SP AC E I S T H E P L A C E on top of that.” • Learn the territory. Local knowl- edge is essential for success, especially in new or unfamiliar markets. Thus it is vitally important to set schedule and budget expectations as soon as possible, says Jason Glasrud, development manager for the CBC Real Estate Group in Kansas City. “Most communities have established processes that inform the developer and operator. Drilling down into possible re- strictions that can affect a brand’s trade dress, drive-thru lanes, and permit, tap, and impact fees is critical in the early stages of a project and allows you to obtain relief when you can.” Says Naylon, “Understanding the fun- damentals of real estate and the advan- tages of a particular location becomes increasingly important, even more so in core markets versus secondary or tertiary markets. Poor site selection will lead to poor sales performance in a market where margins are becoming tighter and tighter.” For smaller franchisees or those with minimal experience in real estate and de- velopment, it is even more vital in today’s competitive market to take advantage of firms with strong local connections, and remain focused on running a successful franchise business.