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Now What? Why Site Selectors are Looking Past Your Community.

Monday, June 18, 2018

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So your community didn’t get on the finalist list for Amazon HQ2, now what? The site selection process is changing and adapting with the trends in business. While it may still be important to look for potentially large company relocations, many good business expansions can occur with small to mid-sized companies. But gaining the attention of these businesses requires some creative approaches.

Incentives don’t matter as much as talent

Workforce, workforce, workforce. The ability for a community to attract and retain a workforce is ranking at the top of the incentive list. Business owners may still be interested in traditional incentives, but the real key to long-term growth and sustainability for companies is access to quality workers.

The amenities and quality of life attractions your community can offer is critical to the care and feeding of your local workforce. Today’s workers are valuing their time away from the office or on the job more so than workers in the past. Feed their recreational habits and they will come.

Your community’s story needs to be simple and readable.

Everyone is focusing on their story these days. Girl meets world. World has challenges. Girl overcomes challenges and raises a family in your community. Happy ending.

While every community is working on their narrative, most communities have forgotten the most important rule: Keep it simple!  If a potential business owner has to struggle through a long, drawn out story, you have lost their interest. Remember, with today’s sensationalized content, getting people’s attention difficult.  And, when they do give you their attention, it is a privilege. So get to the point and don’t waste their time.

Don’t tell your past story… tell your present and future story and explain the potential.

George W. Somebody was really famous and a great founder of your community. He started a great community and there is fountain in honor of his greatness. So what!  Every community has a past and everyone is from somewhere. But what does tomorrow bring?

Successful business owners are able to eliminate as much uncertainty as possible.  Your community needs to pitch a new company on the future investment commitments and what potential lies ahead. Quit retelling your past… sell your future.

Find a mentor.

We all know the great story of Star Wars, Yoda is a key. Why? Because he knows the right ways to mentor for the greater goal.

Much like any other professional development, communities and economic developers need a mentor too, preferably someone with exposure in the fast paced economic development world with site selectors. Having a mentor, such as Golden Shovel Agency, helps pave the path to the right outlets and a great resource for your community.

Your ability to lower the cost of doing business is one of the most important resources your community can bring to the table.

Businesses are interested in profits and growth so find ways that you can lower their cost of doing business and your community has a real asset. Access to transportation routes is important and having buildable acres is appealing, but having lower utility rates and less government rates and hassle is more important.

If a business gains a financial edge by moving or expanding in your community, that reduced cost of doing business translates to profit and future investments.

Relocation decisions and expansion decisions often hinge on an increase in EBITDA. The faster a business can turn an expansion into profits the better the investment will make sense to the board members. The quickest way to increase EBITDA is through cost reduction and operational efficiency gains.

Like every other trend in our globally connected world, economic development is increasingly becoming more competitive. So now is the time to step up your game and partner with the businesses to help grow your community.

Stay connected,

The Golden Shovel Team.

Category: Blog, News

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