Ways to get the most out of local Economic Development Organizations
They want to bring business to their communities; you want to find the perfect place for your client to run their business, site selectors working with local economic development organizations seems to be a perfect match. As a site selector , your ultimate job is to find the best possible location for a business, and one of the best ways to accomplish that is to work with a local economic development organization. Who to better talk to about a brand than the people who work day in and day out to promote it? That’s exactly what local EDOs are, their ambassadors for a brand- i.e. their region. Creating a working relationship with local economic development organizations is important not only when you’re helping a client select a new location, but all the time. Local economic development organizations have more resources on their location than you, and all those resources can be extremely helpful .
Most site selectors, brokers and others in the industry already know reaching out to local economic development agencies can help make their clients’ search easier. But there is so much more these organizations can help you with. We have a few tips to help site selectors get the most out of local economic development agency. After all, who better to give advice on how to work with local EDOs than a local EDO themselves?
Realize they can help you give the best customer service possible
A huge part of your client’s satisfaction comes from the customer service they receive. Use the EDOs in areas on your prospect list to wow your client. These agencies are sitting on troves of treasures you could use to make your client glad they decided to work with you.
Odds are they know a lot more about their community than you do. They’ve spent tons of their time gathering data and sifting through information about their community to decide what categories make their location the best. This information could help make or break a deal. Even if they don’t have the answer, they can find you what you’re looking for, probably a lot quicker than you can.
Keep a strong relationship with the organizations located in the regions you mostly work with. Then, don’t be afraid to ask them for what you need. You’ll be surprised how much information they have that can for you if you just ask. They may be able to answer a question your client may have that you never would have even thought of. You may not think your client is going to ask how many four star restaurants are located within fifteen miles of the proposed site, but it might be important to your client. Instead of telling them you’re unsure, and may have to do a little research, just reach out to the local economic development agency.
Use their local ties
Their job is to promote the place they call home. That means they know things about this location that you would never dream of looking into. Use their knowledge! Their knowledge of the ins and outs of the region can help in numerous ways.A business opening in a new area is going to need a lot of things- employees, media, and investors to name just a few. Getting a local economic development organization involved in your project means saving you time, while also giving your client the best possible service.
Most likely, EDOs already have ties with local media, which can be very helpful if your client wants publicity. They also can help connect your client with resources to recruit potential employees, how to find local investors and more. A regional economic development organization will be and especially valuable resource if you’re dealing with a relocation project. If your client is considering moving employees to a new location, a regional economic development organization, such as Penn’s Northeast, can help connect your clients to respected realtors, and also give them information on things including the local schooling system and activities.
Regional economic development organizations know about all the different resources available to businesses. They may be able to help you apply for a local grant program or give you information on funding resources. Maybe they know of a quaint restaurant to end a prospect tour, or know that there’s a short cut to avoid the typical Monday traffic, whatever it is, little bits of different information will seem great to a client.
Join their mailing lists
The more information you have about an area, the better you’ll be able to find a match for your clients. If you keep educated on specific areas, you’ll be able to find resources for your clients when they ask, not hours after you’ve conducted research and made twenty phone calls. Subscribe to the email campaigns, blogs, and newsletters for the local economic development agencies that are located in the main areas you do business in- that way you’ll stay in the loop even if you’re not actively working that area.
Plus, you’ll be able to get a better understanding of available properties and the target markets in a specific area. Most regional EDOs have mailing lists you can subscribe to that will make it easy for you to learn about their available properties. For example, our Penn’s Northeast Featured Properties email is sent twice a month and highlights available properties in our region. This gives you frequent, reminders of the types of properties in Northeastern Pennsylvania and their specifications.
Why don’t you apply what you’ve learned in this blog and join our mailing list!
While these are a few of our favorite ideas, we’re sure you have a few of your own. Tweet us with your favorite ways to utilize local EDOs and we’ll share them with our followers.
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