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Guide Your Location Strategy with Comparative City Data

Data is essential when deciding where to re-locate your business. Discover four key data sets that should be part of your research process.

International expansion involves finding an optimal location that aligns with your needs, advances your goals and maximizes your business opportunities.

Developing an expansion strategy involves extensive market research, comprehensive analysis and data deep dives to find the perfect fit for your business. You’ll need to consider factors like availability of talent, overall ecosystem, business costs, quality of life and more.

By analyzing your short-listed cities against these key considerations, you can make informed expansion decisions and grow with purpose. Our new interactive City Matchup tool makes it super-easy to compare Waterloo against other tech and manufacturing hubs in North America.

Here are some key metrics to keep in mind when performing city comparisons.

1. Labour Cost & Availability

When determining an expansion location, talent should be one of your top priorities. Finding, retaining and attracting top talent is one of the biggest and most daunting tasks in the current economy.

Just as a skilled fisherman seeks out water teeming with fish, smart companies position themselves in locations where the talent pool is abundant. You increase your chances of success when you can find a robust talent pool. You can focus your resources on scaling and growth, rather than struggling to find the right talent.

Cost of labour is another critical factor to consider. For example, several major tech and manufacturing companies have located, relocated or expanded to Waterloo to take advantage of our cost-effective, quality talent pool.

We are the #1 small tech talent market in North America, with a growing graduate population from top-rated academic institutions and the fourth-largest manufacturing workforce in Canada.

2. Population

Population is another key factor – one that plays directly into the availability of talent. When engaging in your city comparison, try to determine if there is a projected population growth that could bolster the community’s talent pipeline.

The size of the community you select will offer its unique benefits and drawbacks. Big cities offer greater access to capital and talent but come with a higher price tag, while small communities offer lower costs but lesser access to capital resources and support organizations.

On the other hand, mid-sized cities like Waterloo boast a welcoming business culture, proximity to major markets like Toronto, top talent sources and distinct cost advantages.

3. Quality of Life

Quality of life refers to factors like the availability of affordable housing, access to green spaces, arts and culture opportunities, population diversity and the overall safety of a community. You’ll want to analyze the quality of life across several communities to find the right fit for you, your business and your employees.

Waterloo is home to three excellent post-secondary institutions, a culturally diverse population, an amazing blend of natural beauty and recreational spaces and a robust transit system.

Additionally, Waterloo’s proximity to major hubs like Toronto and picturesque destinations like Blue Mountain, Wasaga Beach and Algonquin Provincial Park make it a great choice with better living costs compared to large metropolitan hubs.

4. Office & Industrial Costs

Depending on whether your business requires office or industrial space, it’s crucial to compare each city’s cost profile. Upfront research can help mitigate any additional or unexpected costs.

Waterloo is an excellent example of a city with an impressive cost profile. In Waterloo, companies can save up to 65% of their R&D costs with the SR&ED tax credit.

Corporate income and payroll taxes are lower in Canada than in the United States, and office space in Waterloo is half the cost of major markets including Silicon Valley, New York, Seattle, Austin and Boston.

Win with data

City comparisons are essential to any data-driven expansion strategy. Diligent research and evaluation across these key metrics will help your company land in the ideal location for future growth and success.

Kickstart your data-driven location strategy and business expansion journey today with our new interactive City Matchup tool. This new tool makes it easy to see how Waterloo compares across these key metrics.