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Corporate Executive Survey Commentary: Time Equals Opportunity

The sluggish economy is providing companies with the opportunity to begin planning their next moves.

Q1 2015
One noteworthy finding of this year’s Corporate Survey is that only 39 percent of respondents say that the economic recovery has achieved a continuous growth track, and the majority do not expect continuous economic growth to occur until 2016 or even 2017. Real estate activities reflect this bearish outlook, with nearly 70 percent reporting that the number of their company facilities had not changed during the past year and less than 20 percent planning to open new facilities or otherwise expand in the next year.

However, time equals opportunity. Forty-six percent of survey participants begin the information-gathering process for site selection as much as two years in advance, and 20 percent begin even earlier. Six of the top 10 site selection factors in this year’s survey are directly related to real estate, providing further evidence that timing is a strategic consideration.

With these considerations in mind, the sluggish economy provides an opportunity for companies to begin planning their next moves. As the economy gains strength, a company will face increasing competition for key sites — and having a strategy in place will allow it to move quickly. It is never too early to start the process.

It is not unusual for companies to begin gathering information far in advance, but then delay making any actual decisions until compelled by circumstances, such as a major new customer, influx of new orders, or the quest for skilled labor. At that point, site selection becomes an urgent priority, with added costs stemming from inadequate planning. Anticipating growth in 2016 or 2017? Start working on your strategy now.
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