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A Service of Geographic Enterprises

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Site Location Analysis

Median Income vs. Median Rent Heat Maps

Median Income vs. Median Rent Heat Maps – business site location analysis tools

Income Rent BalanceWe hear a lot about the real estate market these days and how fluctuating costs are impacting local economies. If your business relies on minimum wage employees, for example, it will be more difficult to maintain a workforce if located in an area with high rents. Likewise, your business needs to be accessible to consumers who can afford your products or services. Furthermore, locating your business in a debt-strapped area could suppress earnings potential.

Kwelia, a company that provides competitive intelligence for the real estate market has created an interactive online heat mapping service at the census tract level. The heat maps allow you to quickly visualize median income, median rent per sq/ft., and most importantly, the combined effect of median rent as a percentage of median income. The maps are available for nearly every metro market in the U.S.

Showcased below is the median income / median rent for the southern portion of the Silicon Valley. The highlighted track (pointing cursor) includes Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, CA. The median rental share of income in this region is a comfortable 16.6%. San Joaquin Valley to the east, on the other hand, at 46.2%, leaves residents with much less disposable income.

Median Income:

Source: Kwelia.com

Source: Kwelia.com

Median Rent/sq.ft.

Source: Kwelia.com

Source: Kwelia.com

Median Rental Share of Income

Source: Kwelia.com

Source: Kwelia.com

We’ve zoomed in on this same area and applied our GeoMetrx 2013 household income by census tract with an overlay of the top computer and electronic product manufacturers (annual sales over $1 million). You can see there is certainly a lot of competition for well-qualified employees which draws talent to the area and keeps salary levels (e.g. income levels) competitive as well. There is a symbiotic relationship between business activity and the real estate market. However, as the balance shifts between these two forces, the impact can be enormous as we saw in 2008, and the years following as the real estate market has struggled to regain its footing amid the long-running economic downturn.

2013 Median HH Income by Census Tract -- Top Computer & Electronic Product Manufacturers (NAICS 3341)w/Sales $1MM+Source: GeoMetrix.com

2013 Median HH Income by Census Tract —
Top Computer & Electronic Product Manufacturers (NAICS 3341)w/Sales $1MM+
Source: GeoMetrix.com

For a complete retail site selection analysis, consumer profiling and/or market analysis, our GeoMetrx web-based mapping software is loaded with rich demographic data, competitive business data and much more. If you are planning to start a new business, open additional offices or retail locations, or expand your franchise offerings, GeoMetrx can help maximize your decision making portfolio. Call us at 1.888.848.4436 for more information or request a custom demo today.

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.

Air Quality – Measurement Industry Opportunities: The Sky is the Limit

Air Quality – Measurement Industry Opportunities:
The Sky is the Limit

Air PollutionOn December 31, 1970, President Richard Nixon signed into law the Clean Air Act intended to “foster the growth of a strong American economy and industry while improving human health and the environment.” In the 40 years plus since, the EPA has been working to improve air quality across the nation. While significant improvement has been made in many of our cities and communities, there remains much more to be done, and opportunity abounds. Read on…

Even before the passing of the Clean Air Act, the government introduced the AQI (Air Quality Index). The AQI is a measurement of how clean or polluted the air is, along with any potential health impacts, based on these five major air pollutants:AQI Map 082713

  • ground-level ozone,
  • particle pollution
    / particulate matter
  • carbon monoxide
  • sulfur dioxide
  • nitrogen dioxide

AQI Table

In the dog days of summer, for those living in areas particularly susceptible to poor air quality, daily air quality index warnings are broadcast through the media and along heavily traveled thoroughfares. Electronic signs encourage residents to drive less, carpool if Air Quality Alertpossible, and reduce overall energy consumption. Daily AQI ratings and forecasts for over 300 cities, can be found here on the EPA’s AirNow website. Links to more detailed state and local air quality data are provided as well.

What does all this have to do with business opportunities? We’re glad you asked… “Next Generation Air Measuring,” that’s what! Traditionally, measuring air quality has required complex and expensive equipment. However, the EPA states, “…as air quality management problems become more complex, there is a need for enhanced air quality and exposure monitoring capabilities.”

Monitoring personal air quality in community settings is of growing interest to the EPA. The door to innovation is wide open. The EPA is collaborating with not only other government agencies and academic groups, but also with community groups and innovative do-it-yourselfers. This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to get in on the ground floor to develop and market the next cutting edge technology solution company.

Innovation Quotes

Entrepreneurs with an interest in developing affordable air sensors, as well as creative ways for the public to interact with the equipment, are in demand. From cell phone apps to wearable sensors to mobile sensor platforms, such as this solar-powered, air-monitoring bench at a library in Durham, NC, and beyond, the “sky is the limit.” Innovation and entrepreneurship in air quality measurement tools will benefit the health and wealth of our nation, and further the achievement of the goals of the Clean Air Act set nearly a half century ago.

Particular areas of interest in air sensor research at the EPA include:

Air Measurement ResearchTable

For any current or prospective entrepreneurs interested in the air quality measurement industry, GeoMetrx can provide an in-depth site 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.

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.

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/

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.

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.

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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!

GeoMetrx Map Templates

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