Site Selection Process
In today’s global economy, location decisions are made quickly. Make sure your community is ready to present your municipal land assets, privately-owned lots for sale or lease and business or industrial parks.
There are three distinct stages in the site selection process:
The first stage takes place online. Good data is a competitive advantage. The site selection consultant visits community and government websites to collect statistical information based on the data standards set by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). This information is usually presented in a site selector profile.
The goal is to home in on about seven or eight communities within the geographic search area that meet the company’s selection criteria.
Because the research is conducted online, you probably won’t be aware when your community is being researched and considered as a location for investment. As a result, you need to ensure that the required information is available online and easy-to-find.
To create a good impression, develop a site selector profile and make sure that
- Your website has a section dedicated to Economic Development or Business
- Your community profile on BritishColumbia.ca is up-to-date at all times
Once the location search has been narrowed down to a smaller pool of communities, the second stage of site selection begins. The goal is to create a shortlist of about three communities.
The focus shifts from a purely statistical analysis to a more holistic approach. This is where your community profile is important. Along with statistics, which help establish the facts, your community profile should include qualitative information, such as details about the local business environment, quotes from local businesses and photographs of available land and buildings.
Consider including a land inventory and links to real estate listings on your website. This information will help the site selection consultant learn more about your community and any available sites and buildings that may meet the business’s selection criteria.
Site selection consultants often conduct interviews with businesses in the area. A business walks initiative offers an opportunity for you to get to know your business environment better and to find out what’s working and what needs to be improved.
Examples of Site Selection Research Activities:
- Interviews with similar businesses in your community
- Interviews with community leaders, such as your mayor or the CEO of a major employer
- Community visits to tour the sites and buildings you have available
- Requests for information from the local economic development organization or chamber of commerce
The final stage in the site selection process occurs after the business has tentatively settled on a suitable location. During this stage, the site selection consultant and business negotiate with one or two jurisdictions to finalize their investment decision.