If you’ve never made a corporate location decision, it is easy to make mistakes. Here are some tips to help you make the right selection for your next location.
Agree on search parameters
Your team needs to decide what factors are non-negotiable when it comes to finding your next location. Ranking the importance of each factor will help you before you even begin looking for a new site. That way, from the beginning, you can determine which locations and communities meet the requirements you have set out.
Choose the site size
It is imperative to know the exact size your project needs. Selecting a site that is too small could mean relocating too soon, which would be a costly mistake. On the flip side, the cost to maintain a site that is too large, which you aren’t using to its full capacity, could also cost you.
Keep your options open (but not too open)
Narrowing down your location options quickly could eliminate a potentially great location because you failed to consider all the factors early on in the process. You will want to keep your options open, especially when it comes down to the final negotiations. However, keeping your options too wide could also be detrimental. Try to stick to the search parameters you set out from the beginning and narrow your options down to two or three sites and communities that best meet your needs.
Consider logistics costs
Make sure you consider the cost of logistics for any potential new site. Many companies are choosing locations closer and closer to their end user to lower logistics costs and using a siting decision to help keep these costs lower long term. Failure to consider how logistics costs could either increase or decrease from any location could mean making a potentially bad decision for your company.
Make sure your infrastructure needs are met
In addition to logistics, energy and other utility availability is a vital factor in any site selection process. In fact, the impact of utilities on site selection decisions cannot be understated. Companies need to have a firm understanding of what is needed from utilities for all phases of a project. This spans electric, natural gas, fiber, water and sewer infrastructure. Capacity, cost, reliability and timing issues all need to be considered, and strong utility partners should be able to advise you through this process.
Check the labor pipeline
Consistently, the top factor for location decisions is the available labor force and the ability to have a continuous availability of workers to fill positions. Make sure you are considering not only the current labor pool, but also the labor pipeline. You will want to make sure your open positions do not remain vacant in the years to come. Just because there is a current labor force today does not mean there will be in the coming years; communities who are actively working to fill the labor pipeline could benefit your business greatly.
It’s not just about incentives
No amount of incentives will turn a bad location into a good location. Treat incentives as a bonus to an already great site and not the main attraction. Blinding yourself to the pitfalls of a location because you are attracted to the incentives will lead to more trouble than the incentives are worth. Narrow down your prospective sites and then use incentives to choose between several already great potential sites.
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- Site Selection