Utilizing Local Resources: The Simple Key to Selecting a Great Site

January 20, 2017 by Midlothian Economic Development


When it comes to choosing a site for a business, the important variables typically rate the same among site selectors in all industries.

Site selectors traditionally seek locations with good economic benefits for companies in the form of tax breaks, strong local schools and communities with high-rankings for families, and the cost and availability of land necessary for the project.

But there’s another factor site selectors may not consider that can help leverage the value of a site: local resources.

When discussing local resources, it’s easy to get caught up in things like access to shopping or specific community needs for families. However, what people fail to realize is that certain local resources can impact a business positively as well.

Thinking About Energy Options

Energy is one of the largest costs of doing business, and it’s probably the least glamorous. Energy is a necessary evil when it comes to doing business, but a lot of companies feel they have limited options when it comes to choosing the energy for their business. So much so that site selectors often don’t rank it as an important factor in a site search.

Despite this, local energy resources can be a hidden benefit of a site. Locations with broad access to both traditional energy sources and newer, non-conventional sources allow for a better freedom of choice, especially for companies who have the ability to utilize that flexibility. Broader access often means greater competition in the local market and better prices for the business looking to save costs.

Proximity to Education Centers

When most people refer to schools and the relevance to site selection, they are thinking in terms of school rankings for K-12 education. However, another important resource to pay attention to is trade schools and higher education opportunities in the area. The benefit here is two-fold.

For one, a region with schools that offer strong degree programs in your industry can be a great resource for current and future talent as the company grows. This also allows for partnerships with the schools through mentorship and internship programs that are mutually beneficial. The other benefit is the ability to build a forum in which you can establish thought leadership in your industry and its studies.

Capitalizing on Local Materials

Many site selectors make decisions based on access to the markets they want to be in, but another key factor to consider is access to the materials necessary in the industry. Being near the material providers you need to succeed in business can not only help foster better relationships with your providers, but also positively impact turnaround times and minimize issues with accessibility.

The Icing on the Site-Selection Cake

While none of these factors are individually imperative to the selection of a good site, each can slightly tip the scale in a positive direction when caught between multiple sites. The ultimate point for a site selector is to not only be hyper-aware of the detailed needs of the company in site selection, but also aware of the smaller details that can lead to a more pleasant experience in the long run.

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