Business Attraction Strategies & Tactics
A focused and targeted approach is needed to identify and generate potential business investment leads. Consider the following business attraction strategies and tactics to create awareness of your community and attract suitable opportunities.
Initially, you may wish to focus your efforts on generating interest at a community or regional level before expanding. It may also be beneficial to collaborate with other communities to leverage regional strengths and jointly market regional benefits.
Economic Development Website
Your community’s economic development website is often the first stop for a prospective investor interested in learning about your location. The website should make a professional and positive first impression, while providing accurate and relevant information.
Community and Economic Development Brand
Your community’s existing brand can often be used for economic development purposes. This may be particularly beneficial if the brand is already well-developed and recognized. If your community wants a specific economic development brand, consider these steps:
- Secure an adequate budget to complete, implement and monitor the branding strategy process
- Retain a qualified brand development professional with experience preparing community and economic development brands
- Consult with your business and community stakeholders throughout the brand development process
- Produce a community logo, wordmark, etc.
- Seek feedback and test the proposed branding strategy with stakeholders
- Develop a comprehensive branding strategy and visual identity plan. Your visual identity plan should include guidelines for use and implementation on all community and economic development promotional materials, letterhead, local signage, websites, etc.
You may wish to produce promotional materials such as community or site sector profiles, fact sheets and brochures. You can provide these materials as handouts at meetings, conferences and trade shows. These materials should convey a consistent message and include your community brand.
Develop a List of Companies to Target
With your target sectors and markets in mind, begin to research and develop a list of businesses that would be well suited to your community. Use relevant databases, association membership lists, and information obtained through networking activities to identify prospective investors. Focus your research on companies that have the potential for growth, expansion and/or relocation.
Contact Prospective Investors
Prepare a shortlist of potential investors and their appropriate senior management contacts. Before making contact, ensure you have done your due diligence to understand their business operations. You should be able to provide specific examples that demonstrate how your community will address their business needs for land, buildings, labour, services, etc. You can then make contact to discuss their potential for future expansion, investment and relocation. Help them understand the strategic and unique benefits of locating their business within your community.
Maintain Relationships with Prospective Investors
Once you have initiated a conversation with a potential investor, it is important to maintain regular contact and begin to develop a strong working relationship. Where possible, arrange for a face-to-face meeting to personally introduce yourself and provide a customized community information package. Continue to follow-up with the prospective investor and offer to provide additional information to assist with their investment decision.
It may be beneficial to arrange a formal briefing for senior company executives and location advisers. Your presentation should be professional, polished and focused on highlighting your community’s strengths, such as:
- An “Open for Business” culture and climate
- Proximity to ports, railways and main highway corridors
- Availability of suitable commercial and industrial land / buildings
- Access to a skilled workforce
- Competitive advantages such as cost of land, buildings, taxes and utilities
- Businesses and suppliers in the same sector
Invite the Prospective Investor to Visit Your Community
Before an investment decision can be made, the prospective investor will need to see your community firsthand. A familiarization tour will help the investor visualize their business within the community and understand how their operational needs will be met.