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Where Will Your Business Thrive?

March 11, 2013

I recentlycame across an interesting post on Manufacturing Executive’s Global Value Networks blog that discusses the trend of reshoring (the act of bringing business operations back to the U.S.). It’s a great topic, and I hope it continues to show up in industry news and forums.

I especially appreciated the author’s call to governments and business leaders to think about the types of reshored manufacturing they want in their communities. He goes on to say that if governments and business leaders want a certain type of manufacturing in their community, they must create an environment in which those types of businesses will thrive. While this reminds me of a quote from a classic movie (I’ll give you a hint: corn fields and baseball), unfortunately it’s not that simple—and especially not for those who are looking for a community to reshore in.

For those of you who are thinking about where to develop your ideas, build products, or create successful businesses, finding the right community can be a
daunting challenge. It’s important to consider where you will achieve the best return on investment and provide the most value. So how do you determine which community will best support your business?

While there is no “litmus test” per se for determining how well a community will support your business, there are several factors you should consider. The three I deem to be most important are:

1.  Research and analyze what local communities offer.

2.  Develop strong bonds between entrepreneurs, governments, education, and finance leaders.

3.  Determine the cost and  benefits of reshoring by examining total cost of ownership calculations.

A successful reshoring requires a supportive environment that is also a good fit for your business. By doing your homework, you can find a community that will support your endeavors and, ultimately, allow your business to thrive.

Andy Thom, CPA, is AEM’s Manufacturing Industry Leader. When he’s not helping clients steer through industry changes, he’s steering his kayak through a southern Minnesota waterway. You can reach Andy at 507.304.6830 or at

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