Small Businesses: Ask Your Questions

While we serve companies of all sizes, we admit to finding extra gratification in helping small businesses. After all, we are a small enterprise that has faced the ups and downs of the commercial world so we know a few things about surviving challenges. It’s a pleasure to see a small business become more successful and to share in the satisfaction that people feel as they settle into a promising environment. 

You are thinking of launching a site selection project but are unsure where to start. That’s understandable because such a project can seem intimidating. Below, I’m sharing with you the questions I’m routinely asked – queries that arise when company leaders are just considering a location project. The questions come from people in all types of enterprises in all types of industries.

During a get-acquainted phone session, feel free to ask me any of the following questions or others that may be on your mind. My responses will vary depending upon your circumstances, the size your enterprise is, and what timeline you have in mind. In all cases I’ll help demystify a location or relocation project.

During our complimentary call, I’ll make no sales pitch – the entire session is centered on you and your challenges – and literally there is no cost and no obligation.

You are guaranteed confidentiality right from the start, but if you want me to sign your Non-Disclosure Agreement before we speak I can do so.

Questions About Site Selection That We’ve Been Asked

• How do we start and what are the phases of a site selection project?
• We want to move part of our operation out-of-state – how long does it usually take from completing the first site study to when we dedicate the new space?
• Several economic development agencies already know about our plans to move our plant – what negotiating strategies should I keep in mind if I remain in contact with them?

Rating the Locations

• What due diligence process is used in identifying the worst states for business and the best states for business?

Evaluating Costs and Regulations

• We want to find a low-cost operating environment – what metrics will you use to evaluate labor costs and operating costs in candidate locations?
• My company pays a myriad of business taxes and fees to government agencies – how do you navigate the tax maze in different locations to provide findings that we can compare to where we are today?
• We manufacture a specialty product that uses a solvent and are concerned about business regulations – how do you evaluate regulatory environments elsewhere?

Employee Relations

• How do we launch a project without my employees learning about it prematurely?
• In developing a moving plan for our headquarters, what percentage of the total employee head count usually agrees to transfer?
• To induce workers to move, what is included in a typical relocation package?
• Prior to closing our factory, what type of retention bonus should I offer our key employees who are staying to keep operations running to the final day?
• What resources are available in the new locality to help us with our talent search and our worker training needs?

Quality of Life

• What quality-of-life factors are covered in a community assessment? Affordable housing? Quality of schools? Commuting times? Climate? Recreational opportunities? Extent of crime?

Logistics

• In planning our new distribution center, how much can you help match our requirements for proximity to a good airport, Interstate highways and freight rail lines?
• With a growing customer base, we need to adjust our supply chain – can you help with a logistics study?

Office, Industrial and Warehouse Real Estate

• We are uncertain if we should rent a new facility – what information can you provide for each potential location on rents, lease terms. Or, if we build – what about land acquisition costs, permitting requirements and construction costs?
• I know that a “site certification” can exist for a greenfield site, but do they also exist for a brownfield site?
• Should we consider only those locations for our factory that claim their sites are shovel-ready or are we limiting ourselves too much?

Utilities

• Are you able to evaluate progress toward 5G broadband to determine if a locality’s rules or high access fees will result in delays to 5G implementation?
• We have demanding requirements for electric power and need to know technical factors like the System Average Interruption Duration and Customer Average Interruption Frequency – do you obtain such information?
• As a heavy energy user, we want to evaluate rates for electric power and natural gas – and we will also consider costs for water and sewer. Only after we are satisfied with those cost findings will we look further into a community’s assets. Will you prioritize research that way?

Economic Incentives

• How much insight can you provide on economic incentives, how we can obtain incentives, and what we need to do to avoid clawbacks or rescissions?
• What is the “Economic Impact Analysis” that sometimes is required to qualify for incentives?
• One community is working to attract us because we are part of the industry cluster they are targeting. In that case, how much of a better chance do we have of qualifying for incentives?
• I know that our identity can be kept from agencies in candidate locations, but how do we obtain the maximum in incentives if we remain anonymous?

Site Visits

• During site visits, are you able to arrange meetings with CEOs of non-competing companies to learn of their experiences in their locations?
• Certain university engineering programs are critical to us – can you arrange for us to meet with university department heads? For other talent, how about meeting with the
• I run a small business with only twenty jobs – are economic development agencies going to provide much help for my project?

Here is What the National Federation of Independent Business/California Had to Say about Joe:

“Joseph Vranich has fought for years to help businesses stay in California. His research fills a void that is missing in government data, namely how many businesses are leaving California due to its hostile business climate. While taking little credit for his diligent work, he is recognized by policy makers as an expert in his field. I have relied on him in the past, and will do so in the future, as well. – Ken DeVore, Legislative Director, NFIB/California.

Questions About Joe

• As a boutique operator, what types of alliances do you have with other firms to handle a complex, multi-faceted project?
• You are known for tracking companies leaving California because of its difficult business environment. How many companies have left and what specific reasons do they give for doing so?

Special 2019 Note: Those looking for Joe Vranich’s new comprehensive report about businesses leaving California can find a summary on the California page (once there, scroll down).

To Schedule a No-Cost, No-Obligation Appointment…

Please call me at 800-508-5138 or use the Contact Us link at the top of the page. – Joe Vranich.