Economic Development Solutions
Economic development is hard work. There is no magic button. Developing a vision and committing to a process of continuous improvement is what works. It starts with the courageous step of self-assessment, determining strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It starts with having a plan.
For our BBA consultants, it means asking the right questions. Our mission is to find answers so that our economic development clients can take action.
The Strategic Action Plan
Why is a plan important? To quote the late T. Boone Pickens, "A fool with a plan beats a genius without a plan every time." Having a plan is like a roadmap to the future -- it tells you where you are going and what your organization is about. It establishes a mission setting agenda.
But an organization can get bogged down in too much planning. All too often planning becomes safe and comfortable exercise, which can obstruct and inhibits decision-making and taking meaningful action.
Another Booneism: "A plan without action is not a plan. It's a speech."
And yet another: “Don’t fall victim to what I call the ‘ready-aim-aim-aim-aim’ syndrome.' You must be willing to fire.”
So action is the key, but it must be supported by information, solutions and answers that come about from a strategic plan. Or what we like to call an economic development strategic action plan.
Foundational to our BBA strategic action planning is a SWOT analysis, which entails a courageous journey of self-assessment by an economic development organization and its stakeholders.
Determining a community's Strengths and Weaknesses, and the Opportunities and Threats it faces is a prerequisite for taking action.
Our SWOT analysis entails a combination of onsite and virtual online intereviews with community stakeholders, all of which are off-the-record and not-for-attribution. No one will be quoted.
Our purpose is discovery -- gathering information about existing major employers, transportation and access to markets, buildings and sites, infrastructure and utilities, education and workforce training, business climate and quality of life.
And all of our findings -- minus the names of those interviewed -- are being shared with our economic development client in weekly online meetings in which we seek input and pushback. Indeed, the client stays informed of our progress from start to finish and becomes an intimate member of our project team.
The reason is simple: When our final report is delivered, the economic development organization, kept abreast of the findings throughtout the process, will have to implement recommended action. We, in a collaborative fashion with our client, are seeking action through the practical and tactical change
As Benjamin Franklin put in the motto of the first lending library in North America that he founded in 1731, "To pour forth benefits for the common good is divine."
EconDev 101: Educating Stakeholders
Economic development is made no easier by the fact that local policymakers typically have only a cursory understanding of what economic development is.
Our one-day, crash-course seminar is designed to give community leaders a better understanding of how economic development works in the real world.
Transforming a property into a viable commercial/industrial site gives a community a significant competitive advantage. We help you document that a site is controlled and available, can be fully served by utilities, and can be developed on a fast-track basis.
Marketing Makeover: Build your brand
A primary function of an economic development organization is marketing. Effective marketing develops trust and loyalty, essentially a fan base through distinctive content that is consistent and that resonates.
Kaizen Retainer: Pushing for continuous improvement
We bring the philosophy of kaizen to economic development organizations, serving as a guide, coach, and ally to them over an extended period in which we develop a continuous improvement process to overcome obstacles and achieve goals.