It takes a Village1                                         Market Position Statement 2                                   ...
CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company                                                               analysis, strategie...
CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company                                                                analysis, strategi...
CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company                                                                 analysis, strateg...
CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company                                                               analysis, strategie...
CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company                                                                analysis, strategi...
CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company                                                               analysis, strategie...
CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company                                                                analysis, strategi...
CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company                                                                analysis, strategi...
CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company                                                                 analysis, strateg...
CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company                                                               analysis, strategie...
CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company                                                                analysis, strategi...
CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company                                                               analysis, strategie...
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Sunshine Coast Community Forest Business Recuitment Plan June 2011

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This is an economic diversification plan for Sechelt Community Projects Inc., British Columbia, Canada by Capital EDC Economic Development Company.

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Sunshine Coast Community Forest Business Recuitment Plan June 2011

  1. 1. It takes a Village1 Market Position Statement 2 Identify Business Wish List 3 Create a Supportive Business Environment 4 Make the Environment Appealing 5 Overcome Barriers to Business Investment 6 Offer Incentives, not the kind you think 7 Assemble the Creative 8 Deliver the Story 9 Assemble the Package 10 Being Site Specific 11 Generate Leads 12 Prospecting 13 Personal Visits 14 The Familiarization Tour 15 Make the Pitch 16 Close the Deal 17 The Move 18 The Start 19 What to expect when you’re expecting 20 Repeat the Process 21 Operating PlanBusiness Recruitment | Sunshine Coast Community Forest Focusing on Wood and Forest Value Presented By Patrick Nelson Marshall Capital EDC Economic Development Company www.capitaledc.com May 4th 2011 Sechelt, British Columbia, Pacific Region, CANADA
  2. 2. CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company analysis, strategies, business, economic ecology and results patrick.marshall@capitaledc.comThe following is a proscribed strategy that is based on six months of investigative workcompleted by Capital EDC Economic Development through site visits, interviews and attendanceat public meetings on the Sunshine Coast. This document is not a study or a report, but rather, astrategic needs assessment for the Sechelt Community Projects Inc. economic developmentcommittee to move forward on an integrated economic diversification program designed tocause planned results identified in their Forest Management Plan.There are two main recommendations:A. Conduct a series of Focus Groups with business owners and operators in two groups: The Wood Focus Group comprised of resource extraction and harvest business, manufacturing and processing business, retail and service commercial businesses supply chain to the wood business and non-government organizations. Outcomes from the Wood Focus Group process will include joint marketing for the sale of Sunshine Coast Wood Products, collaboration on establishing the Away Recruitment team and how the region establishes the Home Team to respond to expression of interest in investment resulting in new construction and jobs. The Forest Focus Group comprised of Outdoor retail and service commercial businesses and non-government organizations representing social, economic and environmental interests in the community. 14 August 2011 | cellphone: +1 250 507-4500 | mobile: www.patrickmarshall.tel | Page 2 of 12
  3. 3. CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company analysis, strategies, business, economic ecology and results patrick.marshall@capitaledc.com Outcomes from the Forest Focus Group process will include joint marketing and use of the Sunshine Coast Forests, collaboration on establishing the use of the Forest for non-timber values like organized recreation, free access recreation, another product for destination marketing for the travel industry, event management and collaboration for botanical interests and use of non-wood related products from the Forest and to respond to expressions of interest in investment resulting in new construction and jobs associated with the Retail and Service Commercial activities associated with the Forest.B. Pick Teams From the participants in the Focus Groups, establish an Away Team to present the Wood and Forest opportunities and a Home Team to build on business retention, expansion and to host prospects on familiarization tours, events and eventual relocation. Home Team – Is responsible for coordinating activities inside the region with respect to facilitating new activities designed to raise the profile of the Wood and Forest Values associated with the community forest. This means developing the narrative, tools, products and opportunities to host people interested in using the Forest and celebrating the value of Wood. Away Team – is responsible for coordinating activities with respect to presenting offers to buy unique wood products created on the Sunshine Coast and to communicate the value of Forest access for recreational and outdoor adventures. This will ultimately address deficiencies in hospitality and accommodation services associated with larger groups of people and feathering activities on the shoulders of the traditional 90 day summer season.C. Establish Metrics In order to report progress to the community every 90 days, the Focus Groups and Teams need to establish a simple set of measures to demonstrate tangible and intangible results of this effort.1 It Takes a VillageEstablish Your Business Recruitment Team. But what you really want is every taxpayer and everycitizen telling the same story to their extended family and associates so that you get the full sixdegrees of separation working for you.To begin the recruitment process, a proactive business recruitment team needs to beassembled. This team should bring a clear and realistic understanding of the market analysis,have skills in economic development and real estate, and have an ability to sell and followthrough. Training for the team may be necessary. A team of five to seven participants couldinclude: Established (and retired) business owners; Local real estate professionals; Current building owners who are interested in exploring various uses for their property; Bankers; Local development organization representatives; The Mayor, Regional Chair, Chief Councillor, Elected officials, CAO’s ; and Chamber of commerce and visitor bureau directors.The team will help serve as a management entity for recruitment efforts, focusing on thoseproperties and areas that are critical for the economic success of the area. Through the process,the team will coordinate efforts with local real estate professionals.On the southern Sunshine Coast, there are two processes at work: 14 August 2011 | cellphone: +1 250 507-4500 | mobile: www.patrickmarshall.tel | Page 3 of 12
  4. 4. CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company analysis, strategies, business, economic ecology and results patrick.marshall@capitaledc.comThe Public Sector – Recently the District of Sechelt, Sunshine Coast Regional District SecheltIndian Band and the Village of Gibson’s met to establish a Task Force of Chief AdministrativeOfficers to determine the best Regional delivery model for economic development. In additionthe Mayor of Sechelt has established “Mayors Task Force on Economic Development.The Private Sector – The Coast Community-Association of Builders, The Sechelt Chamber ofCommerce, Tsain-Ko Forestry Development Corporation, The Gibson’s and District Chamber ofCommerce, The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver all have elements of the formula andresources required to engage in business recruitment.In order for the Sechelt Community Forest Corporation to assess the interest in a communityapproach to business recruitment, the Corporation, with assistance from these business groupsin identifying likely participants, needs to go back to the community and follow on from the“Community Forest Forum” held in 2008. Another study was completed by Dan Gilles thatshould be revisited as a starting point. Add to that the Inbound Investment Strategy and theLionsgate Strategy from 2002 and the area is well served by studies.2 Market Position StatementFor a recruitment program to be successful, the team must be ready to articulate a clear marketposition statement for the area.A market position statement should characterize the type of retail mix, the shoppingenvironment, and the target customer market. The statement distinguishes your area fromsurrounding areas. Often, a community’s market position statement will serve as background foridentifying the types of businesses that could be recruited.The position statement for Wood and Forest Values on the Sunshine Coast must be derivedfrom the discussion at the Focus Groups if it is to have any authenticity. An example of astatement might say:“The people of the Sunshine Coast value people who live for, work and play with wood”.Once established, the Focus Group would determine what the achievement of this EndStatement or position statement would look like when accomplished. From that, metrics areestablished to measure the stapes towards achievement of this statement.3 Identify Business Wish ListA wish list of potential businesses should be developed by the focus group. These potentialbusinesses should complement and strengthen the existing businesses and reflect the marketposition and vision statements. Realistic annual recruitment goals (number of businesses on thewish list) should be set.To identify appropriate business candidates (micro sawmills, custom specialty wood, veneermill) for your community, first analyze your business deficits (or opportunities) by specificcategory. Those categories that make market sense are then analyzed to make sure they fit intothe niche, space utilization (specifically clustering) and marketing (specifically target market).Use the following criteria in finalizing your wish list: Is there appropriate space in the area for this type of business?Yes, there is. SCPI requires property profiles from each of the four local jurisdiction’s so that theprospects are clearly identified. Will it complement existing businesses? 14 August 2011 | cellphone: +1 250 507-4500 | mobile: www.patrickmarshall.tel | Page 4 of 12
  5. 5. CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company analysis, strategies, business, economic ecology and results patrick.marshall@capitaledc.comEach property must be identified for its highest and best use, including what is considered to becomplimentary. Each of the four jurisdictions must be requested to provide the GIS material onone page area profiles with an overview location map, fit to the Letter sized stationery in a pdfformat. Will it serve targeted market segments?There will be distinct business uses derived from the wood discussion that relate to harvesting,manufacturing and more retail, commercial, non-government uses related to Forest values.Target markets will be identified at the focus group sessions. Economic Developers canproscribe the target markets; however, this top down approach often alienates and disconnectsthe focus group participants when the Corporation requires their ownership of the outcome. Does it fill an important gap in the business mix?Today, there are few, if any business clusters that have been assembled or pursued on the southSunshine Coast. Many have been identified, but few have been actually developed around animplementation plan as if processed in this document. Will the business strengthen an existing cluster of businesses?The dominant sector in this economic region is the effect of transfer payments in terms of oldage security, retirement and social service payments pegged at 60%. Introducing the Woodcluster will have a direct impact in terms of sustaining high paying production, design anddevelopment jobs in the region. The Forest value discussion is bound to influence users ofoutdoor recreational, cultural and sport activities which helps build the destination tourismcomponent of the economy. Although it is noted that there is a lack of large accommodationand hospitality properties located in the region at this time. Was this business category identified as important in local consumer research?Both the Wood and Forest sectors of the economy have long been identified as targets fordevelopment. Does market demand and supply data support the need for this types of business?In the case of Wood Harvest, 996% of the wood harvested is shipped away from the region,lacking the required breakdown and utilization businesses. For the Forest side, there are noindicators of supply and demand at this time, in order to make an informed decision. Does the business fit it with the market position and vision statements?This question will be answered having hosted the focus groups. And can only be answered thenInformed sources from industry suggest that the region will support the following investments:- Seeding Entrepreneurs: Offer a bursary sufficient to attend UBC Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (6 months), followed by a grant of $10,000 for starting a wood related business employing two or more people. The Community Forest Corporation would then monitor and provide mentorship to the new businesses as a support group.- Sales Support: Encourage more businesses to pursue the specialized wood furniture and cabinetry plants with appropriate design and marketing expertise. This would take advantage of the concentration of wood artisans in the region and enable the extension of invitations to specialty marketers to come into the region to source product quarterly.- Forest Guides: Assist in the development on a Region Specific Outdoor Recreation curriculum with Capilano University using the Community Forest Office as the field classroom.- Fat Tire Haven: Working wth the Outdoor Adventure Destination Marketers and off-road cycling community, develop the short and long term plan that results in the Sunshine Coast Trail network being sanctioned by World Class organizations as a Bike and Hike destination. This may involve collaborating with Whistler.- Artisan Boundaries – Encourage the establishment of a Fence Plant using red and yellow cedar in the same spirit as the Tsain-Ko operation. [$1 million] 14 August 2011 | cellphone: +1 250 507-4500 | mobile: www.patrickmarshall.tel | Page 5 of 12
  6. 6. CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company analysis, strategies, business, economic ecology and results patrick.marshall@capitaledc.com- Red Roof Plant – Encourage the investment in a Truss Plant that would produce 1 to 2 home roof systems a day using Spruce, Pine and Fir [SPF].- Primary Breakdown – Using the Powell River model, recruit an operator to establish a small flexible sawmill for all sizes and grades of logs, with a small dry kiln that may have extra capacity to supply kiln services to others.- Dry Space – Collocate a custom dry kiln operation for all species and grades of wood. This investment ranges from $400,000 to $2 million.- Hew Saw – The Corporation will approach the new owners of Howe Sound Pulp and Paper, as well as the other operators, to determine who best to invite into the region to construct and operate a small sawmill specializing in small logs. [~$5 million]- Thin Veneer – The Corporation will approach Coastland Wood Industries to determine the feasibility of a Veneer Mill [$30 million].Additional Investments can be pursued once the Focus Groups have been started on a regularbasis so that existing businesses can identify what they need in terms of support to be retainedand expand in the existing market. In order to engage in recruitment of new investment, theexisting business community needs to commit to the process of identifying priorities andparticipating in the offer.4 Create a Supportive Business EnvironmentBefore actual recruitment can begin, the people that step forward from the Focus Groups towork on these files need to make sure that the area presents itself as an inviting place to dobusiness. The region must present a quality business environment in order to attract viablebusinesses and ensure the successful operation of businesses within the Wood and ForestClusters. It must appeal to the rational investor who is seeking to minimize risk and maximizefinancial return. Often, this supportive business environment will include incentives to help“level the playing field” with other centers including those developed on the edge of town.In this regions case, there are four distinct jurisdictions with separate rules of engagement.These are to be clearly illustrated in a simple package that forms a part of “The Offer”. Thismeans more than generic printed matter covering the community’s vision of itself, but rather, athird-party validation of those values as discerned by the Focus Groups.As of this date, Capital EDC Economic Development Company could not locate a validrecruitment package or Offer package for Sechelt. It needs to be constructed and coordinatedwith existing reception offices that include the Visitor Centre, Volunteer Centre, Taxi Companies,Real Estate Offices and Local Government and First Nation offices.The Focus Groups will identify the issues and opportunities associated with business retention,expansion and recruitment.5 Make the Environment AppealingTo grow existing business and recruit new businesses, a community must first make its businessarea visibly active, attractive, convenient and safe. This is often more difficult for non-shoppingcenter locations including downtowns as they typically do not operate under a centralmanagement. Before the recruitment process begins, work with existing business operators andcity officials to ensure: An aesthetically pleasing commercial and industrial environment; Safe, Secure and accessible industrial and commercial properties are available ; Adequate and conveniently located parking and transportation services; and High business operational standards and service which project a quality, unified and consistent image for the area. 14 August 2011 | cellphone: +1 250 507-4500 | mobile: www.patrickmarshall.tel | Page 6 of 12
  7. 7. CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company analysis, strategies, business, economic ecology and results patrick.marshall@capitaledc.comUsing the Focus Group process: Help the region understand how it is viewed by outsiders. Also,refer to findings from local consumer attitudes research. Capital EDC Economic DevelopmentCompany has blind shopped the region for the required resources, but will defer to theconversation within the Wood and Forest focus groups.6 Overcome Barriers to Business Investment in the AreaMany retail and service businesses choose "edge" locations on the outside of town because suchlocations have proven successful and expansions are easy to replicate. Downtown and other in-town commercial areas need to recognize and overcome barriers to business investment in theirareas. Barriers often include: Higher land costs; More title problems (because of their history, properties often present complex title issues); Permitting that is more complex and time-consuming; Zoning that may be more restrictive; Site preparation (for new construction) that is more complex; Construction and renovations that are more complex; Building footprints that are typically smaller; and Parking that is more restrictive.These factors need to be assessed as part of the Focus Group process. The Corporation needs toask its existing businesses and peers to identify barriers and develop a coordinated response toissues and weaknesses.The Corporation and the leadership group should understand these barriers, both perceived andreal, and work with business and community leaders to minimize them. Sometimes creativeincentives can be developed to make the area more competitive from a business investmentperspective.7 Offer Incentives, not the kind you thinkIt is also important that the Corporation fully understand what the community can to offer theprospective business. Incentives might include: Technical assistance including market and feasibility analysis, business plan development, governmental regulations, advertising and physical design. These resources are available from institutions and volunteers in the community. The Corporation needs a Task Group arising from the Forums to provide lists of people prepared to provide support in these areas. Negotiation and leasing of space if the prospect is not working with a broker or not familiar with the area; There needs to be an orientation to the ICI Real Estate Offerings so that both practitioners and the public understand what is on offer and what uses are best suited to the available land. Again, another task suited to a group coming out of the Focus Group sessions. Financing of building improvements, facades, displays, fixtures, inventory and start-up costs including a low-interest loan pool; This is an area that should be discussed with the lending community and Coast Community- Builders Association to determine if this approach is feasible. Counseling with local financial institutions and assistance in completing loan applications; Another subject for which a team of volunteers need to be recruited or at least a referral process to the people best suited to put packages together. Financing options and incentives appealing to developers such as low-interest loan; The only option here is if Local Government and First Nations own land with which they can engage in non-conventional property acquisition processes or staged sale closing. 14 August 2011 | cellphone: +1 250 507-4500 | mobile: www.patrickmarshall.tel | Page 7 of 12
  8. 8. CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company analysis, strategies, business, economic ecology and results patrick.marshall@capitaledc.com Area wide image and marketing programs and advertising and promotion assistance for individual firms; There are at least five separate marketing programs being discussed currently. Clearly, the Woof and Forest Focus Group strategies will require an independent labeling program as a sub of an overarching regional positioning strategy. The Corporation and its peer group operating in the region are best suited to advise on what that positioning narrative is comprised of. An effective business to business networking system; The Focus Groups bring together like minded individuals from the private sector to collaborate on short bursts of activity designed to benefit the community. Private development partnerships made up of local investors who might develop, own and operate a needed business; The Coast Community-Builders Association is one of the more advanced organizations Capital EDC has come across. It already has a program policy identified in this regard and the Corporation should seek ways of supporting and endorsing its approach; and; Business incubator(s) to help establish new businesses at a reasonable cost and provide them with space and common services. This is always a challenge in smaller communities as no one wants to compete with private property owners. However, the Focus Groups may identify orphaned public property that is surplus to public needs. The Kitimat Valley Institute and Campbell River’s Enterprise Centre are great examples of old infrastructure put to new uses.Using the Focus Group process: Identify locally valued business incentives.8 Assemble the CreativeAttractive recruitment and marketing materials should be developed to convey the marketpotential of the business area. Business recruitment materials must help convince a businessoperator that this region is unique and that it offers a competitive edge over other locations.Recent efforts to communicate unique values in the region are of a high quality. As the FocusGroup conducts its conversation, creative opportunities unique to conveying the Wood andForest opportunities are expected to come out of the Focus Group process.9 Deliver your storyThere is no evidence of market analysis data available to help business operators evaluate thepotential for their venture. When developing marketing materials, provide only relevantinformation to avoid information overload. Consider the following in the Wood and Forestpackages: Letter of introduction including compelling reasons why the area makes economic sense for them; General information and photos of the community highlighting its assets; Market position and vision statements; Wish list of new businesses supported by market demand and supply data; New developments demonstrating investment downtown; Information on past openings and closings of businesses; Trade area geographic definition and demographic and lifestyle data; Trade area economic data including actual and potential sales data if available; Nonresident consumer data (including daytime population and tourism visitation); Descriptions of target market segments served; Major employers and institutions; Vehicle and pedestrian traffic volume; 14 August 2011 | cellphone: +1 250 507-4500 | mobile: www.patrickmarshall.tel | Page 8 of 12
  9. 9. CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company analysis, strategies, business, economic ecology and results patrick.marshall@capitaledc.com Mix of existing retail, service, dining, housing, office and lodging in the area ; Press coverage and testimonials highlighting success stories; Promotional calendar; and Summary of incentives and other business assistance available in the business area.Using the Focus Group process: Summarize applicable data and recommendations fromassembled.10 Assemble the PackageGraphs and maps are particularly effective ways to describe the region, the local area, retailcompetition, and development trends. For the business area and trade area, include: Property schedules from the RD, the two urban municipalities and the Sechelt Indian Band; Current area vacancy map; Business mix and clustering map displaying information on all area buildings; Major employers, institutions and points of interest map of area; Traffic volume map; Trade area maps defined by customer origin and drive-times; and Consumer spending demand and supply maps.When targeting prospects, remember that not all businesses have the same requirements. Aportable saw mill typically requires a different market than an Outdoor Guide. Communitiesshould customize information to fit the needs of the particular prospect and collaborate onwhat the common package for the Sunshine Coast looks like. The “look and feel’ should notreflect government design standards, but should be customized to suit the industry targeted forsicussion.11 Being Site SpecificIn addition to market data, information on specific buildings is required. This informationincludes: Maps and photos describing the location, building and it history; Complementary businesses and business clusters nearby; Sales and rent per square foot (with comparison market data); Available commercial and residential space and floor plan; Operating expenses including utility rates and taxes; Current tenants and how the building could be optimally reused; and Property owner or other contact for more information. When completed, recruitment and marketing materials should be assembled in an attractive packet and offered online. Quality content, graphics and formatting are required. Using the Market Analysis: To help summarize building specific data.The Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board advises that this information is limited for the region,however, the community of realtors should be approached by the Corporation to advise on thecontents of this package. The Board has already expressed an interest in working with theCorporation at its April Luncheon.12 Generate LeadsThe Corporations next responsibility is to find appropriate businesses that might be interested ina site in the market area or need new space to expand. Leads can be broken town into fourgeneral categories: Existing Businesses within or near the business area – Often the best leads are found near home. Leads might include existing businesses seeking more space or a better location in 14 August 2011 | cellphone: +1 250 507-4500 | mobile: www.patrickmarshall.tel | Page 9 of 12
  10. 10. CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company analysis, strategies, business, economic ecology and results patrick.marshall@capitaledc.com the business region. The Focus Groups outcomes and ongoing conversations and personal contacts of the recruitment team, chamber of commerce and other economic development professionals can help identify these leads. The Corporation should offer a non-disclosure to provide certainty in these private discussions. It is in a unique position to bridge the initial dialogue between the private operator and government institutions. Emerging Entrepreneurs - Downtowns and business area s are often attractive to independent businesses. Accordingly, leads might include home-based or garage-based businesses seeking more space and a convenient location for their customers. These leads might include managers of existing businesses wishing to go into business on their own. Commercial lenders, business schools, Community Futures counselors, Downtown BIA’s, Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), Rotary Club International (PROBUS), Chamber of Commerce and other public or private small business professionals should be asked to help identify these leads and to engage in a common protocol agreement for being accountable for fulfilling the needs of existing and prospective businesses. Existing Local or Regional Businesses - Local or regional businesses, particularly those that have multiple locations and are ready to expand, are often excellent prospects. These business operators typically have a good knowledge of the market area, and may already have multiple stores. They are often interested in expansion as a way to improve their penetration of the market. These leads can be identified through the Focus Group process knowledge of the business mix in other communities in the region and information collected from local sources. In addition, realtors, commercial brokers, sales representatives and suppliers that work within the region must be enlisted in the cause. National Chains and Corporate Operations - National chains and public|private corporations must be canvassed. It is important to be realistic about the kinds of chains that might be interested in a small community as their market, operations size and site requirements may preclude them from considering the type of land governments and the market have available. The best source of Leads in this category is derived from personal contacts. The Corporation has one of the best volunteer Boards for these activities as their networks are extensive. In addition, leads will also come from commercial brokers, trade shows, “deal making forums,” and conferences such as those already identified in the Lionsgate Strategy and the Warner Investment Attraction Strategy.Once leads have been identified, an industrial and commercial assessment checklist needs to bedeveloped by the Corporation to ensure quality standards for prospects and to make sure thebusiness would fit the market. The checklist could be completed by a Corporation volunteermember on a reconnaissance visit to the business. It might include: Business category (type); Target markets; Businesses’ location requirements; Image; Inventory and selection; Pricing; Presentation; Exterior appearance; Interior décor, lighting and fixtures; Service; and Traffic generated. 14 August 2011 | cellphone: +1 250 507-4500 | mobile: www.patrickmarshall.tel | Page 10 of 12
  11. 11. CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company analysis, strategies, business, economic ecology and results patrick.marshall@capitaledc.comThe Corporation needs to establish a “Home Team” and an “Away Team”. The Focus Groupsshould be assessed for appropriate volunteers to make up the Home Team whose sole purposeis to receive people into the community. Clearly, in Sechelt’s case, the Volunteer Centre,Community Foundation and the Visitor Centre have the right combination of talents, with sometraining, to accomplish this function.The Away Team has a different sales oriented skill set. This experience is about low key, highquality people that can tell the regions story using simple tools and personal professionalcandour to communicate the opportunities.The Corporation will coordinate the Home and Away Teams such that offers are coordinated tomatch the resources available. Person to Person communications are far and away moreproductive than ad or advertising placement. These structured marketing efforts are high costproducing low results. A Themed web site combined with a simple narrative and coordinatedvolunteers often produces the biggest results.13 ProspectingThe Corporation must now focus on a personalized sales effort that conveys a message that thearea is a good location for expansion or new business development. Efforts to personallycommunicate and then follow up with potential business are essential to the success of arecruitment effort. Presented below is a sequence of steps to reach potential business ownersor developers.Once the communications program has been set, including coordinated social media using a vastnetwork of citizens as correspondents, the Corporation can commence the task of following upleads and challenges derived from the Focus Group, enlisting Focus Group participants as teammembers, and start the process of following the step-by-step process of ground trothingchallenges to business retention and expansion, while communicating opportunities associatedwith both the Wood and Forest clusters of businesses and Non-government organizations. Thiswill then inform government process related to business interface operations like buildinginspection, planning and development processes, while at the same time provide the electedpeople with a team of coordinated people to work with.14 Personal VisitsAfter the initial contacts are made a letter of introduction should follow to set up anappointment for a personal visit by someone from the Corporation or its volunteer Away Team.The purpose of the appointment is to explain why your community is interested in theirbusiness. Explain why their business would be profitable and what incentives might be available.Provide recruitment and marketing materials and any other information to demonstrate thepro-investment Wood and Forest character of Region. Offer an invitation to the businessoperator to visit your community.Each quarter, there are community events around which business expansion and recruitmentcandidates can be hosted in small, one-to-one and group environments. Consider buying two orthree tables at the next Botanical or Community Foundation fund raiser as the means forestablishing the personal relationships required to move files forward.Coordination between the Away Team and the Home Team is critical. Here is where Mayors,Electoral Area Directors, Chairs and Chief Councilors combine forces with Chamber and RotaryPresidents, to put the best and united face of the region forward. There is no room for localrivalry and continued seemingly harmless rumors or innuendo are not appropriate.15 The FAM-iliarization Tour or the “Quad Cab” 14 August 2011 | cellphone: +1 250 507-4500 | mobile: www.patrickmarshall.tel | Page 11 of 12
  12. 12. CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company analysis, strategies, business, economic ecology and results patrick.marshall@capitaledc.comIt is the Home Team’s job to persuade the prospective business or developer that your regionhas a distinct advantage over other locations. The site visit is a critical opportunity to persuadethe business owner to invest in your area. Prospects should be personally invited to tour thecommunity. The tour (previewed and rehearsed time and again ahead of time) should includestops at possible business sites, competitive business areas, residential neighborhoods,employment centers and Government Offices.Set up visits with key local merchants. Lunch or dinner should be included with selectedbusiness operators and public officials.In Campbell River, the “Quad Cab” tour was pioneered. The economic developmentreceptionist, would pick up a brand new demonstration Dodge Quad Cab with a hemi and givethe tour, dropping the prospect off at the Mayor’s office for a visit.Throughout the prospect’s visit, the Home Team must be prepared to answer questions such aswhy similar businesses have closed, the history of adjoining businesses next to prospective sites,and how to contact local landlords. Local property owners, lenders, government officials, andother businesses can be part of this welcoming and persuasive effort.After the visit, it is important that thank you letters be sent from various community leadersincluding the government leaders and selected business representatives. Mail or fax articles andpublicity about community events and businesses during the following weeks. Deliver a basketof merchandise unique to your region. Finally, make sure the Away Team is prepared topromptly answer follow up information requests in a prompt and professional manner.16 Make the PitchA leader on the Away Team should close the deal by selling the merits of locating in the businessarea. Remind the prospect that your area is looking for a business with their characteristics.Practice effective sales presentation skills and focus on key selling points of interest to theprospect: Key market data (such as a population density surrounding the area ); Findings from the analysis of demand and supply in the particular business category; Expected sales per square foot and reasons why they would be successful there; Examples of comparable businesses in the area that have prospered; and Why the area is a better place to do business.17 Close the DealThe Away Team continues to stay in contact with the prospect. If the prospect is interested, theCorporation will follow-up immediately with an action plan and necessary assistance (however,will not attempt to broker the property, but rather, engage in an informed referral). If onlymarginally interested, the designated rep from the Away Team will call the prospect again in sixweeks. If not interested at this time, include the prospect on your mailing list of correspondentbusinesses.18 The MoveThere will be some bumps and setbacks. Don’t forget, moving is one of those traumatic times inpeople’s lives. The Home Team will need to script all elements required for those prospects thathave been converted into suspects and finally new business into the community.It is the sole responsibility of the Home Team to develop the steps, coordinate resources andensure that the business expansion or entry into the region is well managed and appropriate.This process does not end with a ribbon cutting. The Corporation must check in with its 14 August 2011 | cellphone: +1 250 507-4500 | mobile: www.patrickmarshall.tel | Page 12 of 12
  13. 13. CAPITAL EDC Economic Development Company analysis, strategies, business, economic ecology and results patrick.marshall@capitaledc.combusinesses a minimum of twice annually. Business GPS [growth, planning and succession] mustbe included in this process.19 The StartOnce the decision to expand or locate in the region has been made, they must be welcomed andsupported as are existing businesses. Marketing the new business and helping the ownersnetwork with others in the area is especially important in its early months of operation. Ongoingadvocacy and follow-up will be essential. Again, this is another task for the Home Team.20 What to expect when you’re expectingThere is no Handbook or Guide to what you need to do to keep your business recruited. In fact,there will be no warnings other than if the Founder or Owner has a less than perfect experience,you will be the last to know, so stay on top of the move and check in with them at exceedinglylonger terms.21 Repeat the ProcessPatrick Nelson MarshallEconomic DeveloperCapital EDC Economic Development Company 14 August 2011 | cellphone: +1 250 507-4500 | mobile: www.patrickmarshall.tel | Page 13 of 12

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