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Determining the best place for your business

What’s in a location? Everything. When looking for your next location one of the most challenging factors to overcome is balancing land availability and cost with ideal conditions for development and growth. Ideal conditions start with infrastructure. Is the site served with infrastructure such as sewer, water, electrical and natural gas? This could add millions to project costs and quickly result in a site being disqualified. For future growth, do you have the capacity to expand your business without considerable expense in upgrading the existing infrastructure?

Next, how about accessibility? If you are seeking a distribution site, how difficult will it be to access the Interstate, will neighbors or dilapidated access roads cause problems, and how much will it cost to access the major roadways over time if the site is remotely distant from major access? A key factor is the availability and accessibility to workforce. In a meeting with Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services, transportation, next to healthcare, is the second biggest challenge for entry-level workforce.

An important consideration is the support business that is needed to service the prospective company. Are there suppliers and vendors available and nearby? Does the location offer good traffic patterns or customer frequency if that is needed? Is the location one that can be seen easily by the target client or will a great deal have to be done to make the business visible?

Put all of the above together and it is a challenging task to find a site that is right for the business and a site that provides the client with the confidence of speed-to-market. Regardless of reality, most businesses believe they needed the transaction done yesterday.

To ensure new business clients are handled consistently and to represent Nebraska as a state prepared to do business, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development created a community designation known as Certified Community.  The Certified Community designation is attained only after a significant review process by the Department. This designation covers marketing, infrastructure due diligence and sites that have been confirmed as available for sale.

As with all site selection, having confirmation of availability to sell a site at a designated price is critical to our credibility. Changing variables on land acquisition is the first sign a deal will fall through. Being prepared is key. Inviting a civil engineer to the table for site visits with business clients is also a great way that we build credibility and accurately answer their questions. Also, if a client is adamant about a certain condition that seems unbalanced with your understanding, we don’t try to change their mind even if it seems logical. We understand that companies have a strict set of guidelines and certain factors that far outweigh others depending on the business model. To fast-track site selection, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development maintains a list of sites at

About the Author

Darren Robinson
Development Coucil, Buffalo County Economic

Darren Robinson is the former Real Estate Site Acquisition Manager for Cabela's and now represents his hometown of Kearney, Neb. in economic development.

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