The goal of any company, manufacturing or otherwise, is to have enough business that will cause its owners to consider whether or not to grow from its current facility or location. This is not an easy decision to make. Site Selection is made up of science (data) and art (subjective review) to determine optimum locations for your potential expansion or location. And the time constraints, if not handled properly, can interfere with an executive’s ability to operate the business efficiently while considering a project. Most entrepreneurs and business owners only expand or relocate a facility once or twice in their lifetime and while they know their respective business, they do not know their way through the maze of issues involved in Site Selection and Expansion Negotiations.
Ask the Right Questions
There are a number of questions that the business owner needs to ask themselves prior to going into an expansion project. Do I want to add more employees, am I satisfied with my present quality of life, if I grow how large do I want to become, how much will it cost me, etc.? If your decision is to grow your business beyond its current level there are a myriad of other issues you should be considering as you approach an expansion or relocation project.
- Identify all of the parameters to be used to select a potential location.
- Conduct a Company Culture Profile.
- Using the above data, research areas that have an initial match to the Company Profile.
- Once company culture review is complete and general geographic area is identified, community research is conducted
- Typically three to four states and in excess of fifty communities or areas may be considered.
- Compare utility infrastructure as well as available sites or existing facilities and numerous other factors.
- Review numerous key factors to determine if there are any weaknesses; pare down the list of potential sites.
- Visit between ten and fifteen sites to physically determine if there are any other potential problems or issues with the selected locations.
- Conduct a comparative analysis to reduce the list of proposed sites/facilities to between three and five.
- Revisit the finalists to reduce the number to a preferred site and an alternative backup.
- Discuss the potential incentive packages to be provided to the company.
- Look at the final incentive plans presented and make the final decision as to where to locate the plant.
- Once all of the issues have been addressed, the company will choose the site and make an announcement.
Follow a Consistent Process
This process will vary somewhat for each company. But all of the steps should be undertaken in order to achieve the most complimentary location for your Company. Even if you are only considering an expansion of an existing facility, you may not realize that there may well be another location that better fits your needs and by going through the process you may identify other opportunities which may help in the success of your business and company.
*Jim Kinnett has been supplying economic development and site selection/incentive negotiations to firms for forty-five years. www.kinnett.biz