Growing companies, large or small will at some point be faced with the challenge of finding the optimal location for expanding their business. Some businesses do this often and have a team to guide this decision, others may only do it once in a generation. Regardless your frequency or level of experience there are some important elements to consider as you navigate this path.
Build the Right Internal Team
Having the perspective of the various leaders within your organization will help you make a well-rounded and informed location decision. While often the location decision is left to the CEO or Engineering, a best practice is to have all the critical voices at the table to discuss their needs and how to address those during a location decision process. Voices that provide valuable perspectives include the CEO, CFO, COO, Legal Counsel, HR Director, Transportation, Engineering and Real Estate. In smaller companies these responsibilities often fall on one or a few. No matter the size of your organization, these are perspectives that should be sought out and weighted to make the most informed decision possible.
Seek Professional Help
Gathering these perspectives and coalescing the team around a common set of driving principles is often best achieved by outside consultants. Site selection consultants can help you gain and weigh all these perspectives and help you focus the location decision on the core issues that the leadership team has identified. MarksNelson can guide you through the site selection process to allow you to continue to focus on growing your organization.
Inventory and Prioritize Key Strategic Factors
At the onset of a location selection process, it is paramount to identify and prioritize the key strategic factors that are most important in your location decision. Do you need to be proximate to new markets? Existing customers? Competitors? Raw materials? Do you want to be near key transportation assets? Do you want to be in an area where your industry is clustering? Do you desire a location in a growth area? How important is the natural environment? The political environment? What about resiliency? These are just a few of many strategic factors that should be evaluated as you embark on a location decision.
Model Cost Factors
Not all locations are created equal and can vary widely in both development costs and operational costs. Understanding how these cost factors influence the bottom line should be a priority task in the location decision. Cost of grading, infrastructure development, environmental compliance, construction costs and land costs all have a bearing on the site development budget. Costs such as labor, utilities, transportation, and tax burden can significantly impact the operational costs and should be evaluated closely as a company considers a location decision.
The experts at MarksNelson can help your team with your next location decision by helping you understand the complexities of site selection, modeling the strategic and cost factors that will impact your bottom line, and helping you focus your efforts on the critical decision elements. Call us today.