Business Geographics

How Businesses Use Geographic Informaton to Make Sound Business Decisions

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Business geographics is a field in business that uses geographic techniques and tools to accomplish a variety of tasks important to the world of business, marketing, and ideal site selection.

The most commonly used tool relating to geography that is used in business geographics is mapping -- notably the use of geographic information systems, also known as GIS.

Applications of Business Geographics

Identifying Markets

For example, if a children’s clothing store is considering relocation because it is not doing the ideal amount of business the store could map the population of people with children in its target age group throughout the city or area it is considering moving to. The data can then be put into a GIS and mapped using dark colors for the highest concentration families with children and lighter colors for those without. Once completed, the map will highlight the ideal areas for the clothing store to locate based on that factor.

Determining if a Service is Needed

Take for instance, a senior center. Because this is a specialized service it is important for it to be located within an area with a high proportion of senior citizens. By using customer mapping like in the children’s clothing store example, the highest proportion of senior citizens in a city can be easily identified. Therefore, the area with a greater senior population would need this service more than another without that age group.

Identifying Other Services in the Same Area

With business geographics all businesses or services of a certain type in a city can be mapped. By using GIS, the target customers can be put on top of a layer showing current hot dog stand locations for instance. The result would be the ideal location for a new stand.

Analyzing Sales

Site Selection

By using GIS, each of these factors can be layered on top of each other. The resulting map will then highlight the best possible site based on the characteristics deemed most important by the businesses managers.

Marketing Plans

The efficient sale of products and offering of services to the population is an important part of the world’s economy. By using business geographics, those in charge of the task of locating businesses and selling such goods are doing this in the most efficient way possible. In using maps, businesses managers are also reinforcing the notion that maps make excellent graphical tools.