Category archive: 365 Blog

Day 73: What do I do with a person wanting to start a business?  When I first started as a Chamber Exec in Hampton, Iowa I would get someone stopping in once/month that had a great business idea.  The first three times it happened, I was so interested in their idea and became excited about…

Day 72:  Is learning important?  Of course we all know it is important to continue to learn.  To be successful in any field you need to stay on top of trends and tools.  The best source for economic developers is to belong to your state-wide association.  They all offer at least yearly conferences presenting current…

Day 71:  Are my board meetings productive?  Times have changed.  It used to be that people that committed to serving on a board actually served on a board.  For some reason, boards are having problems getting people to attend on a regular basis.  Part of it is because both spouses now work outside the home,…

Day 70:  Stop and check your progress:  Every day as an economic developer there is always something new and different for you to do.  A community is a growing changing entity and we get pulled in all sorts of directions.  In my work, I can get pulled in so many different ways as a small…

Day 69:  What makes a good economic developer?  Several of my past posts have touched on different pieces of this.  As with any career, be willing to learn.  Be inquisitive.  Attend conferences.  Stretch yourself and go to a personal improvement course of some sort.  One of my all-time favorite books is Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits…

Day 68:  How important are certified sites?  Over the last five years the hot trend in economic development has been certified sites.  The cynical side of me first thought it was a new product line for engineering firms.  And, actually it was.  But it is a good idea too.  I believe Oregon was the first…

Day 67:  Do virtual buildings matter?   In a competitive environment the company that gets to the market first tends to do better.  So, most companies want to have their facility up as fast as possible if they are in a competitive market so they can get their product in the hands of the client first. …

Day 67:  Should I have a spec building?  This has been a debate for the last thirty years.  I view spec buildings as an expensive marketing effort.  But as in most things in life you get what you pay for.  On average a spec building will sit empty for five years.  During the recession it…

Day 66:  Economic development is a team sport:  I recently have experienced a situation where city government didn’t feel that the nonprofit economic development group was doing enough.  The city was giving a substantial amount of money to the organization.  It is a small city of 15,000.  So the city hired their own economic development…

Day 65:  What should I measure?   We feel it is very important for an organization to understand and measure their success.   So every plan we do is driven by the outcomes we identify.  The outcomes also should include measurements of success.  These measurements serve several purposes.  They keep the organization focused; they provide the backbone…

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