Last week I shared images from a wedding I went to on the campus of a defunct college. The old college and all its buildings will be converted into all sorts of things from hotels to distilleries and schools. Directly across the street is the small town of Poultney Vermont. It got me thinking if the campus did find new life what would be a good business to build in its shadow and what would you want to avoid.
Opening a new business is always an exciting yet challenging endeavor. One of the most important decisions is choosing the right location. The wrong spot can spell disaster, while the ideal area can set your business up for success.
Let’s see if AI can help us figure this out as it provides some innovative new ways to analyze neighborhoods and find the perfect place to set up shop.
Here are 4 tips to leverage AI and make data-driven and not just instinctual decisions about where and what businesses to
- Use foot traffic data. AI services like Placer.ai gather anonymous foot traffic analytics. You can see how many people walk past a certain storefront on a typical day and view patterns over time. This quantifies neighborhood visibility and helps you estimate potential customers.
- Analyze customer demographics. Tools like Esri Tapestry Segmentation use AI to classify neighborhoods into 67 unique market segments based on socioeconomic and demographic factors. You can target areas populated by your ideal customers.
- Track grand openings. Leverage real-time data from providers like Factual on newly opened businesses to identify up-and-coming areas. Be an early entrant in the next hot neighborhood.
- Analyze social media chatter. Social listening platforms like Awario incorporate AI to detect brand mentions and keywords related to your business type across social networks. Look for areas where relevant discussions are already occurring.
- Evaluate neighboring businesses. Tools like Foursquare have AI algorithms that analyze the category and customer demographics of nearby businesses. You can identify what’s missing from an area or spot potential partnerships. For example, opening a coffee shop next to offices or a gym may tap into built-in foot traffic. Clustering with complementary businesses like restaurants can also draw combined customers.
Additionally, you’ll still want to see, vehicle traffic, and study commercial land values.
With the right AI tools at your disposal, you can quantify critical factors like visibility, accessibility, growth prospects, competition, and cost when choosing where to set up your new business. Take advantage of these innovative technologies to make a data-driven decision and give your company the best possible chance to succeed.