What the experts say ...

"People underestimate the value of starting a business in their hometown. When you go into a new area, nobody cares about you. You're an out-of-town company opening up a branch in this new community. You have to take that into consideration and figure out a way to be embraced and valued. What can your business do that's so meaningful to distant customers that they're going to embrace the outsider?"

--Aaron Steed, co-founder, Meathead Movers (logistics and transportation, 4 locations) | No. 3,234 2016 Inc. 5000 rank | 103% 3-year growth | $11.7M 2015 revenue

"When you have a separate location, there's an initial upfront cost, but there's also overhead you take on by having to communicate between multiple locations. Also, one thing I think a lot of small businesses don't realize is that looking for a new office is a huge time suck. We were running out of space, and it took us more than six months to find another office."

--Jerry Hum, co-founder and CEO, Touch of Modern (consumer products and services, three locations) | No. 147 2016 Inc. 5000 rank | 2,424% 3-year growth | $81.2M 2015 revenue

"There are really two reasons [to open a new location]: One, the right person lives there. You find the right people regardless of where they live, and then you build a team around them. Two, you have customers there. Our first external office was in Nashville, because we have a lot of customers there."

--Coleman Sisson, founder, BubbleUp (advertising and marketing, three locations) | No. 2,653 2016 Inc. 5000 rank | 133% 3-year growth | $14.3M 2015 revenue

"Project, forecast, do a cost-benefit analysis. Opening up a second facility for a small or medium-size business is not something to be taken lightly. A lot of what businesses do can now be done virtually. We always caution small businesses that are going to invest heavily in a new facility to allow for as much flexibility as they can and make sure their projections are very realistic. Just about every decision should be driven by customer need and serving your employees, even for a regional distribution center or a warehouse to store inventory."

--Ryan Neal, co-founder and president, Blueprint Consulting Services (business management and IT services, three locations) | No. 166 2016 Inc. 5000 rank | 2,162% 3-year growth | $22.3M 2015 revenue

"After we opened the first store, we were weighing two things: the community's response and acceptance, and whether we had enough capital to open a second location without jeopardizing the first store or our lifestyle. We wanted to wait at least a year to get the experience of being in the business, because we had never done this before. We started looking 14 months after we opened."

--Bruce Schultz, co-founder, Boardroom Salon for Men (consumer products and services, 23 locations) | No. 2,757 2016 Inc. 5000 rank | 127% 3-year growth | $6.8M 2015 revenue

From the November 2016 issue of Inc. magazine