Local Market News by Brian Rump – Fenelon’s Trade Area

Brought to you by the Fenelon Falls & District Chamber of Commerce 

FFDCC Logo JPEG copyOver the past several years, members of the Fenelon Falls community have been involved in multiple economic development initiatives working to strengthen businesses, and the whole community as an excellent place to live. Initiatives have included the creation and development of Fenelon Forward, a Business Retention and Expansion Project, and most recently, the Downtown Revitalization program. Community members have partnered with City of Kawartha Lakes Economic Development, and have benefited from provincial funding through Rural Economic Development and Federal funding through the Eastern Ontario Development Program. These initiatives have engaged dozens of volunteers, and resulted in several successful projects (The Town Crier being but one example).

As part of the Downtown Revitalization project, a Market Analysis of Fenelon Falls was conducted. The full report is available through City of Kawartha Lakes Economic Development (you can find it here), and contains 55 pages of detailed information about Fenelon Falls.

This year, we would like to bring to you some of the highlights of this report, especially those that pertain to business. If you already have a business in Fenelon Falls, how can you use this information to grow? If you’d like to have a business in Fenelon Falls, how can this information help you with your business plan?

We will cover topics such as our trade area, the daytime population, income distribution, consumer habits, business mix and identified gaps. We will provide some perspective of the data, maybe challenge it, and hopefully spark some discussion about how it can be used to grow and strengthen the community. We would love you hear your feedback, get questions, or ideas for future topics of discussion (see below for contact information).

So without further ado, here is our first of the series…

 

Fenelon Falls’ Trade Area

Who shops in Fenelon Falls?

Fenelon Trade AreaAs part of the Fenelon Falls market analysis, a survey was conducted to define the trade area for the downtown retail and services businesses. A trade area is defined as the geographic area in which the majority (in this case 75%) of existing and potential customers reside. The survey results were analyzed using Geographic Information Systems.

The trade area includes Fenelon Falls, Bobcaygeon, the entire north shore of Sturgeon Lake, all of Cameron Lake, the whole east side of Balsam Lake, over to Glenarm, and down to the north of Lindsay. This is a wide area that includes much more than Fenelon Falls. The area is 461 square kilometers, with a population of approximately 14,500

So why does this matter?

When thinking of the Village of Fenelon Falls, the population is often quoted as 1,800 permanent residents. We know this swells during the summer months, and we know that there is some impact from the surrounding area, but this analysis uses data from 75% of customers of existing businesses to show that Fenelon Falls draws customers from a wider area, with a population of about 14,500.

As you build your business plan, there are implications to structuring your business to serve 1800 residents, with a seasonal swell versus 14,500 residents with a seasonal swell.

Another implication is marketing and advertising. Do you only target the Village of Fenelon Falls? Or do you include the residents of the wider area? Bobcaygeon is clearly within the trade area, so how do you engage them?

What about Lindsay? Residents there are just outside of the trade area, but includes a larger population density that could be targeted more easily than, for example, the GTA.

What about tourism? We often tout City of Kawartha Lakes as a tourism destination, but if 75% of customers come from the Fenelon Falls Trade area, how many of the other 25% come from further afield? Does your marketing budget reflect this?

If your business was faced with a choice between increasing your sales 10% from customers within the trade area, or increasing your sales 10% from customers outside your trade area, which would you choose?

So now that we understand where 75% of Fenelon Falls customers reside, the next step will be learning more about them, and their behaviours, so we can better adapt our business plans to reflect the market. Watch for this in future editions of the Town Crier.

About the Author

Brian Rump is a Director on the Board of Fenelon Falls and District Chamber of Commerce, and has been involved with several community groups and initiatives focusing on economic development in Fenelon Falls. Professionally, Brian has worked with several local businesses, primarily in obtaining funding through bank loans and government grants. Brian can be reached via email at brian@yougroup.ca.

 

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