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  • Downtown Market Analysis | Local & Regional Economic Analysis
    base with a willingness to spend A more detailed analysis of retail spending in a community is provided in the retail and service business opportunities section of this toolbox Retail sales measurements can collected from private data providers or calculated from information found in the U S Economic Census which is published every five years Tax Revenue Sales tax revenue is another good measurement of consumption While some goods are sales tax exempt most consumer goods require sales tax to be paid Sales tax revenue as collected by county or state shows the relative level of economic strength within the region measured Furthermore when broken down by industry sales tax data shows the level of consumption within said industry Higher levels of sales tax revenue indicate higher levels of consumption a result of a strong economy and consumer base Sales tax revenue can be found through your state department of revenue or a local taxing authority if applicable Tax Structure and Incentives Tax structure and incentives can provide lucrative opportunities for new business growth An economic analysis should highlight the state and local tax structure and emphasize any tax incentive programs relevant to business Information on the state tax structure and tax incentives for businesses can be found through these resources Local chamber of commerce County or regional economic development corporation State department of revenue State department of workforce or economic development Real Estate Activity Real estate activity analysis incorporates several different real estate segments which are determined based on intended use These segments include the markets for office retail industrial and housing space Office Market Understanding real estate trends in the market for office space can highlight areas of opportunity for expansion of white collar office accommodations High vacancy rates and low absorption rates are typically negative indicators however some tenants may find this to be an opportunity Knowing the type of office space is also important Office space is segmented by classes A B or C based on their quality Class A space usually is most competitive and has the highest rent typically the result of a good location condition management etc Class C space in contrast is typically lower rent space in older buildings Important office market data includes Gross available area Class composition A B and C Median rent per square foot Vacancy and absorption rates Retail Market Information about commercial real estate locations size growth and retail mix serve as a measure of retail activity Businesses want reassurance of the retail market vitality in an area Providing this information to prospective retailers will ensure they are confident with a location Important retail market information includes Size growth and type of shopping centers Gross leasable area Tenant mix number of stores anchor stores Frontage visibility and parking Industrial Market Downtown industrial space is mostly used light for manufacturing or warehousing While the requirements and desired attributes vary based on intended use people looking to purchase or rent industrial real estate often focus on size location zoning and available utilities Important factors include Location relative to transportation infrastructure Land zoning costs and taxes Other uses of the district manufacturing warehousing flex space Available utilities Housing Market The development of new housing whether it is single family homes or multi family buildings requires special analysis as presented in the housing section of the toolbox Many factors play into the feasibility of new construction or building rehabilitation Building permits and new construction often indicate a strengthening economy as do low vacancy and high absorption rates Essential housing market data includes Legal attributes and zoning restrictions Cost information Median home value rents property tax average utilities Vacancy and Absorption rates Owner versus Rental property Permits and New Construction Physical information average square foot rentable area waterfront etc This data is available through city and state sources In addition the U S Census Bureau s Building Permits data reports construction statistics by place and by county on new privately owned residential housing units authorized by building permits The U S Census Bureau also provides additional data about home ownership housing affordability housing vacancy market absorption of apartments and housing patterns including residential segregation to see how affordable it is to buy or rent in various communities Transportation Patterns Physical transportation infrastructure facilitates business development by transporting materials goods and people into and out of a community This infrastructure may include the waterways and ports railways airports and highways that connect a community other regions Many smaller communities rely heavily on road traffic to attract visitors and business Traffic Volume Understanding street and highway traffic volume is essential to strategic business placement Retailers typically seek locations on major arteries and often rely on minimum average daily traffic counts to survive More specifically businesses such as gasoline stations convenience stores and fast food restaurants choose locations based on traffic volume ease of access and visibility from high traffic streets and highways Conversely while high traffic counts are desirable extreme traffic congestion can be a deterrent to shoppers That is high traffic may hinder visibility parking and pedestrian friendliness While some private data providers sell traffic counts this information can often be collected through statewide Department of Transportations Transit Many citizens of larger communities rely on public transportation to travel between residential areas and business shopping and entertainment districts Transit systems provide transportation for both customers and employees For this reason public transportation activity is important to businesses Information on transit routes can be found through your local transit authority Parking A common issue with downtown business districts is parking Poorly designed parking will deter people from frequenting downtown For this reason many businesses take parking into consideration when deciding where to locate Parking information is often found on local city websites Commuting Patterns Commuting patterns highlight counties with a strong economic base which are able to attract workers from surrounding regions Conversely they also demonstrate which areas might lack local employment opportunities for their residents These bedroom communities offer a greater number of

    Original URL path: http://fyi.uwex.edu/downtown-market-analysis/understanding-the-market/local-regional-economic-analysis/ (2016-02-18)
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  • Downtown Market Analysis | Business Owners Survey
    and Computer system can go down or be unreliable Business Visitations Business visitations are a technique in which two member teams visit all downtown business owners and ask questions Use business visitations if you want to collect detailed business information and perspectives visitations also leave the owner feeling the most appreciated Visitation teams should include a mix of service and retail members who are non competitors of the business visited The team should call ahead to set up an appointment explain how the visit will help the owner s business estimate how long the visit should last and ask for participation Teams must ensure the confidentiality of the information obtained During a business visitation team members ask prepared questions and document the answers The best business visitation programs have quality interviewers who are well trained use similar techniques and are skilled listeners Pros High rate of survey completion Can ask followup questions explore answers with respondents Can assist respondents with unfamiliar words or questions and Yield more qualitative data Cons Can be difficult to reach certain populations Expensive and time consuming requires many resources Some respondents may feel reluctant to share personal information or beliefs Need trained interviewers Must find a suitable place to conduct an interview Interviewer bias verbal or non verbal Focus Groups Focus groups bring together a representative group of business owners for organized discussions to gain information about their views and experiences of owning a business downtown or in another business district Use focus groups if you want to collect rich and deep business information You should personally invite 7 to 11 representative business owners to a 90 minute meeting by telling them why a focus group will help their business Hold the meeting in a comfortable room and provide refreshments An experienced interviewer or moderator should facilitate the dialogue and new idea development At the end thank participants through gifts coupons or other tokens of appreciation For more information see the Focus Group section of this toolbox Pros Great for pre testing initial ideas Can generate explore and identify key ideas concepts Helps you better understand your population customer base Can read non verbal feedback Aids in formal survey development can assist respondents with unfamiliar words or questions Can ask followup and clarifying questions as they arise Can explore related and unanticipated topics as they arise and Good for identifying themes and capturing ideas Cons Potential for bias due to small group size Require trained interviewers or moderators Moderator may influence quality of data Participants may feel reluctant to share personal information or beliefs Cannot necessarily generalize findings to the broad population thus Unable to make major decisions based on the information provided and Must find a suitable place to conduct focus group Combination is Best Most communities are best served by using a combination of survey techniques A written survey would give you your best chance of getting comprehensive information from all businesses in the downtown or other business district under study Adding a telephone survey would provide a quick way to obtain simple followup information from those same businesses Employing the online method accommodates specific and comprehensive approaches and does not require the help of as many volunteers as telephone and written surveys Adding business visitations would allow you to interact with business owners clarify questions and expand answers Adding focus groups would allow you to delve deeper into business owner attitudes What may determine your choice of a technique are the complexity of the questions you want to ask and the importance of a 100 percent participation rate Return to top Business Owner Survey Questions Once you have selected a survey technique or techniques you must determine what questions you want to ask Because business owners will want to spend a limited amount of time on a survey you must design yours to ask only the most important questions Unlike typical written surveys where respondents may remain anonymous business owners must be identified so you can give them followup assistance This is called an open business owner survey Open surveys must avoid sensitive areas such as income and expenditures You can also design a second anonymous business owner survey to collect sensitive information Information Sought in an Open Business Owner Survey The following are kinds of information organizations such as economic development associations chambers of commerce and the like typically seek in an open business owner survey Use this list as a guide to formulating your questions You will probably think of additional questions your goal is to gather information that is most important to your market analysis efforts Contact Information Needs and Opportunities Assessment determine If they are experiencing any business challenges What information or assistance they or their employees could use How useful are your organization s existing products and services to their business How useful would products and services proposed by your organization be to their business What other business incentives or assistance have they used or plan to use Their attitudes about being a business owner in your community How satisfied they are with their present location If they have plans to expand or reduce operations and If they or the building owner are considering any building improvement projects Business and Workforce Data determine Their business or professional activity code NAICS How long they have been in operation How long they have owned the business Whether their business owns or rents its space How many square feet are devoted to sales production office and storage or are unused How many people they employ Where their customers typically park Where their employees typically park and What percentage of their employees lives in the local community Market and Marketing Data determine Their hours of operation and their thoughts on store hours Their busiest times of the week Their busiest months of the year How many customers clients visit their business per week Community events that increased their foot traffic or sales volume Top zip codes from which their business draws customers Percentage of their annual advertising budget spent on various media Their target market Radio stations publications and other media included in their annual advertising budget Products and or services that best differentiate their business from the competition Their toughest competition Traits that make their business more competitive Their target price point Downtown businesses that complement their business the most The biggest non work reasons people stop downtown Other businesses they would most like to see locate downtown and Community assets they would like to see developed expand existing assets or create new ones Information Sought in an Anonymous Business Owner Survey The ultimate goal for an anonymous business owner survey is to calculate sales per square foot sales per employee and rent per square foot These statistics are calculated and used by chains franchises and shopping centers for business planning but are not readily available for small independent downtown businesses By pooling and summarizing this information you can maintain confidentiality and still tell your downtown businesses how their sales and rent compare to similar businesses You can also tell them how their rent compares to the average rent in your downtown What s more you will also have generated valuable statistics for expansion and recruitment analysis and for business planning Use the following numbers to calculate the preceding statistics Net sales Annual rent Gross leasable area in square feet Number of full time equivalent FTE employees and Wages Return to top Administering the Business Owner Survey The best way to ensure successful administration of any project including a business owner survey is to develop and follow a work plan Work plans are a fundamental strategy employed by Main Street and downtown revitalization organizations across the United States Below we outline tasks identified for a hypothetical business owner written survey work plan Many of the steps assume you are using the Standardized Business Owner Written Survey developed by the Wisconsin Main Street Program see Appendix 1 Step 1 Review Examples from Other Communities Many communities have administered a business owner written survey and most are more than happy to share their methods and results There is little advantage in trying to design your business owner written survey from scratch If your community is like most you will lack volunteers with significant survey design experience It is easy to make costly mistakes If a question is poorly worded it will yield less useful or even incorrect information If your community has administered a business owner written survey in the past consider using some of the same questions in order to see if answers and thus businesses have changed over time For answers to be useful questions must be unambiguous and should not lead the business owner to a particular response Asking about existing behavior is the best way to predict future behavior For easier analysis and interpretation to the extent possible ask multiple choice rather than open ended questions Match questions on demographics with census categories so they can be compared Even subtle differences in the wording of similar questions will prevent comparisons This advice is not meant to discourage you from administering your own business owner written survey but we do encourage you to be cautious when writing questions Step 2 Accept Reject Standardized Questions The Standardized Business Owner Written Survey in Appendix 1 includes questions that Wisconsin Main Street Program staff consider important in a comprehensive downtown market analysis and useful for business retention expansion and recruitment You are free to eliminate questions that are not important to your efforts Keep in mind that each question you use as designed will allow you to compare answers from with other communities that used the same question This cross community comparison will enhance the power of your survey You should not modify the wording of a question without good reason If you believe questions should be modified please contact the Wisconsin Main Street Program so we can consider revising the standardized survey When reviewing standardized questions for inclusion or omission from your survey remember that you will want to pair some with questions from your consumer survey The paired questions allow for comparisons between the perceptions attitudes and behaviors of business owners and their potential customers Step 3 Draft Customized Questions Always customize any borrowed survey questions to fit your unique local needs The Standardized Business Owner Written Survey provided includes questions you can personalize We also provide instructions for personalization in Appendix Step 4 Draft Introduction An introduction is an important part of any type of survey For written and web based surveys the introduction is usually included in a cover letter For telephone surveys business visitations and focus groups the introduction will be presented verbally The introduction should explain how the survey results will help the owner s business It should also include instructions and an estimate of the amount of time required to take it state that only aggregate data will be made public and ask for participation Step 5 Proofread and Pretest Your Survey It is always good practice to proofread and pretest your survey including your cover letter before full distribution Sometimes volunteers drafting the customized questions get too close to their work and fail to see the obvious Have a few business owners who are active volunteers in your organization but who have not been involved in survey design take your business owner written survey and give you feedback Instructions and questions that are unclear and misinterpreted will show up in a pretest and can be corrected Use the pretest to estimate the time required to take the survey Step 6 Approve Final Survey Eventually editing must come to an end Because distribution and collection require a significant commitment of volunteer time and energy it is important to have the organization or committee overseeing the project formally approve the final version of your business owner written survey Step 7 Answer Distribution Questions To establish your organization and community as business friendly as well as aid in business retention you should aim for a 100 percent response rate for your business owner written survey You can achieve this level of response only by hand delivering surveys to every business owner and personally explaining the importance of their participation Your resources will determine how you accomplish hand delivering the surveys You may need to use volunteers if so it s a good idea to recruit them from owners of businesses or buildings and name some of them block captains Block captains take responsibility for distributing and collecting the surveys to others on their block Once recruited you can also ask block captains to distribute other information as needed to businesses on their block Step 8 Develop Distribution Plan To stay on task you must set deadlines for delivery and collection of your business owner written survey and assign specific responsibilities We also suggest you mail a letter ahead of time announcing future delivery of the survey In addition we recommend announcing survey plans in your organization s newsletter and press releases Business owners will be much more likely to participate if they understand the project and why it will help their business Finally it is important to train the staff or volunteers who will be delivering and collecting the survey Step 9 Print Survey The number of businesses you plan to survey will affect your printing decisions Photocopying surveys is more cost effective for low volumes while professional printing is more cost effective for high volumes If photocopying make sure the quality of the copy is good Stray marks that sometimes show up on poor copies could affect the accuracy of computerized optical mark recognition software Step 10 Distribute Surveys The printed surveys from Step 9 need to be hand delivered to every business owner Although the cover letter explains how the survey will help the owner s business provides instructions and asks for participation volunteers should repeat the same messages at the time of delivery Give business owners an estimate of the amount of time required to complete the survey and when to expect a return visit for collection Step 11 Collect Surveys Again your goal is a 100 percent response rate and that can only be accomplished face to face If a business owner has not completed his or her survey by the deadline the individual collecting surveys should schedule a new return visit with the business owner Obviously this also requires building late returns into your schedule You could also switch techniques at this point and conduct business visitations to survey business owners slow in returning the surveys Step 12 Tabulate Surveys Enter data into a spreadsheet or database program The Wisconsin Main Street Program s Standardized Business Owner Written Survey i s scannable for automatic data entry Step 13 Verify Data and Enter Open Ended Responses While most computerized optical mark recognition software is surprisingly accurate there are always answers that will be unrecognized or incorrectly recorded In addition most programs are still unable to automatically recognize handwriting and open ended responses For these reasons it is necessary for someone preferably a volunteer to verify and correct any errors in scanned answers as well as type hand written open ended answers You will also need to transfer information to the business portion of the downtown inventory including owner contact information business classification primary products and services date established business hours space use and employment information Step 14 Review Raw Data The simplest way to summarize survey results is to report the frequency of each response to each question Step 15 Summarize Interpret Data With frequencies in hand look for patterns in the results that would be useful for your downtown business owners to know Also make note of red flags that might warn of the need for business assistance Finally take care to protect the confidentiality of the information collected Step 16 Review and Print Summary Invest your human and financial resources in quality editing rather than expensive printing Step 17 Distribute Summary Remember to share the results of your survey with your business owners Mail or hand delivers the summary report to them Sharing this information is a valuable business retention activity The report will demonstrate the importance of the time they spent filling out the survey as well as how they might personally benefit from the results Step 18 Repeat Your organization should plan to survey business owners on a regular basis ideally every year but at least every other year For questions where the answer is unlikely to be different from the last time you surveyed include owners former answers and allow them to change it if necessary Use the exact wording for as many questions as possible in order to see if answers and thus businesses have changed over time Return to top Appendix 1 Standardized Business Owner Written Survey Wisconsin Main Street Program The Wisconsin Main Street Program s Standardized Business Owner Written Survey includes 35 questions in the following categories Needs and Opportunities Assessment Questions 1 9 Business and Workforce Data Questions 10 18 and Market and Marketing Data Questions 19 35 You may download the survey in Microsoft Word doc or in Portable Document Format pdf Answers can be entered by hand in either version but the Word version also allows keyboard entry DMA Business Owners Survey Appendix 1 files Files are in a zip folder and include Business Survey WI Mainstreet Template Microsoft Word format OMRBubbles ttf Font file ttf to be copied in user s font folder Example Business Survey WI Mainstreet Template PDF format Instructions for Customizing the Standardized Survey When reviewing standardized questions for inclusion or omission keep in mind that some of the questions in the Standardized Business Owner Written Survey are designed to be used together with questions from the Standardized Consumer Mail Survey The paired questions allow for comparisons between the business owners answers and those of their current or potential customers Overall Insert the name of your community

    Original URL path: http://fyi.uwex.edu/downtown-market-analysis/understanding-the-market/business-owners-survey/ (2016-02-18)
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  • Downtown Market Analysis | Consumer Survey
    nuisance Web Based Surveys Web based online surveys involve programming and emailing a web based set of questions to consumers This method can include many of the same questions and formats as written and telephone surveys Depending on the type of data needed online surveys can be specific or comprehensive in nature These surveys are distributed via a hyperlinked URL embedded in an email and can be sent by one person with one mouse click No volunteers are needed to distribute or administer the survey The email that contains the survey link should also include a statement explaining the purpose of the survey provide instructions and guarantee the anonymity of private information Online surveys are active and available 24 hours a day typically for a week or two You should also include the date and time that a survey is scheduled to close so respondents can complete the survey before the deadline Pros Can be distributed worldwide if necessary at low cost Low distribution costs Order of questions can be preprogrammed Can include links that provide additional explanation Responses are automatically entered in a database and can be easily analyzed or exported Allows easy tracking of user response rate Allows automatic reminders thank yous spell checks and math calculations Allows easy pilot testing Can show respondents a progress bar to indicate the percentage completed and Can be programmed to enforce mandatory response to questions Cons Respondents must have ready access to the internet and be computer literate i e must be able to use a browser a mouse and or keyboard and Computer system can go down or be unreliable Intercept Surveys Intercept surveys are a technique where you stop a representative sample of downtown patrons on the street or at their point of purchase and ask questions Use an intercept survey if you want to collect specific consumer information from users of the downtown The interviewer should briefly state how the survey will help the community estimate how long the survey will take and ask for participation Provide respondents with a writing surface a place to sit down a place for packages refreshments and a shady spot in the summer Allow them to share impressions of their entire shopping trip The best intercept surveys have quality interviewers often working in teams of two using similar techniques Pros Ability to target actual downtown users Immediate downtown experience is fresh in their mind Can target users by location date and time of day Expressive can observe record body language Cheapest with volunteer interviewers Cons More workers required Time consuming Misses nonusers Difficult to get a large sample Focus Groups Focus groups may not technically be survey research but is discussed here as an alternative information collection method Focus groups bring together a representative group of consumers for organized discussions to gain information about their views and experiences of shopping in the trade area and beyond Use focus groups if you want to collect rich and deep business information You should personally invite 7 to 11 representative consumers from specific market segments to a 90 minute meeting by telling them why a focus group will help their community become a better place to live Hold the meeting in a comfortable room and provide refreshments An experienced interviewer or moderator should facilitate the dialogue and new idea development At the end thank participants through gifts coupons or other tokens of appreciation For more information see the Focus Group section of this toolbox Pros Great for pre testing initial ideas Can generate explore and identify key ideas concepts Helps you better understand your population customer base Can read non verbal feedback Aids in formal survey development can assist respondents with unfamiliar words or questions Can ask follow up and clarifying questions as they arise Can explore related and unanticipated topics as they arise and Good for identifying themes and capturing ideas Cons Potential for bias due to small group size Require trained interviewers or moderators Moderator may influence quality of data Participants may feel reluctant to share personal information or beliefs Cannot necessarily generalize findings to the broad population thus Unable to make major decisions based on the information provided and Must find a suitable place to conduct focus group Combination is Best In an ideal world most communities are best served by using a combination of survey techniques A written survey would give you your best chance of getting comprehensive information from a large and representative sample of the population Adding a telephone survey would provide a quick way to obtain simple follow up information from those same consumers Employing the online method accommodates specific and comprehensive approaches and does not require the help of as many volunteers as telephone and written surveys Adding focus groups would allow you to delve deeper into consumer attitudes What may determine your choice of a technique are the complexity of the questions you want to ask and the importance of a high participation rate Return to top Consumer Survey Questions Once you have selected a survey technique or techniques you must determine what questions you want to ask Because respondents will only be willing to spend a limited amount of time any survey must only ask the most important questions Typically mail surveys have the largest set of questions since respondents will be able to spend more time and will be able to work through more complex questions General categories of questions specific to retail shopping have been developed by faculty at Ohio State University Extension These categories are listed below An example retail shopping survey from Ohio State that follows these categories is available for download in Appendix 2 Preference for Shopping Location We want know where people shop in the community and why Characteristics of a Positive Shopping Experience We want to know the shopping district with the most positive shopping characteristics We want to know the shopping mall center with the most positive shopping characteristics Shopping Event Specifics We want to know when shoppers typically shop e g day time duration We want to know the where shoppers most often shop Suggestions for Improving the Shopping Experience We want to know what shoppers would suggest to improve the experience We want to know the degree to which the suggested changed might encourage shoppers to shop more in the area We want to know what potential shoppers believe to be desirable retailers for the area We want to know where shoppers would prefer such new businesses be located Advertising Marketing We want to know what types of advertising shoppers notice the most We want to know the extent to which the types of advertising influence decisions about where shoppers choose to shop General categories of questions that do beyond retail shopping and address a mixture of downtown uses have been developed by staff of the Wisconsin Main Street Program These categories are listed below along with a sample of questions for each A Standardized Written Consumer Survey developed by the Wisconsin Main Street Program containing these and other questions is available for download in Appendix 1 When Where and Why They Go Downtown When they typically shop for non grocery items During which extended hours they are most likely to shop for non grocery items How often they eat breakfast lunch or supper out What restaurants or types of cuisine they would most like to see come to downtown How often they watch movies at a theater or rent movies to watch at home Which events they attended in the last 12 months How often they come downtown What are the biggest non work reasons for them to stop downtown Where they typically park when they drive to downtown How far they live from downtown Where they are more likely to shop for non grocery items near where they work or live How often do they shop at competing locations stores and for what reasons What They Want Downtown What businesses they would most like to see come to downtown Which community assets would they most like to see developed Have they ever lived downtown or have an interest in living there What is their opinion about someday living downtown What type of downtown housing and housing amenities would they prefer If they moved or stayed downtown what size housing unit would they require Market and Marketing Data Their gender Their age By age how many people live in their household Their home zip code Their marital status The highest level of formal education they have completed Their household s annual income Which leisure activities their household participates in What radio stations they listen to most What publications they read most Their level of interest in starting their own business Their attitudes about the downtown and the community Return to top Administrating a Consumer Survey The best way to ensure successful administration of any project including a written consumer survey is to develop and follow a work plan Below are tasks identified for a hypothetical written survey work plan Many of the steps presented here assume that you are using the Standardized Written Consumer Survey developed by the Wisconsin Main Street Program See Appendix 1 Step 1 Review Examples from Other Communities Many communities have administered a written consumer survey and most are more than happy to share their methods and results There is little advantage in trying to design your written consumer survey from scratch If your community is like most you will lack volunteers with significant survey experience It is easy to make costly mistakes If a question is worded incorrectly it will make the answers collected less useful In order for answers to be useful questions must be unambiguous and should not lead the respondent to a particular response For easier analysis and interpretation to the extent possible ask multiple choice rather than open ended questions Also ask about existing behavior since existing behavior is the best predictor of future behavior Match questions on demographics with census categories so that they can be compared Even subtle differences in the wording of similar questions found on surveys from two different communities will prevent comparisons between those two communities This is not meant to discourage you from administering your own written consumer survey but to encourage you to be cautious when writing questions Step 2 Accept Reject Standardized Questions The Standardized Written Consumer Survey provided as an appendix includes questions that the Wisconsin Main Street Program staff believe to be important in a comprehensive downtown market analysis and useful for each point of the Main Street Four Point Approach design organization promotion and economic restructuring You are free to eliminate entire questions that are less important to your immediate efforts in order to shorten the survey When accepting or rejecting standardized questions keep in mind that some of the questions in the Standardized Written Consumer Survey are designed to be used together with questions from the Standardized Business Owner Written Survey see Business Owners Survey section The paired questions allow for comparisons between the perceptions attitudes and behaviors of potential customers and business owners Shorter or simpler surveys such as intercept and phone surveys can use a smaller set of questions often selected from the mail survey set If an intercept survey is conducted ask additional questions that capture thoughts fresh in the minds of shoppers Base added questions on their current shopping trip such as what they intended to purchase vs what was actually purchased Step 3 Draft Customized Questions Always customize any borrowed survey to fit your unique local needs Step 4 Draft Introduction An introduction is an important part of all survey techniques For mail surveys the introduction will be presented through a cover letter For intercept surveys phone surveys and focus groups the introduction will be presented verbally The introduction should briefly explain the purpose of the survey and for whom it is being done It should then explain to the resident that they were selected randomly or in the case of focus groups because they are a member of a specific group It should also give them an estimate of the amount of time required and ask if they are willing to help Step 5 Proofread and Pretest Your Survey It is always good practice to proofread and pretest your survey including your cover letter before full distribution Sometimes volunteers drafting the customized questions get too close to their work and fail to see the obvious Have a few volunteers who are active in your organization but who have not been involved in survey design take your written consumer survey and give you feedback Instructions and questions that are unclear and misinterpreted will show up in a pretest and can be corrected Step 6 Approve Final Survey Eventually editing must come to an end Because distribution and collection requires a significant commitment of volunteer and financial resource it is important to have the organization or committee overseeing the project formally approve the final version of your written consumer survey Step 7 Answer Sampling Questions Once you have completed your survey instrument you must decide who you want to answer your questions For mail and telephone surveys a random sample is best to ensure the sample reflects the demographic makeup of the trade area In order to develop a sampling plan for your survey you must first answer the following questions What is the minimum number of completed surveys that you require What is your expected response rate What is your available budget What is your available work force For mail telephone or intercept surveys collect at least 400 completed surveys to reach a 95 degree of certainty that your sample represents the trade area population or in the case of intercept surveys the downtown user population You can calculate the number of surveys you will need to print and distribute based on the following equation of surveys distributed required minimum number returned expected response rate For example if you target the minimum of 400 completed surveys and expect a response rate of 30 your calculation would be as follows 400 30 1333 surveys distributed Step 8 Develop and Promote your Survey Plan Your financial and human resources will determine the best way to distribute the surveys For mail surveys consider sending the survey directly to a random sample of addresses For phone surveys consider randomly calling names from the phone book For intercept surveys randomly select downtown users at strategic locations dates and times of day For example select every tenth person that walks by your selected location Be sure to explore opportunities for corporate sponsorship to defray postage and printing costs To stay on task you must set dates for distributing and returning your written consumer survey and assign specific responsibilities It is recommended that all survey plans be thoroughly promoted in area newspapers and radio and TV stations prior to carrying out the survey Potential respondents will be much more likely to participate if they understand the project and why it will help the community Be sure to publicly thank your financial sponsors Step 9 Print Survey The number of respondents you plan to survey will affect your printing decisions Photocopying surveys is more cost effective for low volumes while professional printing is more cost effective for high volumes If photocopying make sure the quality of the copy is good Stray marks that sometimes show up on poor copies could affect the accuracy of computerized optical mark recognition software if you are using this method Step 10 Distribute Surveys The printed surveys from Step 9 need to be delivered according to the plan from Step 8 Step 11 Collect Surveys Collecting mail surveys involves providing a means to return the completed survey This can include using a self addressed form or envelope with prepaid postage so they can mail it back or having drop boxes available throughout the community For intercept surveys phone surveys and focus groups collecting involves recording their answers While collecting be careful not to sway the opinion of the respondents Be clear at all times and consistent with all respondents When possible consider offering incentives for participation to improve response rates Finally thank the respondents at the end Step 12 Scan Surveys Once survey responses are collected enter the data into a spreadsheet or database program The Standardized Written Consumer Survey in the appendix is scanable for automatic data entry of multiple choice questions Step 13 Verify Data and Enter Open Ended While most computerized optical mark recognition software is surprisingly accurate there are always answers that will be unrecognized or incorrectly recorded In addition most programs are still unable to automatically recognize handwriting and open ended responses For these reasons it is necessary for someone preferably a volunteer to verify and correct the accuracy of scanned answers and to type open ended answers Step 14 Review Raw Data Once the data is entered it is relatively straightforward to report the frequency of each response to each question Step 15 Summarize Interpret Data Later sort and create demographic or lifestyle groups of the respondents For each group use cross tabulations of the data to reveal their shopping habits and views of the downtown For telephone and mail surveys it is important to check the randomness of the sample selected by comparing their demographic characteristics with data for the entire trade area see Analyzing Customer Demographics and Lifestyle section The overall household income age gender and other characteristics of those surveyed should parallel the percentages for the entire trade area The questions in the surveys will cover a variety of uses downtown including retail dining housing and others In analyzing the results by consumer group keep in mind some of the fundamental questions your survey is attempting to answer Which consumer groups go or use downtown the most What are their preferences likes and dislikes Are their consumer needs and wants being met Are there opportunities for downtown to serve these consumers more

    Original URL path: http://fyi.uwex.edu/downtown-market-analysis/understanding-the-market/consumer-survey/ (2016-02-18)
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  • Downtown Market Analysis | Focus Groups
    recall specific features or details 7 Consider standardized questions Sentence completion conceptual mapping 8 Focus the questions Sequence that goes from general to specific 9 Be cautious of serendipitous questions Consider but be cautious of these Often best to save for last 10 Have appropriate ending questions All things considered question This question asks participants to reflect on the entire discussion and then offer their positions or opinions on topics of central importance to the researchers Example Of all the things we discussed what to you is the most important Summary question After the brief oral summary the question asked is Is this an adequate summary Final question The moderator reviews the purpose of the study and then asks the participants Have we missed anything Sample Focus Group Questions Used in Milwaukee The following focus group questions were designed to obtain the perceptions of several consumer segments that use Downtown Milwaukee as a place to live work and recreate Each set of questions is intended to look at various strengths weaknesses and opportunities for improving the overall downtown environment Several questions are also intended to explore the entrepreneurial environment in Downtown Milwaukee Hospitality Industry Professionals 1 Think back to a situation or situations when you have heard visitors talk about their visit to Milwaukee What positive comments about Milwaukee do you recall 2 Think back to another situation what negative comments about Milwaukee were shared with you What do you recall 3 Is there a difference between the needs of business travelers and leisure travelers If so how do they differ What kind of amenities such as specific retail services dining and entertainment would attract more visitors customers to downtown Milwaukee 4 Compared to other cities what amenities do you think are missing in downtown Milwaukee in other words are there specific products services or experiences that visitors customers are repeatedly asking for 5 Are there any special services or events you offer your visitors customers If so what kind What kind of packages do you offer your customers and are they effective in improving their experience here in Milwaukee 6 What kind of local initiatives in terms of products AND collaborations network would help you to improve your business 7 All things considered if you could change one thing in Milwaukee what would it be Downtown Workers 1 For a moment think about the Greater Milwaukee area Think about places like Brookfield Racine Brown Deer New Berlin and Franklin What do you feel are the advantages of working in Downtown Milwaukee compared to other surrounding communities What are some potential disadvantages 2 Think about other cities around the nation where you may have worked visited or perhaps considered as a place of employment What characteristics of those cities make them more desirable than Downtown Milwaukee as a place to work What characteristics make them less desirable 3 In thinking about these ideal characteristics consider the future of Downtown Milwaukee From your perspective as a downtown employee what could be done in Downtown Milwaukee to create your ideal workplace 4 If you were to start your own business what advantages does Downtown Milwaukee possess as a place to locate a business over other areas 5 What do you feel are some potential barriers to attracting new businesses into Downtown Milwaukee or retaining existing businesses Downtown Residents 1 For a moment think about the Greater Milwaukee area Think about places like Brookfield Wauwatosa Brown Deer New Berlin Mequon and Shorewood What do you feel are the advantages of living in Downtown Milwaukee compared to other surrounding communities What are the disadvantages 2 Think about other downtowns around the region state or nation where you may have lived visited or perhaps thought about living What characteristics of those downtowns make them more desirable than Milwaukee as a place to live What characteristics make them less desirable 3 In thinking about these ideal characteristics consider the future of Downtown Milwaukee From your perspective as a downtown resident what could be done in Downtown Milwaukee to create your ideal home 4 Consider the amenities present in Downtown Milwaukee Amenities could include entertainment and cultural venues dining establishments and shopping opportunities Which amenities most contribute to your quality of life in Downtown Milwaukee What additional amenities would improve Downtown Milwaukee as a place to live 5 From your perspective as a resident what do you feel are some potential barriers to attracting new residents into Downtown Milwaukee or retaining existing residents Young Professionals 1 If you were going to describe Downtown Milwaukee to a new area resident in their 20 s or 30 s what words or phrases would you use 2 From your perspective as a person in your 20 s or 30 s what do you feel are some potential barriers to attracting additional young professionals into Downtown Milwaukee to work live or play 3 Think about other downtowns around the nation where you may have lived worked visited or perhaps thought about living What characteristics of those downtowns might make them more desirable than Downtown Milwaukee as a place to live work or recreate What characteristics might make them less desirable 4 In thinking about these ideal characteristics consider the future of Downtown Milwaukee From your perspective as a person in your 20 s or 30 s what steps could Downtown Milwaukee take to attract more young workers seeking social cultural and employment opportunities Many people in their 20 s or 30 s have considered starting their own business If you were going to start your own business what aspects of Downtown Milwaukee make it a good place to start a business What aspects make it less desirable College Students 1 New students come to Milwaukee every semester If you were describing Downtown Milwaukee to new students what words or phrases first come to mind 2 For a moment think about your college experience in Milwaukee As part of your college experience think about cultural social and shopping opportunities in the Downtown

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  • Downtown Market Analysis | Peer City Comparison
    noted above actual site visits offer an excellent way to learn about the successes of other downtowns and business districts During these visits you should interview business and community leaders Some communities send their study group on bus tours of their peer cities These kinds of events give study group representatives an opportunity to hear perspectives and strategies from peer cities that might be applied to their own communities While many aspects of business district revitalization can be explored in these visits the answers to the following questions are particularly relevant to market analysis How has the peer city downtown or other business district defined a unique market position for itself Specifically what competitive advantages has the peer city cultivated through the goods and services it offers and the consumer groups e g students day workers visitors etc it serves What specific economic development strategies have worked in the peer city downtown or other business district What initiatives have helped expand or recruit businesses including retail First Impressions Program Engaging your community s study group in a First Impressions Program provides a formal process for learning from peer cities The First Impressions Program offered by a number of state Extension services including those at the University of Wisconsin and Ohio State University involves an exchange of visitors that gives each community an outside perspective on retail and service sectors After you identify a willing peer community ask it to send a visitation team to assess your community using criteria such as community attractiveness access to and availability of services and friendliness Then your community should send a similar team to the peer community The primary purpose of the First Impression Program is to inform community leaders about the perceptions that potential shoppers tourists or employers might have of each community Top of page Using Existing Research Conducting a peer city comparison of business districts can be a valuable but time consuming effort It may be more practical for some communities to consult existing research on success factors for downtowns and other business districts While these studies may not focus on exact peer cities for your situation they do contain information on general economic development principles that are transferable to many business districts The following describes a study of the type you may find helpful in determining success factors for your downtown or other business district Example Research Factors That Influence Sales per Capita in Exurban and Rural Communities In 2008 a team at Ohio State University Jill Clark Greg Davis and Elena Irwin conducted a study entitled Central Business Districts The Measures of Success This study analyzed more than 500 rural and exurban mid size population between 2 000 and 15 000 communities in the Great Lake states of Indiana Illinois Michigan Pennsylvania and Ohio to determine what characteristics contributed to greater sales per capita The study combined use of economic demographic and geographic secondary data with primary data collected through 20 interviews with downtown business and government leaders elected

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  • Downtown Market Analysis | II. Analysis of Opportunities by Sector
    Business Opportunities Office Space Share Email or Print this article These institutions have collaborated in the 2010 update of the DMA toolbox with assistance from the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development Selected Wisconsin Resources Downtown Economic Development Tools Center for Community Econ Development Local Government Center BID Resources Contact Selected Ohio Resources CBD Measures of Success Retail Surplus Leakage Analysis The Local Costs and Benefits of Wal Mart The Ohio BR E Initiative Contact Selected Minnesota Resources Market Area Profiles Retail Trade Analysis Minnesota Business Retention Expansion Strategies Contact Contents Introduction I Understanding the Market Trade Area Analysis Demographics Economic Analysis Business Survey Consumer Survey Focus Groups Peer City Analysis II Analysis of Opportunities by Sector Retail Services Restaurants Arts Entertainment Housing Office Space Lodging III Putting Your Research to Work Niche Development Building Usage Marketing Business Retention Entrepreneurship Bus Recruitment Benchmarking University of Wisconsin Extension Cooperative Extension Home We teach learn lead and serve connecting people with the University of Wisconsin and engaging with them in transforming lives and communities Explore Extension The Learning Store Publications for your life organizations and communities For Your Information 4 H and Youth Business and Economic Development Community and Government Educational

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  • Downtown Market Analysis | Evaluating Retail & Service Business Opportunities
    on non local consumers in making recommendations Recommendations may center on Best location with regard to visibility traffic and complementary businesses whether chain or independent Size in square feet Price points Expected market segments or Downtown enhancements needed Your recommendations should highlight business categories that promote a vibrant mix in the district complement existing businesses and offer reasonable evidence that an expanded or recruited business will have opportunity for success Recommendations must undergo a check for reasonableness In other words do a reality check It is important to step back from the analysis and ask if your recommendations are based on actual consumer behavior and business location practices Consider the following for this business category Industry Trends Do businesses of this type locate in downtown districts Can they co exist among large format stores on the edge of town Click on Industry Links to access trade associations for store specific research Principle of Retail Hierarchy Can your community support this business Retail hierarchy ranks communities based upon the carrying capacity for certain types of businesses and the distances shoppers are willing to travel A downtown may be destined to only serve a minimum convenience market gas station and grocery store Conversely it might be large enough to offer a complete shopping market with retailers such as book stores specialty foods and sporting goods For more information see the factsheet on Retail Hierarchy Other Successful Downtown Businesses Examples Examples of similar businesses that are successfully operating in other downtowns may be helpful The Innovative Downtown Business Online Clearinghouse provides examples of specific stores that have been recognized as generators of traffic to their respective downtowns Retail and Service Business Opportunities Sample Completed Worksheet Retail and Service Business Opportunities Sample Completed Worksheet Retail and Service Business Opportunities Blank Worksheet Retail and Service Business Opportunities Blank Worksheet Tool 1 Business Mix Analysis A Population Threshold Method While thresholds oversimplify the analysis of market potential they are straightforward and easy to understand measures of demand They are especially useful in an initial attempt to identify possible opportunities for business expansion or recruitment However thresholds are only based on population and do not take into consideration other important factors such as income or nearby competition When conducting a business mix analysis it is essential to remember that each community is unique The analysis is only an indicator of what other similar communities downtowns look like from a retail and service mix perspective It is not an indicator of the optimal retail or service mix for any individual community Community attractions seasonal population and a regional market draw all have an impact on the types of retail and service businesses that are located in a community The industry codes used to identify retailers and service providers only reflect the primary source of business sales and do not take into consideration any secondary product lines Further market study is recommended before making any product expansion conclusions You can conduct retail and service business mix analysis by comparing your downtown with either the Wisconsin data or alternatively selected downtowns The Retail and Service Business Mix Analysis of Wisconsin s Downtowns staff paper can be used to complete the comparison Business Mix Comparison Data from All Wisconsin Communities A modified and more precise application of threshold analysis can be used to measure your community s potential over or undersupply of businesses in downtown districts Using 2009 business location data for Wisconsin cities and villages threshold research was conducted to determine the number of downtown stores relative to community size The Retail and Service Business Mix Analysis of Wisconsin s Downtowns is a 2010 University of Wisconsin Extension staff paper that provides data on the number and combined sales of businesses by NAICS category within a 0 25 mile 0 5 mile and 1 mile radius around the center of Wisconsin s downtowns A sample of the data in this paper is presented below The table provides the average number of businesses and combined sales within each of the three rings buffers for cities and villages with 5 000 to 10 000 residents Note While Wisconsin data may be useful elsewhere similar thresholds can be calculated specifically for other states You can use the Worksheet for Analyzing Your Downtown to summarize the number of businesses by retail or service category for your downtown and the corresponding average for comparison cities and villages Return to top Business Mix Comparison Data from Selected Downtowns As an alternative to the Wisconsin business mix data you can compare your downtown to a selected sample of economically vibrant peer downtowns Choosing the right comparative downtowns can inspire local efforts to attain a higher level of economic vitality in your town Selecting communities for comparison requires choosing places that are similar in selected aspects For purposes of this analysis you should choose downtowns with vibrant commercial activity i e a strong retail and service mix Some aspects for comparison include Population size Choose communities that are similar in size Demographic Choose communities with similar incomes education age levels etc Distance from major metropolitan areas Communities that are closer to metro areas may have different retail mixes than those at greater distances Vibrancy of downtown Choose communities that have successful downtowns as measured by a strong retail and service mix Seasonal population If your community is a retirement or vacation destination choose communities that experience increased seasonal population for the same reason Before gathering data on the number and possibly sales of businesses establish geographic rings around the center of each downtown Then compare your downtown on similar sized areas in other communities Data should be collected on all businesses that are located within a specified radius of downtown select a 0 25 0 5 or 1 mile ring Two methods of collecting data from the comparative downtowns and other business districts are Inventory the Storefronts Inventory the storefronts of the comparative downtowns and business districts While doing so record the number and types of businesses on a clipboard or hand held device This method is the most labor intensive but provides first hand visual information on the retail character of the business districts Aspects such as streetscape facades atmosphere and vibrancy can also be recorded Purchase data Private data sources such as InfoUSA offer business database lists that include NAICS codes for each business allowing lists to be purchased according to business categories You can also request data organized by pre defined geographic areas 0 25 0 5 or 1 mile ring around the center of the district This method is fast easy and can be used for any community in the United States However this method might include data errors in geocoding and NAICS classifications and does not allow for any additional insight that could be gained by actually inventorying the storefronts You can use the Worksheet for Analyzing Your Downtown to summarize the number of businesses by retail or service category This step can be repeated and columns added for each comparative downtown to create a business mix comparison table Return to top Tool 2 Gap Analysis Calculator A Surplus Leakage Method This tool compares the demand for stores based on the spending potential of your trade area s residents to the supply of stores actually in your trade area For a quick introduction to the tool and a basic how to guide view the video below video coming soon To use the downloadable Trade Area Gap Analysis Calculator MS Excel Workbook you need to collect and enter some basic information about your community in an Assumptions worksheet within the Excel Workbook Information to be entered includes supply of stores by number and or square foot local per capita income and population of trade area The workbook formulas are based on available secondary data from the 2007 U S Economic Census released in 2010 and the 2008 Urban Land Institute Dollars and Cents of Shopping Centers Formulas are also based on data about spending patterns from the 2007 Economic Census The Economic Census provides the most complete and accurate dataset about sales per establishments and per person in the United States Outputs generated from the calculator can be used as initial estimates of your trade area s spending potential Once your assumptions are entered click the Report worksheet of the workbook to generate your report The report will list market demand in sales and square feet for the 71 retail categories Assumptions Worksheet Columns are provided for entering the number of stores and or square feet of space The Assumptions Worksheet also requires entering the name of your trade area population per capita income and U S per capita income for the same year Instructions follow for using the Assumptions Worksheet in the Trade Area Gap Analysis Calculator Clear any sample assumptions preloaded in the blue cells of the Assumptions Worksheet Estimate how many businesses by NAICS code are in your trade area and record in column C of the Assumptions Worksheet If possible also estimate and record the combined square feet of businesses in column D Cells with the fill pattern are not available for analysis using this method Enter the trade area population per capita income and U S per capita income for same year in column G Report Worksheet Once assumptions are entered the Report Worksheet generates estimates of trade area demand supply and any gap demand less supply in terms of number of businesses For certain business categories where data is available data is also provided using square feet of business space as the measure Specific calculations follow Column C U S Sales Per Capita is equal to the total employer and non employer sales in each business category according to the 2007 U S Economic Census divided by the U S population in 2007 301 6 million Column D Average Sales per U S Store is equal to total employer and non employer sales in each business category according to the 2007 U S Economic Census divided by the number of establishments in that category Column E Potential Sales in Trade Area is equal to U S sales per capita multiplied by the ratio of local trade area per capita income to U S per capita income then multiplied by the trade area population Column F Number of Businesses Demand is equal to potential sales in trade area divided by the average sales per U S Store Column G Number of Businesses Supply is based on a business count conducted locally Column H Business Gap in terms of number of businesses is equal to number of businesses demand less number of businesses supply A positive gap may be one indicator of opportunities for business expansion or recruitment Column I Square Feet of Business Demand is equal to potential sales in the trade area divided by the average sales per square feet from the 2008 Urban Land Institute s Dollars and Cents of Shopping Centers Column J Square Feet of Businesses Supply is based on an estimate of actual occupied business space as inventoried locally Column K Business Gap in terms of square feet of businesses is equal to square feet of business demand less square feet of business supply A positive gap may be one indicator of opportunities for business expansion or recruitment Return to top Tool 3 Pull Factors A Surplus Leakage Method The pull factor is another important tool of retail trade analysis that will help you answer key questions and identify your community s economic strengths and weaknesses The pull factor is a measure of a city county or regional area s ability to attract consumers based on its population and statewide average expenditures Introduction Is our retail marketplace becoming stronger or weaker Are we losing customers to nearby competitors or are we attracting new customers to our community Are our sales better than average The answers to these questions are important to your community s existing and potential retailers Understanding market performance will help local leaders and development practitioners foster a more conducive environment for retail business development This also becomes a base for further market analysis that will help current and future business operators make more informed decisions Local and regional economic data as well as these tools of retail trade analysis will help you analyze your community s strengths and weaknesses These tools are not intended to be used in the measurement of specific business or real estate demand and supply analyses but they are intended to gauge the overall economic health surrounding the business district The pull factor a measure of a community s or regional area s ability to attract consumers based on its population and statewide average expenditures was developed by Ken Stone Ph D and Jim McConnon Ph D at Iowa State University in the 1980s and later refined by numerous economists such as Glen Pulver Ron Shaffer and Tom Harris The pull factor measure is an important part of trade area analysis The following examples are based on Dr Stone s definitions and calculations used during his years at Iowa State As you view pull factor examples from various sources you will see that they all use similar information but may change the order of calculations use alternative names for intermediate steps or determine pull factors as dollars people or ratios The most common modification by economists is the inclusion of the local income index in the pull factor calculation Dr Stone did not use the income index until calculating the local sales surplus or sales leakage If key stakeholders ask you to explain your economic analysis this methodology has been easier to demonstrate than others Determining the Pull Factor As noted the pull factor is a measure of a community s ability to attract consumer trade based on its population and statewide average expenditures It can be used for any trade area for which retail sales are measured whether it is a city county or multi county region It can also be used for the sum of all retail sales or individual NAICS categories if the state releases such data for local government divisions If you are able to obtain data for service businesses such as restaurants or repair shops the pull factor analysis can also measure your economic health in those categories Calculation Examples The following examples apply Dr Stone s definitions and formulas to Owatonna Minnesota In its simplest form pull factor is a ratio that equals the sales per person in a community divided by the sales per person in the state Following are calculations for furniture sales and overall retail businesses Example 1 2008 taxable furniture sales NAICS 442 in Minnesota 1 424 million 2008 Minnesota population 5 22 million Therefore Minnesota furniture sales per capita 1 424 million 5 22 million 272 2008 taxable furniture sales in Owatonna 3 336 million 2008 Owatonna population 24 855 Therefore Owatonna furniture sales per capita 3 336 million 24 855 134 Owatonna pull factor for furniture Owatonna furniture sales per capita Minnesota taxable furniture sales per capita Therefore Owatonna pull factor for furniture 134 272 0 49 Example 2 2008 taxable sales per capita for all retail NAICS 441 454 in Minnesota 4 913 2008 taxable sales per capita for all retail in Owatonna 7 127 Therefore Owatonna pull factor for retail businesses 7 127 4 913 1 45 Interpreting Calculations A pull factor greater than 1 00 indicates that a community is attracting more customers than its population base To be sure some residents do travel elsewhere to make purchases but more people are coming to this city county to make purchases than are leaving If a pull factor is less than 1 00 it indicates that more people are leaving than entering the city county to make purchases The simple pull factor calculation demonstrated by the previous examples can be used for any geographic area with existing measures of sales and population such as cities counties and multi county economic regions The simple calculation shows how sales are distributed You can also use this calculation for non retail businesses such as restaurants or repair shops Comparisons A pull factor covering a single year in your community is useful However you can obtain a better indicator of the health of your retail sector by graphing pull factor over several years for your own community and the communities around you The graph below shows that a strategy implemented in the late 1990s helped Owatonna outperform other shopping centers in neighboring communities Interpreting Pull Factors A one year retail pull factor for a city or county has limited use in an analysis It does tell you how your community compares to the state average However if you have data for different NAICS retail categories you can start to understand factors that draw people to your community For example a longitudinal analysis that covers multi years will give you insight on how important events affected your community s retail health To conduct a longitudinal analysis match significant changes in pull factors with events such as road construction the opening or closing of a store a natural disaster the start of evening store openings or an economic downturn Remember to consider the effect of events in nearby communities too Did a Big Box store open in a community 10 miles away Did another community begin a loyalty program Did a major employer lay off a large number of workers Once you see how your retail community has fared during significant events you will see how resilient or susceptible your community is to external factors Existing businesses and entrepreneurs can also use pull factor data to gain financing for expansion As an example if a community has a strong building materials pull factor people must be coming to the community to make purchases in that merchandise category Business owners can then take a close look to see if they stock a full range of products in the merchandise category

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  • Downtown Market Analysis | Evaluating Restaurant and Culinary Opportunities
    restaurants buffets and fast food eateries People who are convenience driven and dislike cooking with no young children use a variety of carry out sources including restaurants and grocery stores Young urban professionals with no kids dine at higher priced restaurants Educated adults driven by taste and craving eat at moderately priced sit down restaurants and use delivery Marketing data firms such as Claritas and ESRI produce lifestyle segmentations systems that can be used to learn about dining out activity among household groups in the trade area They can provide information on the frequency of dining out as well as the types of operations frequented Lifestyle data on day workers tourists and other non residents can also be analyzed based on their places or origin Restaurant Spending Potential Data Marketing data firms such as Claritas and ESRI also produce a number of industry specific reports that describe dining out market potential for a specific trade area These reports provide estimates of market demand based on local demographic and buying power indicators including population workplace population income wealth home value lifestyles race education and occupation Reports can be purchased with estimates of Annual spending by type of restaurant Overall demand and supply estimates in dollars Likelihood of dining out by meal period and by frequency An index of local vs U S household spending by type of restaurant and Likelihood of dining at a specific chain affiliated restaurant Survey Research and Focus Group Data Consumer research through surveys and focus groups can help assess demand for restaurants and culinary experiences specific to your community Consumer segments that can be reached through local consumer research include residents daytime population and tourists and visitors These groups may have very different dining needs and preferences Some of the questions useful in your evaluation of culinary demand from these market segments are presented below How often do you dine out by meal period How often do you dine out by type of restaurant How often do you come downtown for dining or entertainment What types of cuisine would you like to see downtown What types of culinary establishments or activities would you like to see downtown Once all of the demand data has been collected it can be summarized in a concise form such as that presented in the table below Data Source Summary of Restaurant Demand Demographics and Consumer Spending Data Significant number of young professionals employed and living downtown who have high per capita restaurant spending levels Lifestyle Data Many downtown residents are categorized as young professionals Many are single and prefer a range of trendy fast casual and upscale fine dining restaurants Restaurant Spending Potential Data Marketing data firms report that the community is underserved by restaurants Consumer demand is 20 percent greater that supply actual sales Furthermore the community has a high dining out spending potential index indicating that local households have the potential to spend more than the average U S household at restaurants Survey Research and Focus Group Data Downtown residents and employees expressed a desire for more third spaces such as coffee shops taverns and restaurants that provide opportunities for networking and the sharing of ideas Example Table Summarizing Demand for Restaurants and Culinary Experiences Supply of Restaurants and Culinary Experiences A supply asset analysis will help you to identify the existing businesses or culinary opportunities in your area This analysis includes an inventory of restaurant and culinary establishments in the downtown area as well as major competitors elsewhere in the primary trade area As mentioned earlier some of this analysis may be part of a more comprehensive community food assessment as discussed later While you may be particularly interested in the downtown it is important to include other establishments that are popular in the community but exist outside of downtown Inventory of Restaurants Information about existing restaurant establishments can be presented in a format such as the following Restaurant Name Address Concept Peak Period Volume If Busy what are its Success Factors Downtown Restaurants Smith s Place 125 N Water Bar and Grill Moderate John s Café 116 E Main Break Lunch Busy Local seasonal foods Buffet Chinese Restaurant 100 E Madison Chinese Very Busy Longtime favorite Major Competitors Elsewhere in Primary Trade Area Elm Tree Inn Highway 13 East Family Style Very Busy Family Tradition Sports Café Highway 96 North Sports Bar Very Busy Appeal to Bus Travelers Example Inventory of Competitive Restaurants Inventory of Other Culinary Related Experiences Culinary destinations are places that attract people interested in unique and memorable food and eating experiences Many communities have capitalized on ethnic or regionally available foods to create robust culinary experiences downtown Culinary Destinations This concept emerged from Europe where many foods are known by their terroir a word derived from the Latin word terre or land This term was first used by the French to describe the special characteristics of coffees teas or wines that were culminated in a certain location with unique soils geology climate or growing techniques Today terroir is often used to describe the sense of place of a particular product influenced by the unique local environment The industry related to culinary destinations has become known as culinary tourism According to the International Culinary Tourism Association culinary tourism can be defined as the pursuit of unique and memorable culinary experiences While culinary tourists are generally visitors existing local residents seeking new or unique food experiences can be culinary tourists as well Information about other culinary experiences can be presented in a format as presented below While these are considered part of the supply analysis they do not necessarily compete with existing restaurants Rather they are included here to highlight some of the non restaurant food experiences that can help make downtown a culinary destination Other Culinary Related Experiences Address Concept Why Successful Westside bakery district four bakeries Highway 20 west Collection of Danish Bakeries Appeals to local ethnic base as well as heritage tourists Peoples Spice Shop 20 Market Lane Specialty cooking retail

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