I’ve recently worked alongside a large corporation as they set up their fifth satellite office at the LIFT Office. They intentionally choose coworking and shared office spaces to house their satellite branches in major cities across the U.S.
With so many options, how do they choose a location that works for them? And, why is their preference to engage shared office spaces for their remote teams?
There are critical, non-monetary resources to consider. And, picking the right location could mean the difference in solid growth or stagnation.
I recently visited with Bob Farley, Director of Economic Development for the City of Grapevine, Texas. Bob and his team have brought in over 1 billion dollars of new development. He has also had a long, and successful career in Real Estate Development.
Bob worked in the private sector for over 30 years working with large corporations conducting site selections and leading strategic plans for evaluating and entering new markets. He has served as a partner and in leadership positions in the respected firms of Greyhill Advisors and Hillwood Development Group.
Bob has been helping businesses find the right location for almost 40 years. I asked Bob for his advice on how a company should go about selecting the best place to set up business. Location, location, location applies to businesses too.
Here’s Bob’s 5 tips on choosing a location for your business.
Talent might be the most critical non-capital resource for businesses, and location will dictate whether you get access to key people to scale your business.
Seek out those places where local universities create, support and partner with companies in your sector. Also, consider access to experienced managerial and executive talent. There needs to be a critical pool of talent available for an enterprise to grow successfully.
Consider: What skills do you need, and are people with those talents available?
When considering location, infrastructure is also a key factor. The infrastructure must work for your employees. Does the community have the resources to serve their needs?
Also, consider the transport systems in the area. A good roadway system improves businesses’ ability to provide goods and services, and people’s ability to access education, employment, and services, and it can reduce transportation costs including travel time and vehicle operating costs.
Are there public transportation options available? How close is a major airport? Is there easy access to parking?
Also, consider the stability and diversification of the economic base. Look for a healthy environment for your business.
Consider: Is there sufficient housing in the appropriate price range? Will your employees find the schools, recreational opportunities, culture, and other aspects of the community satisfactory?
Policymakers in a number of cities and states are eager to attract regional offices, small business owners and entrepreneurs, and have programs designed to underwrite office space. A city that is making space more affordable can be a huge plus in the early stages of a new office site.
Spend time in the city you are considering locating your remote location. Go talk to government leaders and the local Chamber of Commerce to see what type of support there is for business. Visit with other business owners.
Consider: Is there clear government and local leadership commitment? Is there a local banker who understands the needs and is willing to support your business?
Proximity to Other Businesses
When choosing a location, consider access to suppliers and complementary businesses. Synergy with complementary businesses allows networking and collaboration on business growth. Proximity to suppliers not only keeps transit costs down, access can also create quick turnaround when needed and opens opportunities to build joint customer relations.
Consider: Are there other businesses and business owners with which you can connect and collaborate to support and enhance your business growth?
Flexible and Available Space
Your office needs may change over the next several years. Locating your business in a city and an area that can scale as you grow is important. It’s difficult to move employees and expensive to move a business. Finding a location that can accommodate growth is a key factor.
Coworking and flex office space are typically walk-in-ready. This type of office allows businesses to set up shop, focus on business and grow without having to deal with the issues and expenses of building maintenance, cleaning services, internet, printers, coffee, and other operational needs. It also provides a more professional space to meet clients which can improve brand image.
Consider if the location can scale as your business grows. Is there additional space in the complex that allows easy expansion?
As businesses grow, access to innovation and technology increases. This too can be enhanced by the right business environment.
Consider: Is there a location that can scale as your business grows? Is the location consistent with your brand image? Does the space provide access to innovation and technology?
Cash flow is key to any business, but so is the right location and business environment. Taking time to do your due diligence will be worth it in the long run.
About LIFT Office
The LIFT Office is a coworking, flexible workspace and meeting space in the center of DFW in Grapevine, Texas just 3 miles from the DFW Airport The LIFT Office is a dynamic community of influencers, entrepreneurs, independent professionals, consultants, and freelancers. We serve as a satellite office and team headquarters for growing businesses. Learn more at www.theLIFToffice.com