It’s time for the next installment of Strategic Development Group’s countdown.  Our SDG “Top Ten” list covers the most frequent mistakes companies make in the site selection process. Check out the other installments of our countdown!

Mistake #4: Selecting a Site Base Primarily on Incentives

Fad diets, fast fashion, ready-to-assemble furniture. They all offer some great traits. Fad diets can be a quick and easy route to weight loss. Fast fashion offers the latest trends at budget prices. Ready-to-assemble furniture means you can furnish an entire house or apartment at a fraction of the cost.

But they don’t lead to the desired long-term results. Quick weight loss through restrictive fad diets doesn’t lead to sustainable health changes. Fast fashion pieces, as does ready-to-assemble furniture, tend to suffer in quality over time.

These things look fresh and shiny at first and at a lesser cost to the pocketbook and efforts required for their counterparts. Ultimately, consumers set themselves up for failure due to a lack of consideration of their needs like durability, longevity, and sustainability.

We see this happen in site selection as well. A shiny, attractive incentive package is offered by one site. The business puts blinders on and wants to take advantage of the incentives to the detriment of the project’s long-term success.

Incentives can’t make a bad site good. Site selection solely based on the highest incentive offer can be a costly error.

For example, most advanced manufacturers desire a site labor draw that provides a consistent source of qualified skilled workers who can adapt to changing technologies.

Suppose an advanced manufacturer has short-listed two sites, one with a valuable incentive package and one with a much less valuable package, but with a labor draw that appears to be much more advantageous for the long term.

This is where we see the potential for a significant misstep. Selecting the site with the inferior labor force because of a compelling incentive package. Over the long term, the costs of turnover, quality, and training far exceed the value of the compelling incentive package. The value proposition is lost, and the manufacturer is left with long-lasting or permanent labor dilemmas.


An initial alignment process allows site selectors to ensure a complete understanding and alignment of site requirements. Upon achieving alignment with the client, we utilize a variety of data sources to verify the site meets the labor, logistics, AND financial needs including evaluation of incentives. We appropriately weigh the value of the various factors to ensure long-term success for our clients.

Strategic Development Group

Our experienced team is singularly focused on finding your project the best site for long-term success. We take a holistic approach and have the expertise to negotiate and navigate the intricacies of your unique company and needs.

Founded in 1999, SDG is a highly specialized site selection consulting firm. We focus on identifying optimum locations promptly, maximizing the value of incentives, and minimizing risk for corporations from across the globe. SDG has managed projects with capital investment from $15 million to over $1 billion for companies in a wide range of industries including automotive, chemical, steel, and life science.

We would love to hear your thoughts on our Siting Success blog or discuss how we can help you achieve your company or community’s goals for long-term success. Contact us!