C’mon, Ya Gotta Brag More! 4 Steps to Showing Off Your Economic Development Opportunities

Sure, you’ve laid the groundwork for economic development in your City, Town or County. The incentives are there, the infrastructure is in place, but why aren’t businesses setting up shop? You know that movie line “If you build it, they will come?” Well, in our line of work, it really should read “If you build it, and SCREAM IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS, then they will come.”

It’s not always easy to brag about yourself, so here are some lessons we’ve learned to make sure the best message gets in front of your future business owners or residents. 

1. Identify Your Audience

It’s not just about attracting any business, it’s about attracting the right business to your area. First and foremost, before emailing everyone you know about your recent tax incentive or printing brochures, consider your target audience. Is it manufacturing corporations, new tech startups or real estate developers? By narrowing your focus on who you want to add to your community, you increase your chances of developing a message that resonates with them.

2. Establish Your Position

Now that you know who you want to attract, it’s time to refine the message you want to use to entice your audience. What are the advantages of doing business in your area vs. other competitors? What sets your incentives apart? But really, what makes your City or Town truly appealing? Gather input from local businesses on what attracted them to open their doors or move to the area. Once you’ve gathered input on this, find a way to concisely summarize your position. 

3. Entice, then Educate

Odds are, whoever you aim to target, they’re busy. Whether it’s small business or real estate investors, they’re getting things done. Yes, background information on workforce demographics and development processes are helpful, but showcase how great your community is first. Don’t tell them your City is a beautiful place to live, show them enticing photos or videos! Then once you have their attention, share what they need to know to start making decisions. 

4. Ensure Credibility - Let Your Champions Speak for You

Who better to speak about the success of businesses in your community than local businesses? Learn from their experiences, give them a platform to promote their story and reinforce the relationships you have with your business leaders. Their recommendation will also add credibility to what you’ve already shared. 

You know the economic potential of your City, Town or County. With these steps, you’ll make sure that others do too.