Roadmaps to Success – August 2013

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there”. Yes, even economic development organizations can lose their way or veer off into directions they never intended to get involved with. The SSG Roadmap, which many may call a strategic plan, is intended to identify and isolate key strategic issues and address each issue with strategies to succeed. The Roadmap sets the direction for the organization to follow to reach milestones of success. The Roadmap process can be applied to any situation or organizational challenge facing a community or region. The following are three specific examples where SSG has recently created Roadmaps to Success for economic development clients.

Cherokee County, located in the Joplin metropolitan area, had no formal economic development effort when County Commissioners and business leaders contacted SSG to assist them in the process building a countywide economic development organization. Individual communities within the County have had some success with economic development but collectively they have begun to realize that they could accomplish much more. SSG assisted the new Economic Development Advisory Committee, made up of representatives from each community, to identify the key strategic areas to focus on and develop their first business plan. The Cherokee County Roadmap lays out the steps from organizational details to marketing to targeting that they need to take to be successful in their first year of operation.

Sierra Vista, Arizona is located just 15 miles from the Mexican border and currently is heavily dependent economically on Fort Huachaca, an army base with missions in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), Homeland Security and Cyber Security. The Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation (SVEDF) hired SSG to update their Strategic Roadmap with a focus on diversifying their economy, with an eye towards reductions in defense budgets. SSG worked with the Board and staff to analyze target industries that would complement current strengths and focus on organizational priorities that need to be addressed to implement changes. The Roadmap detailed the steps to build an organization prepared to meet the challenges of a changing economic landscape.

Eastern Polk Regional Development (EPRD) hired SSG to develop a business plan to guide their efforts as they enter an era of organizational change. A new Executive Director, who follows the first and only Director in EPRD history, the announcement of the Facebook Data Center location in Altoona, and various growth issues and demands in the four partner communities have created new

challenges and opportunities for EPRD. The process to develop the Eastern Polk Roadmap included focus groups in each community and with key stakeholders. Key strategic issues were identified and a business plan and marketing plan have been drafted that lay out the roadmap to solidifying the organization.

Three examples…three different situations….three Roadmaps to Success. SSG, in their work with over 400 clients, has developed hundreds of strategies customized to meet each unique challenge. Visit our web site at and then give us a call to discuss your unique needs at 515-279-2185.