Author archive: csmith

Day 62:  Do I need a cash fund?  Last week I attended and economic development conference.  One of the sessions was about incentives.  One of the presenters was a local economic developer.  He told the group about the “closing fund”  that their community has.  It is a multi million dollar fund.  In the last year…

Day 61:  Following up with the prospect.  As with any sales call, follow-up is critical.  Any time a prospect visits there will be additional information they will request because there are always items they will bring up and you won’t have an answer.  The ideal situation is to have all the answers, but most of…

Day 60:  The Prospect visit:  This is a timely post as I just participated in a prospect visit yesterday.  This prospect is a household name and a very large capital project.  Before the prospect visit you have hopefully collected some information from the prospect so you are completely prepared.  But,  our prospect visit yesterday reminded…

Day 59:  A Prospect is Visiting.  Besides helping an existing business grow the next big moment is when a prospect visits your community.   They are visiting because you made the short list.  This typically means you have a building or site that meets their criteria.  It also means you have completed the needed steps to…

Day 58:  BEST PRACTICES reviewed.  We have completed the BEST PRACTICES study over the last thirteen days.  While these topics are extremely important there is no replacement for good old fashioned hard work.  I guess I am showing my age, but hard work will always be the differentiator in success in economic development.  In this…

Day 56: Endowing:  Successful organizations promote the long term nature of economic development and promote the importance of “endowing”/stabilizing funding through a balance of public and private sources.  Most of the communities we work with could always use more funding.  But the key is to have balanced funding.  Many organizations rely just on public funding. …

Day 55: Competitive:  Best Practices organizations understand that they operate in a competitive environment. They set clear goals and are highly focused on success.  I was born to an Iowa farm couple.  Common sense is just a way of  life to me.  Most of our BEST PRACTICES words are just plain common sense.  But you…

Day 54:  Involving:  Best Practices organizations are actively seeking new volunteers with valuable expertise to carry out strategy. Keeping volunteers motivated by assigning manageable tasks with clear deadlines builds a ‘pipeline” of potential new leaders.  Over prior days we have discussed the importance of having good leaders.  But in most of the communities where we…

Day 53:  Targeting:   Successful organizations realize that target marketing is an ongoing process that involves online sources, local marketing intelligence networks and emphasizes existing business opportunities.  I have already mentioned this topic several times in Day(s) 11, 15, 22.  I guess I can’t emphasize enough that in order for you to spend your time wisely,…

Day 52: Communicating:  Best Practices organizations place great emphasis on frequent, open and transparent communications and identify key messages for target audiences.   As I mentioned yesterday great communication is the key for success for an economic development corporation.  We have clients that say, we don’t want to bother our members.  True, you have to figure…

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