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For lots of franchisors, this is one of the only questions about franchise territories that is asked! The prospect of thinking about what territory approach to take can appear very daunting and difficult. It doesn’t have to be that complicated though and here are a few questions to answer to help you get started.

Atlas Mapping’s Stuart Lee talks to us about the key considerations when it comes to mapping out franchise territories.

Who are your target customers?

Any good territory approach should be based on identifying the size of the market opportunity available to you and your future franchisees. By defining your target market you can then set a key demographic that broadly describes these e.g. is it children within a certain age band? Can you service any household? Do you only work with SME’s?

It is possible, with the right tools and data, to identify the demographics of any local area in the country. This is your first step to thinking about a territory approach that is viable for your franchisees and also fair to you as the franchisor.



How many customers will your franchisee need?

The second most important question is to clearly define the minimum business size you want your franchisees to reach. How many customers will this be and how simply can it be defined?

Answering this question will open the door to comparing the existing trade area(s) you operate in, the performance of your business and then the expectations on your franchisees. Often the “original” business is not an exact representation of the franchise opportunity you will offer but it will give an extremely good indication of what can realistically be achieved.


What are the limits of your business?

Knowing and appreciating the limits of your business model is fundamental to ensuring the territories you award are viable for franchisees, it will also mean you award the right number of territories for your franchise model. The most common mistake new franchisors make is to award a territory that is far too large for the franchisee to cover and with the franchisee right in the middle of it. This results in wasted opportunity across the country and a limited number of territories to sell. Most franchisors will state that this will be a “nice problem to have” and it isn’t a major concern. I am yet to find a developed franchisor that holds this view!

Something to consider: Somewhere down the line do you expect to sell your business? If there are no (or a limited amount of) territory opportunities to grow the franchise into then how attractive will your business look to a buyer?


Hopefully you can see that the questions to ask yourself are not terribly complex and answering them will give you a strong foundation to create a great approach to your franchise territories. A great territory approach will ultimately mean more success for both you and your franchisees.

"The work by Atlas Mapping has proved invaluable. I now have a handle on how many territories are available in the UK that meets our criteria. Atlas was very diligent in their mapping process and really took the time to understand our requirements. The information and detail of the mapping has been very well received by our potential franchisees and has saved us significant amounts of time when we have enquiries from potential franchisees. The professional mapping and accompanying statistics have proved to be a very good investment."

Ken Deary, Right at Home

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