Mapping Franchise Territories

Is mapping franchise territories easy?

“If I’ve got a Collins atlas and a felt tip pen, I can just map franchise territories myself can’t I?”

Mapping your franchise territories across the UK (or EU, USA, etc.) is an essential action that looks like it shouldn’t be hard. However, getting territories wrong leaves you with unhappy franchisees and an uphill struggle, whereas getting it right sets you up for a strong and thriving franchise.

Target your customersThe quick and easy way is to pick existing geographic boundaries such as counties or postcode areas but the real question you need to address is; do these areas have the same income opportunity? If you allocate territories that haven’t the same earning potential you’re going to end up with unhappy franchisees. Some franchisees will end up doing very well but your business will be damaged by others who can’t make it work whatever they do.

Franchise territories must offer equal business opportunities

What do we mean by equal business opportunities?

As you know, your services are aimed at a specific market. Some markets are quite broad, such as, say, all home owners, and some are tightly defined, such as particular types of business. Whatever your target market you need to make sure that there’s enough possible business in every franchise territory so that all your franchisees have a chance of doing well.

So, creating franchise territories is all about mapping areas of equal business opportunity for each franchisee. This isn’t the same as just creating franchise territories of the same size, because your potential customers aren’t usually spread evenly across the country. You need to produce maps of your franchise territories that give equal chances for success.

Franchise areas based on equal populationsThe result? You build successful franchise territories, and successful territories make for a successful franchise.

There’s an added bonus to you in mapping territories based on equal opportunity – if customer numbers should be the same you’ll find it much easier to compare your franchisees’ performance. You can even use you maps to show this. You’ll be able to manage your franchise much more effectively.

How should I map my franchise territories?

Strategic mapping for FranchisesTo make a successful franchise, the sooner you think about how your customers are located across the country the easier it is to create your franchise template.

For example, this map shows where the UK’s population is mostly concentrated and highlights how a simple county or postcode based split would leave some very big differences between areas.

A good franchise territory mapping company will consider your target market and then use the best and most relevant data available to build territories based on balancing opportunities. Your territories might then be based on population numbers plus store numbers plus journey times plus … i.e. the combination that makes sense for your franchise.

I’ve already got some franchises in place

It’s never too late to review your franchise areas. Indeed, it’s essential to do this on a regular basis as new housing, industry and competitors evolve and change over time. You might be able to split up some franchise areas into two or more or resolve some outstanding issues. It provides a great opportunity to take stock and rethink your growth strategy.


In summary, tailored franchise mapping lets you:

  • Map your franchise into areas of equal commercial opportunity;
  • Create “Goldilocks” territories of the right size – not too big, not too small;
  • Maintain a balance between territories over time;
  • Easily compare performances of your territories.

Find out more on our Franchise Territory Mapping page



Keith R Oates