I am currently reading Journey to Jobs by renown economic development author and practitioner Maury Forman and accomplished economic development consultant Audrey Taylor. The book covers a variety of business recruitment and retention techniques and one I find particularly meaningful, business development.
Business development and retention guru Eric P. Canada contributed a chapter entitled "Existing Business Programs." Mr. Canada's writing on assisting businesses were of such great meaning and professional value that I decided to share three golden takeaways from his writing.
- Don’t make any promises that can’t be kept. If a direct request is made, take down the details and offer to get back to the executive later. After the meeting, consider the company’s requests and check to see if others can help before returning with an offer to help the company. This is an enlightened approach to dealing with the assistance trap.
- Maintaining an open structure without a specific industry allows the most benefit. Creating cross-industry links and coalitions allows development organizations to play a valuable role. Furthermore, understanding the needs of growth companies helps a community prepare for the future instead of building for the past.
- Business development is:
- Proactive management of the local economy
- A proven economic development strategy
- Focused on existing employers to help them grow sales outside the community
No deep analysis on my end is necessary. Those three takeaways hardly scratch the surface of Mr. Canada's deep knowledge included in the chapter.
On another note, I would like to congratulate my former supervisor and knowledgeable economic developer, Mr. Larry Williams. Last week he stepped into a new role as the President of the Beacon Council, Miami (FL)- Dade County's Official Economic Development Partnership. He is absolutely deserving of the promotion and the Miami region is blessed to have a wise and experienced professional as he leading the way. Click this link to read about Larry's promotion.
Thanks for Reading,