When a business decides to move, it may be because it has outgrown its current facilities or its local market. However, apart from these obvious reasons, there are actually a multitude of other equally valid reasons for making a business move.
Even in the Information Age, location still matters. While a business can certainly do a lot online, it may also be important for it to develop a geographical presence as well. Depending on the nature of a business, sometimes a virtual business is insufficient for its growth and location plays a vital role in its evolving success.
Here, for example, are 4 reasons why location could be important for your business:
1. Labor Intensive Markets
A business may be labor-intensive and require a substantial workforce for its type of business.
Although Amazon is primarily known as a gigantic online business, it also has huge warehouses in various locations around the world to pack and ship products cost effectively. In other words, while its store front is an Internet business, its fulfillment centers have to be physical. Last year, the company made $88.988 billion because it has warehouse facilities the size of small towns.
2. Bigger Market Share
Location may be important for a business to reach a bigger market. Most multinationals don’t simply set up shop in their home country but spread across the world in search of new markets.
Ford Motors is not just an all-American company. While it is headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford plants can be found in Europe, Oceania, East and Southeast Asia, Japan, South and West Asia, South America, and Africa.
It is this global reach that is responsible for the company’s billion dollar revenue. In 2015, its pretax profits are estimated to be $8.5 to $9.5 billion.
However, reaching for a bigger market share is not always about sales. Location may be also important for upgrading facilities and getting better equipment at a lower cost.
Location may also be important for increasing cash flow due to currency exchange rates, lower taxation or governmental business incentives.
3. Tech Hubs
Technical businesses often need highly qualified knowledge workers. They may relocate to a place where there are more technically educated people.
While most people have the idea that Silicon Valley, California is where all tech workers and employers gravitate, this is actually far from true.
An article on CNET debunked this myth:
“Silicon Valley, Seattle, and Boston didn’t even crack the top five, which was rounded out by Raleigh, N.C., Denver, and Omaha, Neb. Of the areas traditionally thought of as tech hubs, Seattle came in the highest at No. 6, Boston was a distant 35, and San Francisco snuck in to the list of top 40 areas at 38, while neighbor San Jose, Calif., ranked 49th. While Silicon Valley may not present the best STEM job opportunity, you were more likely to be surrounded by STEM employees in San Jose — the heart of Silicon Valley — than anywhere else in the nation. Other cities with the highest percentage of STEM employees included Washington, DC, and Seattle.”
Finally, a small businesses decision to relocate may have nothing to do with the business itself, but rather facilitating a higher quality of life. The United Van Lines logistics blog has a post entitled Moves to South Reflect Job Trends, which discusses how people are moving to this part of the United States due to lower housing costs and milder climates.
Quality of life relocation decisions value things like:
- Crime rates
- Health care
We can clearly see a pattern here–there is no pattern. Different businesses have different needs, and different times call for different business strategies. For some businesses, revenue is all important, for others it’s about lifestyle. For some businesses avoiding high tax states is important, for others it’s about setting up an organization where more people can be served.
Moreover, it’s seldom one reason that motivates a business to relocate–usually it’s a combination of several reasons. Deciding on whether you should relocate your business really depends on what kind of business you’re in and whether or not relocating to another city or state may help your business grow and your employees feel happier in the new environment.