Background: Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) recently partnered with an urban revitalization collaborative dedicated to reviving the local community and it’s businesses. The committee wanted to understand the best use of a vacant building across from a major hospital in its local region to determine what type of business would be most successful there. Due to the location of the building being directly across from the hospital, the site would provide access to nearly 4,000 employees of the hospital staff. As a result, the employees of the hospital would be the key driver to the success of any new business. The hospital staff was the primary target user for the feasibility of the new business.
Approach: In order to address the objectives at hand, RMS consulted with the committee to test the hospital employees’ interest in housing, services and businesses near the campus. A survey sent to the employees of the hospital was designed by RMS. The short, five-minute online survey showed the overhead view of the property, asked which type(s) of businesses they would be very likely to use at this site, which type(s) of businesses visitors to the hospital would be very likely to use in addition to aided lists of businesses. The survey also provided the committee with peak staffing hours to identify times where the site would see its most traffic, dollar amount spent on meals during the work day and demographic statistics on the respondents. RMS worked with the committee and the hospital to send the email link to all employees. A response rate of 30 percent was obtained for the study. The fieldwork lasted approximately two weeks to account for any employees leaving for vacation. Awareness of the survey was boosted through internal employee meetings and an email from hospital management.
Results: RMS took the findings from the survey and developed a full PowerPoint report, which recommended the most feasible businesses for the location with supportive data. Here are a few key takeaways from the study:
- The survey identified a clear and strong demand for restaurants and other prepared food options near the hospital campus. Two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents stated they would be very likely to use a cafe or sandwich shop. Over half (54 percent) stated they would be very likely to use a take-out restaurant.
- A common theme among the desired businesses/services was speed of service. Many of the most popular options such as convenience stores, coffee shops, fast food, etc. are all based on a fast‐service model.
- Survey data revealed that a retail business or service could expect spikes of heavy usage during three-time blocks during the day: (1) 6 to 8 a.m.; (2) 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and (3) 3 to 7 p.m., which will guide the type of food options available.
If you are interested in conducting a new business feasibility study contact Sandy Baker, our Business Development Director at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling (315) 635-9802. New business feasibility studies can come in many forms and can be catered and customized to meet your research and budget needs. A survey can often be just one component of a more comprehensive new business feasibility study that involves five components. To read more about feasibility studies with RMS click here.