25 Essential Relocation Tips

From Business Facilities Magazine, August 2006

We’ve tapped into our network of experts on relocation, representing all sides of the equation, to bring you this handy list that will keep your project out of trouble.

Have you ever had someone give you a really great piece of advice, only to later forget what it was? It seems that in the process of choosing a new location for business, companies tend to make the same mistakes over and over. Most company executives are new to the site search and relocation process, but there are experts in consulting, real estate, and economic development who make a living helping companies grow in new places—and these are the folks we wanted to ask about common mistakes and simple remedies.

Michael P. Hickey
President & CEO, Hickey & Associates
Minneapolis, MN
Tips 24-25

24. Public financial incentives do matter! They can tip the balance of growth or consolidation in one location versus another. To best appreciate the role that the “”right”” incentives play (those that actually add revenue or reduce the required costs to a business), one need only look to the states and communities that have offered significant inducements to business. With all other elements being close to equal, the right incentives will tip the balance. Some may argue that other factors are more critical, but incentives are becoming more important during the early stages when states, regions, and communities are evalutated for an expansion.

25. Every community, like every business, must plan for future growth and development. Regardless of size, communities engage in long-term planning with ongoing short-term adjustments. Before a community recommends a specific site to you, make sure the community has analyzed, has evaluated, and understands the direction and priorities that apply to your type of business. This should be reflected in the location of its business parks, its projections for residential growth, types of housing available, and its funding for education, for example.

This analysis by the community will help it generate key information, not only for immediate projections of your success, but also over the longer term. For example, if a community is promoting call center growth and is successful in attracting these businesses, it could end up being the case that several years down the road there is intense competition for employees among the call centers. If you were one of these call centers, this shortage of employees could end up hurting your investment. If the community had been growing its population base and housing stock correctly, the future could have been bright. Too often one sees the fatal flaw of companies rushing to the “”hot areas””, only to be burned down the road.