[TEMPLATE] How specifications can make or break your new venture

10 Mar 2021
Estimated reading time : 4 minutes
[TEMPLATE] How specifications can make or break your new venture
10 Mar 2021
Estimated reading time : 4 minutes

You may already be searching for the ideal site to begin—or continue—growing your business internationally. But have you clearly defined what kind of site you need and what the scope of your project will be?

The right set of specifications documents your needs and sketches the broad outlines of your project.

Without them, you’re flying blind. It’s harder to coordinate with your partners on the ground, and it’s easier to make mistakes that will hurt your company.

Here you’ll find advice on drafting the right specifications for your project—and you can download model specs specially designed for businesses in search of the ideal site.

 

What are specifications?

Specifications document your needs so you can communicate them easily to everyone involved in your business development project. They also provide a detailed description of your expectations and all of the requirements for your venture.

When used as part of a site-selection process, a set of comprehensive specs allows you to optimize coordination with your local contacts, including:

  • Economic development agencies
  • Real estate consultants and site selection specialists
  • Accountants
  • Legal advisers

And because all of your partners have the same level of information, they can identify the best opportunities faster—and eliminate destinations that don’t meet your needs.

Download our model site-selection specifications

When to draft your site-selection specs

Most business development projects go through these steps:

  1. The board approves the investment, defining the overall vision and setting short-, medium- and long-term targets.
  2. The project team lists and evaluates the criteria for selecting a region, using both financial and qualitative criteria. For help with this step, download our qualitative decision matrix.
  3. Based on this preliminary analysis, the team makes a shortlist of potential destinations for further investigation.
  4. The team compiles a set of specifications detailing the features the site must have to meet your needs.
  5. The specs are shared with local contacts, making it easier to identify candidate sites and evaluate them in depth.

Bottom line: draft your specifications after you shortlist your candidate regions and before you begin the final site-selection process.

And because they will guide all of the players involved in the project—internally and externally—be sure to have your specs in hand before you begin in-depth work with your local partners.

 

What good specifications can do for you

Build trust with local partners

You may have a clear vision of your destination within your company, but to grow your business successfully, you’ll need to bring your local contacts on board—and they’re not familiar with your project yet.

With good specifications, you can share your vision of the ideal site with everyone involved.

They’re the foundation for trust-based relationships and healthy collaboration, and they allow your partners to begin supporting your project right away. Solid specs are proof that you’re competent, professional and clear about where you want to go.

They also make it easier for your partner to plan and structure each step of their work with you, all the way to the final decision.

 

Save valuable time

Drafting detailed specifications may strike you as a tedious task, but it will save you a significant amount of time as you see your project through.

Having good specs streamlines your relationships with your partners, who can get to work right away, without stopping to research your needs.

Meanwhile, you avoid long exchanges as you coordinate with people on the ground. Since all of the relevant information is already in the specs, your contacts can simply refer to them.

And when your partners have detailed information on your essential site-selection criteria, they can quickly identify locations that work for you. You won’t waste time exploring options that clearly don’t meet your expectations.

 

Save money

With a set of well-drafted specifications, you’ll also cut site-selection costs.
First, you’ll automatically reduce the person-hours you spend searching for your site, because the process takes less time and fewer resources.

Second, specs limit the number of hiccups and hurdles, which waste time and generate unexpected costs for your project, such as bringing in new partners.

Good specifications also shorten the timeline between making the investment decision and kicking off operations at the new site. In short, you’re up and running faster. And depending on the nature of your project, that quick start can give you a valuable competitive edge.

Finally, specs help you choose the ideal site. When you apply very detailed criteria, you increase the chances that your investment will succeed over the long term.

 

How to draft your specifications

The details of your specifications will vary from project to project, but some categories are essential.

 

Background and goals

Never forget that the purpose of your specs is to share your vision with partners outside your company. Before you detail your needs, it’s useful to sketch in some background:

  • A quick overview of your business
  • Why you’ve launched your new venture and what challenges you face, including strategy, objectives and restrictions

 

Site-selection criteria

Depending on your business, the location for your new site may need to meet specific criteria, such as:

  • Proximity to a major city
  • Easy access to roads, airports, rail, ports and more

With a clear set of site-selection criteria, you can quickly make a preliminary selection.

 

Human resources and hiring

The ideal location should also have an adequate supply of available workers with the training you need, so it’s important to work with your partners to evaluate the labor pool at your pre-selected sites. Key criteria include:

  • A qualified workforce
  • Executive recruitment potential
  • Proximity to training programs appropriate for your business

 

Land and buildings

Finally, you’re looking for a site that’s suitable for your purposes.
Obviously, a commercial activity and an industrial operation will have radically different needs.

Will you rent or buy? Are you looking for an existing property, or do you plan to build?

If you’re launching an industrial operation, will the building need to meet specific requirements? What about water, gas and electricity and other utilities?
You should ask all of these questions before you begin searching for your site.

 

Specifications are the cornerstone of your site-selection process—an essential resource for minimizing the risk of costly mistakes and working effectively with local partners.

Don’t know how to get started? Not sure what criteria to include?

We can help. Our exclusive model specifications have been vetted and approved by many prospects.