Looking At Business Expansion? Start With These Four Criteria

Expansion could be a key to growth, but if you don't know why you're doing it, it's going to be hard to find the right spot.

If your company is experiencing increased product demand, operational strains due to location or a change in leadership, you may be considering a business expansion. Access to new customers, additional revenue streams and economies of scale are all benefits of a business expansion. However, the process will present challenges.

Even though you might want to get started immediately, it’s essential to have a business development and expansion strategy. What is your goal? For example, do you need a central fulfillment center like the online pet retailer Chewy? Are you looking for a state with fewer taxes for your next factory, similar to Tesla? You can begin looking for a site once you’ve pinpointed your main reason for expanding.

As you work through your business expansion plan, you might come across other elements you need to guarantee success. Keep these four general criteria for selecting a business location in mind:

1. The prospective site should support workforce development. Even with the rise of remote work, your business expansion plan should factor in the prospective region’s talent pool. Some roles can be performed from anywhere, but you might need local employees who can commute to your new location during the workweek. Plus, about 68% of executives think employees should be in the office at least three days a week to maintain a strong company culture. If the town or city you move to has a strong talent pool, you’ll be able to find the workers you need to support your business expansion.

2. Real estate should meet your needs — and your budget. You might find a variety of “perfect” locations, but you’ll likely be limited by your business expansion budget. The key is to identify a site that checks your most important boxes. Are you hoping for a spot in Florida, for instance? Orlando might be too expensive, but smaller towns and cities can still get you close to where you want to be. To speed up the process, some states — such as Missouri and Ohio — offer certified site programs that make it easy for you to determine what a site has to offer.


3. Prepare to navigate local rules and regulations. You should make sure you understand the rules and regulations of any sites you’re considering. If you need support, local economic development professionals can help. These individuals will be there every step of the way to help you navigate your unique situation. For example, there could be an ordinance that affects your new factory because it produces a scent. Professionals can help you solve similar potential problems and alert you to available incentives once you’ve developed a business expansion plan.


4. The community should welcome your company. You might find the ideal location with zero conflicting regulations and a strong talent pool. However, not all environments want new business. If you’ll depend on members of the community to be your future customers, employees, and partners, then you might want to find another site. It’s possible to overcome community opposition, but you’ll have greater success with a location that welcomes you with open arms.


A business expansion is an exciting opportunity, but it should never be a hasty decision. Start with a firm business expansion strategy to identify potential new sites for your company, conducting a thorough business location analysis to determine which locations are the best options for you. You’ll know you’ve found the right spot when it meets the criteria mentioned above.


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    We are in a period of rapid change. Customer needs, technologies, competitors and internal capabilities require companies to review and update their strategies for the new realities. In this workshop, strategy experts Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison will show you a systematic approach to strategic planning to help you refine or redefine your business strategy and approach including:

    • Learn what you need to know to develop an effective strategic plan. Put the right players on the strategic planning team.
    • Develop strategies that leverage your company’s unique position in the marketplace. Lift your management team beyond “business as usual” thought processes and activities.
    • Translate your strategies into action. Achieve your vision for success and generate superior financial results.
    • Identify exactly what you need to do now to position your company for future success.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.