Okay, so you are all excited that you have decided to develop a new project. The time is right, you have thought about it long enough and it is time to get busy and get a new building project going.

This is not some thing that you do every day and all of a sudden you start to get overwhelmed with all the things that need to get done and worst yet there seems to be about 40 things that seem like they need to be done FIRST! Which one of the first things is really first?

Developing a new project should be looked at as a process that has a natural flow and sequence of events that need to take place in the correct order to achieve the desired end result.

So now before you race off and start spending a whole bunch of time and money needlessly just take a deep breath and do this first before anything else.

Ask and answer the six W-H questions. Why, Who, What, Where, When and How.

  • Why? Why should I expand and this goes for expanding your current location by putting on an addition or expanding with another new location. This is one that you need to spend some time on. Will I actually make more money if I expand? Is the added overhead and debt going to be worth it in the long run and how long is the long run?

You can do an internal feasibility analysis if you are honest with yourself or normally a better course of action is to hire an outside consultant that specializes in market feasibility studies for you type of business.

RULE # 1: Start your expansion with a market feasibility study

  • Who. Who is the best person to answer my questions? This could include site analysis, preliminary project development cost budget, zoning, environmental etc. The list is very long.

This really depends on how much experience that you have with project development and construction. Is this your first one, second one, do you have the time, is your current business going to suffer because you are spending too much time working on you new proposed project?

RULE #2: The less you know and the less time you have to devote to your new project the more you need good advise from a professional with REAL WORLD experience developing you type of project.

  • What. What do I need and what can I afford? More really good questions.
  • Where. Where is the best place to build, where do I find the best site, where can I get financing? In today‚Äôs economic times this is one that everyone is asking.
  • When. When should I start? When is the best time to open?
  • How. How is the best way to build, and how can I make sure I get the best value for my investment?

This is about the point in the project that you really need to take another deep breath and be honest with yourself about whether you are emotionally invested in the idea of expanding or if it is truly going to be a business and economic decision base on the facts.

If it is going to be a business based decision then it is time to put together a development/planning team for the project. This team should consist of you, the Owner, plus your Realtor, an experienced Design/Build project Contractor.

This could be the most critical part of the whole process. CHEAP is not the best criteria to base your selection on here for sure. The qualities that your development partners need to have are; they need to Trust worthy, they need to be Responsive and THEY NEED TO BE EXPERIENCED with your type of project. You do not want to provide a learning experience for them at your expense.

If you decide to move forward with your project there may be other questions that fit in to the W-H formula but if you write these down and answer these BEFORE you commit a lot of time or money to your project you will be a lot better prepared to move forward with purpose and have a better understanding of what your purpose is.