Solving the Site Selection Puzzle
In a lot of ways, site selection is like a 1,000-piece puzzle. A successful site project requires the careful construction of myriad “puzzle” pieces – real estate, labor, construction costs, utilities, incentives, market viability, quality of life … and so many others.
Further, choosing to expand or relocate operations requires an open mind, diligent attention to detail and the ability to transform both mountains of data and intangible elements into a solid – and profitable – business solution.
Before diving into that site search, take a step back to really put things in perspective.
Site selection expert Kate McEnroe, owner of Kate McEnroe Consulting, says sizing up a project right out of the gate is one of the best ways to ensure long-term success.
“You will be more efficient if you take a little time up front and put some structure around it,” says McEnroe.
Additionally, having the best possible site selection team – whether internal, external or both – in place will generate an environment conducive to clear communication and a unified vision.
No matter who is heading up a corporate site search, it’s imperative to have a firm grasp of the why – why is your company considering an expansion or relocation? Operationally, what is working and what isn’t? What changes are desired?
Identifying the principal reasons for your business move is key to also identifying the best location options for your project.
Once the site project is positioned on a clear course, locations best suited to your company’s specific needs will come into focus.
And while every project is distinctly different, one location factor almost always reigns supreme.
According to Area Development magazine’s 2016 30th Annual Corporate Survey, finding workers with the right combination of skills is today’s most pressing concern for C-suite executives.
Labor force analysis requires investigating not only workforce numbers, but also employee skill sets, education levels and the potential partnerships that can be secured with area schools and technical colleges for training.
Additional top 10 site factors highlighted in Area Development’s survey were highway accessibility, quality of life, construction costs, available buildings, labor costs, corporate tax rates, proximity to major markets, state and local incentives, and energy availability and costs.
Once a company has zeroed in on a short list of sites, connections with city leaders, real estate developers and regional utility companies play a significant role. Progressive community leaders can help expanding companies navigate state and local incentives, the regulatory environment and final negotiations.
And at the end of the day, it’s those great relationships that will make a new corporate resident feel welcome, appreciated and supported.
Once all the puzzle pieces are in place, all that’s left to do is cut the ribbon and let your company do what it does best: innovate and inspire.
** We would like to invite you to explore the Lone Star State and the rising North Texas community of Midlothian where the welcome mat is always out. For more information, please visit Midlothian online.