EG2008 Growing Local Economies


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2008 Economic Gardening Gathering in Steamboat: Growing Local Economies

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EG2008 Growing Local Economies

  1. 1. Gaining the Competitive Edge: Meeting the Strategic Information Needs of Small and Growing Businesses National Economic Gardening Conference Steamboat Springs Christine Hamilton-Pennell, M.L.I.S., M.A.R. Growing Local Economies June 14, 2008 Outline 1. Set the entrepreneurial context. 2. Identify the strategic information entrepreneurs need to grow their businesses. 3. Present case studies from EG programs. 4. Identify key information tools and resources. •1
  2. 2. What is an Entrepreneur? An entrepreneur is someone who perceives an opportunity and creates and grows an organization to pursue it. “So if you ask me where outrageous optimism comes from, my best guess is it's the confidence that you have within you, the imagination and determination to fulfill a need in the marketplace. You may not know exactly how the glass becomes crystal or the water becomes wine, but you somehow know you will bring everything you are to bear on getting it done.” --Jack Roseman, Outrageous Optimism Entrepreneurial Activity Roughly 10% of population globally 97.5% of firms have <20 employees Half of U.S. non-farm real gross domestic product Generated 60% to 80% of the net new jobs over the past decade 3% to 5% of small firms account for three fourths of jobs created in U.S. --Global Entrepreneurship Monitor; Small Business Administration; Economic Development Quarterly, Feb. 2002 •2
  3. 3. Entrepreneurial Activity 649,700 new firms and 564,900 closures in the U.S. in 2006 Half of U.S. businesses are home-based More than 60% of U.S. businesses are self-financed 55 to 64 year olds most likely to start new businesses in the U.S. --U.S. Census Bureau; Intuit Future of Small Business Report: Demographic Trends and Small Business What Do Entrepreneurs Need? Access to capital Entrepreneurial culture Basic infrastructure Livable communities Talented employees Peer networks Market, industry and competitor information Access to markets Training in all aspects of business •3
  4. 4. What Do Entrepreneurs Need? Access to capital Entrepreneurial culture Basic infrastructure Livable communities Talented employees Peer networks Market, industry and competitor information Access to markets Training in all aspects of business Business Stages – Stage 1 Stage 1 (1-9 employees): In addition to sole proprietorships, partnerships and lifestyle businesses, this category includes high-potential companies that are beginning to form or are in startup mode. In particular, this group is focused on defining a market, developing a product or service, obtaining capital and finding customers. (Edward Lowe Foundation) •4
  5. 5. Business Stages – Stage 2 Stage 2 (10-99 employees): At this phase, a company typically has a proven product and survival is no longer a daily concern. Instead, growth is the theme. Capital and customers are ongoing issues, but owners begin to focus on tomorrow’s needs as well as today’s. The company begins to develop infrastructure and standardize operational systems. Leaders begin to delegate more and wear fewer hats. (Edward Lowe Foundation) •5
  6. 6. Delivery of EG Research Services Three core functions in EG program Counseling/technical assistance Research Administrative support Expanded functions E-commerce/Web marketing analysis GIS services Role of Business Research Services Strategic information provides businesses with a competitive edge, reduces risk, and leaves more money available to the business Skilled business researchers provide reliable, timely, and actionable information to solve specific business problems •6
  7. 7. Role of Business Research Services Most small business owners don’t do their own research Lack of time Lack of money Lack of skills Business research services provide value-added research directly to the business owner Key Questions Information needs of entrepreneurs fall into a few main categories: Who are my competitors? Who are my target customers? What are the characteristics of my market? What are the trends and developments in my industry? •7
  8. 8. Key Question 1 Who are my competitors? Who else is in my space? What are their basic offerings (product, service, price, market strategies, delivery method, etc.)? With whom could I partner? Key Question 2 Who are my target customers? What are their characteristics? Do they want what I have to offer? What will they pay for it? In my customers’ eyes, what differentiates me from my competitors? Where can I get lists of potential customers to let them know about my offerings? •8
  9. 9. Key Question 3 What are the characteristics of my market? How large is it? Is it shrinking or growing? What are the potential niches? What are the channels of distribution to get my offerings to the market? Key Question 4 What are the trends and developments in my industry? What are the current trends? What are the future forecasts? Who are the industry leaders? Companies People What are the best practices? How is technology impacting the industry? How do I stay up to date? •9
  10. 10. EG Research Case Studies Greeley/Weld County Airport Overview Technologies AquaMatrix ChurchPartner Open Door Capital Connecticut Economic Gardening Group Case Study: Greeley/Weld County Airport Question: how can we identify the best recruitment prospects for our industrial space? Research on quot;very light jetquot; and quot;dronequot; planes. RSS feeds from industry sources to stay up on trends. Research on Colorado aviation uses Aviation companies with government contracts Trends in the industry Research on global innovation in aviation Competitive intelligence on 20 targeted Colorado companies Information provided by City of Greeley Economic Gardening Program •10
  11. 11. Case Study: Overview Technologies - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Question: What is the market potential for this UAV? Information about competitors, including details about their products and markets Information about industries using this technology, including photography, hobbyists, and the military Information about several other applications for UAV technology Information provided by Wyoming Market Research Center, funded by Wyoming Business Council EG Case Study: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Company Property/documentation Wildlife habitat Search and rescue Traffic and crowd monitoring City/county zoning/planning issues Information provided by Wyoming Market Research Center, funded by Wyoming Business Council •11
  12. 12. Case Study: AquaMatrix - Fish Farm and Processing Center Question: What are the market demands and industry trends for fish products? Trends and demographics Regional markets along the Front Range Most desired new product forms Price structures Price/volume relationships Comprehensive analysis of this market Larger market issues regionally and nationally Information provided by Wyoming Market Research Center, funded by Wyoming Business Council Case Study: AquaMatrix - Fish Farm and Processing Center Produced customized report, including: Consumer demand for fish, including organic market Aquaculture industry outlook Value-added fish products Marketing strategies Potential regional distribution markets Information provided by Wyoming Market Research Center, funded by Wyoming Business Council •12
  13. 13. Case Study: ChurchPartner Question: How can we maximize sales in multiple channels? Weekly Dodge reports on church and school building projects Analysis of competitors Web optimization report Industry trends in school furniture market Trade name search Product testing companies Trade show opportunities Information provided by Littleton Economic Gardening Project. Used with permission from Rick Emmelhainz, ChurchPartner. ChurchPartner Results “We received pertinent information on specific internet and catalog based competition that included their sales history, corporate structure and new market penetration. This information guided us to better understand what strengths we had over the competition and how better to position our company in the market. As a result, we have experienced double digit growth, even during economic downturns.” --Rick Emmelhainz, ChurchPartner •13
  14. 14. Open Door Capital Question: How Can We Target Our Marketing? Metro area high-growth companies Local businesses with sales of $2 to $5 million and Paydex scores over 30 days Colorado companies with government contracts Consultants who help businesses get government contracts Industry and market trends in Information provided by Littleton Economic factoring Gardening Project. Used with permission from Misha Seese, Open Door Capital. The Connecticut Economic Gardening Group Competitive intelligence research for high-tech companies: Process control software company – early warning intelligence assessment of a major competitor Computer hardware company – insight into a niche market Transfusion products company – competitor product analysis High-end display kiosks company – market analysis Company developing software to support mfg compliance – market and competitor assessment Company producing radiation detection devices – competitive products assessment Disbursement software company – market assessment for college campus market Information provided by Fred Wergeles, President, CT Economic Gardening Group, •14
  15. 15. Recap of Small Business Needs Basic question: “What market space are you in, who else is there, and how will you differentiate yourself to reach customers?” --Jane John, Principal Researcher, On Point Research Recap of Small Business Needs “We don’t know what we don’t know” Competitors Potential partners Market characteristics Price points New product/innovation opportunities Key industry experts, associations, publications and trade shows Opportunities on the Web •15
  16. 16. Business Counseling/Research Interview What is keeping them awake at night? Where have they been for help already? What is their core strategy? What information will move them forward? Business Research Process Two types of information: Published Intelligence (PubINT) Web Databases Articles Books Technical reports Human Intelligence (HumINT) Customers (focus groups, surveys, interviews) Industry experts Competitors Trade shows Social networks •16
  17. 17. Business Research Process Web search: Get overall sense of industry Identify terminology Search article databases and news sources Identify industry trends and market drivers Identify key companies and experts Identify trade associations and events Follow-up on PubINT and HumINT leads Analyze results and create report Deliver to client, interpret results, determine next steps Business Tools and Resources: Article and News Databases Subscriptions services: Business & Company Resource Center (library) Ebsco Business Source Premier (library) ProQuest ABI/INFORM (library, JJ Hill) High Beam (low-cost subscription) JJ Hill (low-cost subscription) Factiva (transactional pricing) Dialog Nexis Free resources: BizJournals Yahoo and Google news •17
  18. 18. Business Tools and Resources: Company & Competitor Information Subscription databases Business & Company Resource Center (library) D&B Million Dollar Database (subscription, JJ Hill Library) Ebsco Business Source Premier (library) Hoovers (free and subscription) IBISWorld (subscription) Morningstar (library) ReferenceUSA (library or subscription) SkyMinder (subscription/deposit account) Business Tools and Resources— Company and Industry Information Free resources Free-Research Hoovers (limited free access) Info Space Manta Tradekey U.S. Census – Economic Census Zapdata (limited free access) ZoomInfo See also: “Free and Low-Cost Information Resources for Supporting Local Entrepreneurs,” •18
  19. 19. Business Tools and Resources— Consumer Marketing Lists AccuLeads (residential lists) Direct List Finder (direct mail lists) ReferenceUSA (residential lists) SRDS Direct List Source (direct mail lists) State government lists (licensed professionals) Business Information Solutions (ESRI) Handouts and List of URLs from this presentation available at Contact Information Christine Hamilton-Pennell, M.L.I.S, M.A.R. Growing Local Economies 1460 S. Grant St. Denver, CO 80210 720-394-5270 303-282-4280 (fax) •19
  20. 20. Want to Learn More? Growing Local Economies offers training, consulting, and research services to economic development, small business, and library audiences. Training topics include: Supporting Local Entrepreneurs as an Economic Development Strategy Implementing an Economic Gardening Project Meeting the Research Needs of Small and Growing Businesses The Role of Public Libraries in Economic Development. Consulting and customized research services are available on a per-project basis. Contact us for more information: 720-394-5270, •20