep these figures in perspective, consider that during the same time frame; 11.4% of Americans shop in factory outlet malls, 19.6% in apparel stores and 21.3% in major department stores.”

The flexibility over inventory control for the resale business owner is a huge advantage. Reactions to market trends are immediate with the ability to adjust pricing and modify policy on which items to accept and which to turn away.  Unlike traditional retail shops that often purchase bulk quantities and rack up inventory for months in advance, resellers turn-around most of their goods within weeks. And there seems to be no shortage of goods to supply the growing demand by the value-conscience consumer, as some folks are letting go of bigger ticket items and designer clothing in an effort to close their debt gap or simply protect their nest egg.

The location of a resale shop can be critical to its success or failure. A recent industry trend for resale shop owners is to establish locations with greater foot traffic as well as those that are clustered near similar businesses. When like shops open up within close proximity of one another shopping becomes an event for consumers who will actually drive further distances to reach their shopping destination.  Factory outlet shops and antique rows are good examples where shoppers can visit a variety of stores with a common theme that carry varying merchandise.

If you’d like to learn more about business location strategies or franchise territory management, just let us know!

Territory Alignment & Optimization

See how GeoMetrx can be used to automatically create equitable territories (using ZIP Code geographies in the demonstration) based on any demand data variable and rules you define using the Territory Optimization module. Video length is 4:55.

GeoMetrx Territory Manager Overview

A short promotional video which provides a good overview of the GeoMetrx Territory Manager capabilities. Video length is 1:40.

Franchise Industry Shows Glimmer of Recovery – WSJ.com

The U.S. franchising industry is poised for modest growth in 2011, according to two new studies to be released this week.

Franchise businesses in most sectors are expected to add more store units and employees this year, concludes an analysis produced by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers on behalf of the International Franchise Association, a trade group in Washington. PWC attributes the positive outlook in large part to the recently enacted tax and unemployment benefits package, which includes payroll and income tax cuts.

[franchise]Getty Images

The study projects that the number of franchise units will grow 2.5% in 2011 to 784,802. Last year, franchise units increased just 0.3%, and their ranks declined 3.6% in 2009.

Franchises are also expected to create 194,000 new jobs in 2011, a 2.5% increase that will bring total employment to an estimated 7.8 million. Franchises expanded their payrolls 0.6% in 2010 after shedding 2.8% of their employees in 2009.

Economic output—the gross value of the goods and services a business produces—is projected to grow 4.7%, or $33.3 billion, for franchise businesses, reaching an estimated $739.9 billion in 2011, PWC said. Last year, economic output rose 3.4%, following a 0.3% increase in 2009.

By sector, all business lines except business services are projected to increase in store volume and employment this year. The largest gains in these areas are expected in lodging, automotive and retail products/services. In terms of economic output, industries expected to see the greatest increases are automotive, commercial and residential services, personal services and retail food.

Business is starting to improve for Driven Brands Inc. and its six franchise brands, which include Maaco and Meineke, said Ken Walker, chairman and chief executive of the Charlotte, N.C., auto-repair company. Following a relatively flat 2009, Driven Brands’s revenue increased 3.1% last year, and Mr. Walker anticipates a 5% increase in 2011 sales. “We’re going to see a good period,” he said. “I am very confident.”

Meanwhile, a recent survey of 142 franchisees by the franchise association also suggests that 2011 will be a better year for their businesses. Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they expect “moderate to significant” increases in same-store sales over the next 12 months, while 40% said they expect to see an improvement in business conditions. Forty-five percent said they expect to increase employment “moderately to significantly.”

To be sure, survey respondents also noted that obtaining sufficient funding remains a major hurdle to success. Thirty percent said lack of credit has had a “significant impact on ability to expand business,” and 25% reported it has had a “moderate impact.” In addition, 42% of franchisees said they’ve seen “no improvement” in access to credit in recent months, while 28% reported a “moderate improvement.” Just 18% said that a lack of credit had “no impact” on their business and that they were able to obtain financing, while 27% said their business did not require any financing.

“Without more consistent access to credit, franchisees can’t grow,” said Steve Caldeira, president and CEO of the association. “We’re beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel, but clearly again we have a long way to go.”

These days, only about 40% of BrightStar Care franchisees rely on bank loans to get started, add more units or make renovations, whereas three years ago just about all of them tapped home-equity loans for such purposes, said Shelly Sun, chief executive officer. Today, 40% of the home health-care company’s 195 franchisees nationwide are also funded by owners’ retirement savings, and 20% operate with cash investments, she said.

BrightStar Care earned $100 million in system-wide sales last year, up from $52 million in 2009. The company projects sales of $175 million in 2011, plus the opening of 86 more locations. Its corporate staff increased to 53 people last year and “because of the [extension of] the Bush tax cuts, we plan to add 15 additional personnel in 2011,” Ms. Sun said. She further attributes the company’s expansion to a growing preference among seniors for home-based health care rather than relocation to a nursing home or assisted-living facility.

To help prospective franchisees get started, some franchisors have begun offering in-house financing options in recent years. Nadiene Raia said she launched a Money Mailer franchise last September by borrowing roughly $30,000 of the $40,000 total cost from the direct-mail advertiser. The loan includes the option to defer interest-free payments for the first two years.

Ms. Raia had previously been laid off from a publisher position at an alternative weekly newspaper in Sarasota, Fla., and she said she didn’t bother to seek out a bank loan because she lacked a track record of owning a business. “For somebody that’s looking to get involved in franchising and doesn’t have the capital, this is the way to go,” she said of the option she chose.

Article by Sarah E Needleman at the Wall Street Journal.  01/12/11

5 Strategies to Maximize your Franchise Sales

Franchise organizations today are faced with a serious challenge, to produce more with less.  How does your organization manage this issue?  Don’t worry, it’s a rhetorical question, one to get the wheels turning.   I am sharing 5 strategies below that I have regularly encountered over the years from listening to clients and mapping my own territories.

1.   Define your Territories Before they are Sold.

This may seem easier said than done but there is nothing worse that knowing you could have squeezed more franchise territories into a market than you did.  A market that can handle 3 territories but only contains 2 is a major revenue loss.  By proactively creating accurately defined territories, i.e.: 50,000 Owner Occupied Housing Units, you not only portray confidence in a territory’s success based on a standard benchmark, but you also create a demand.  If you can create just 1 additional territory to maximize revenue, you win.

2.   Utilize the Most Current Internal and External Data.

In today’s economy, many major markets are in constant flux so make sure you have access to reliable, up-to-date data.  There are multiple sources for updated Census Demographics and Business Data that can prove invaluable to making sure your sites or territories are located effectively to generate expected profits.  You likely have internal company data, such as revenue by zip or customer sales data that can help predict future results. Make sure you use it.

3.   Do Your Own Site Research.

Many Franchise owners count on their brokers to provide site reports around locations they are proposing to you.  Brokers often have access to demographic data and mapping services but do you know how up-to-date it is?  Isn’t your broker trying to sell or lease a property and make a commission?  The cost for choosing the wrong location can cost more than lost sales from that location, and it is a strike against you when other franchise prospects inquire about the success of your concept.

4.   Create Territories by Utilizing Specific Geographies.

Territories that are defined by specific geographies, such as ZIP codes, counties, or standard Census boundaries are much easier to control and gauge.  Data is almost always tied to specific geographic areas and it is much easier to manage expectations with the demographic make-up of those territories.  Territories defined by a set of landmarks, like highways and rivers are much more difficult to measure and therefore very challenging to predict success.

5.   Maintain Easy Access to Data.

With so many tools and resources available to us keeping things organized is extremely important.  When it comes to territory data and demographic data it is critical to have easy access to it.  If a potential franchise prospect wants to see a breakdown of the territory under consideration you should be in a position to provide it within minutes.  This not only saves you valuable time putting it all together but it decreases the possibility for the prospect to continue shopping elsewhere.  Data should be easily accessible and transferable which makes it much easier for the client to access it on the other end.

GeoMetrx.com is a powerful web-application that will allow you to apply the 5 strategies above.  For more information please contact Rich @ 888.848.4436 x4, go to www.geometrx.com or request a demonstration/free trial — Click Here

Stay Grounded,

Rich Mithoff

Is your Franchise Expanding Internationally?

Franchise Companies are growing quickly these days and much of this growth is seen internationally.  Now with growth comes growing pains which we all know is a normal part of business.   Don’t jump to any blind conclusions…when it comes to marketing, site selection and territory mapping, knowing what applications to use and how can be quite  a daunting task.

With different countries comes different geographies and different data.  Take for example the widely known United States five digit ZIP code.  Everybody can identify with their home ZIP.  On a side note, the ZIP code was introduced in 1963 and ZIP stands for Zone Improvement Plan.  The ZIP code is a common geography for Franchisors to define their territories in the States.  They are easy to use with demographic data or with your own company data.  But when crossing the border north into Canada you will need to find another option.    A similar geography in Canada is the Postal Code, a 6-digit code made up of letters and numbers, but they are MUCH smaller.  Boundaries for the first three characters of the Canadian Postal Code (known as the FSA or Forward Sortation Area) are most similar in size to US 5-digit ZIP codes.  Every country has their own unique geographies…what also compounds the challenge of marketing, site selection and territory mapping is the data.

Data is a key component to any marketing and mapping efforts.  What are your data sources? Are they reputable? How often are they updated? What is the source?  In the US, the dicennial Census takes place every ten years.  Currently in process the 2010 Census Data will not be widely available until early 2012 at best.  Data providers are still using the 2000 Census and its updates to create current and more “marketing friendly” estimates and projections.  Most companies release annual updates and one, our partner PopStats, releases quarterly updates.  The Canadian Census is performed every 5 years, with the most recent being 2006.

Now, throw in Europe, Asia, Latin America and other regions around the world in and it can get pretty confusing.  GeoMetrx has access to most of the more industrialized countries and datasets and they are all capable of accurate site analysis, territory mapping and alignment and other marketing capabilities for the internationally expanding franchise.

Stay Grounded,

Rich

If you are interested in our service, or just want to ask me a few questions regarding international data sources please feel free to call or email.  My contact info is below.

Rich Mithoff  |  Geographic Enterprises  |  888.848.4436 x4  |  rich@geo-e.com

New and Established Franchises Benefit from the GeoMetrx Territory Manager

I never thought such a simple, logical feature such as viewing data at a ZIP Code level would be such a tremendous benefit to franchise companies.  That is a recurring theme I hear on a daily basis, “can you help me create territories by zipcodes based on populations segments of 200,000?”  From Junk Removal to Children’s Services, Franchise Developers  save  money and countless hours by creating territories and managing them online.  There are a few of these applications out there but I am not aware of any that are web-based and at the price point GeoMetrx is…starting at just $1990 a year.  Very well equipped subscriptions are generally less than $5000 a year.

How can Franchise Developer use GeoMetrx for Territory Management?

  • Import and Export territory structures including geography based (postal-code) or point based (retail stores, home based businesses, hospitals)
  • Build new Territories accurately and equitably in just minutes
  • Balance Territories based on hundreds of demographic variables (Households, Income, Owner Occupied Housing Units, etc.)
  • Create customized territory maps within GeoMetrx or utilize our Google Earth/Maps export
  • Minimize travel-times
  • Run real time scenarios for potential clients and distribute territory reports to their owners instantly via the web

Want to see GeoMetrx in action?  Please click here to request a personalized demonstration.


Some images below will give you a sneak peek into the GeoMetrx Territory Manager (click to enlarge)

Territory Manager Interface

Territory Manager Interface

Dallas Territory

Google Earth Export

Balancing Chart

Balancing Chart

Effective territory management is critical to maximize revenue, why limit an are to 3 territories when it can support 4?  The cost of leaving a territory on the table is a loss of thousands of dollars.   GeoMetrx is the application that can ensure maximum profitability.

Don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions.  To schedule a web-demonstration,  click here.

Stay grounded,

Rich Mithoff    |    888.848.4436 x4