The Action Plan: Make It Happen
Every community is different, with its owns strengths and challenges. We hone in on those strengths and challenges by offering a customized alternative to the traditional "strategic plan."
Planning is a safe and comfortable exercise, which too often obstructs and inhibits decision-making and taking meaningful action. You need information to take action.
A quotable quote by the late business magnate T. Boone Pickens: “Don’t fall victim to what I call the ‘ready-aim-aim-aim-aim’ syndrome.' You must be willing to fire.”
Having a plan for a plan's sake is a useless endeavor. "A plan without action is just a speech," said Mr. Pickens.
BBA has developed a formula for successful action: SWOT + LMA = TI/C/RM
Translation: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) plus Labor Market Analytics (LMA) leads to identification of Target Industries (TI) and Customers (C), which includes existing employers and prospects for recruitment.
Resource Mapping (RM) documents assets with a community, for purposes of business recruitment, business retention and expansion, and entrepreneurial development.
Our Action Plan answers two fundamental questions – where to play (which customers to target) and how to play (creating a value proposition for those customers.) Customers can be existing businesses within the community, new business startups, and companies identified for business recruitment.
Let’s look at each of the elements of the process.
A SWOT analysis provides the foundation. Analyzing a community's strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats it faces is a prerequisite for taking action.
Our SWOT analysis entails spending time in the community, during which we will conduct off-the-record, not-for-attribution interviews with stakeholders. No one will be quoted.
During that time, we are gathering information about existing major employers, transportation and access to markets, buildings and sites, infrastructure and utilities, education and training, business climate and quality of life.
When a strong connection between strengths and opportunities is found, a business development strategy will emerge. Conversely, when weaknesses and threats are identified, needed changes, when practical, will be recommended.
LMA – Labor Market Analytics
Attracting talent is key to business success that transcends all industry sectors. Almost 40 percent of American employers say they cannot find people with the skills they need, even for entry-level jobs.
BBA examines labor market data sets to draw conclusions about the quality and the quantity of a community’s human resources. Determining skills sets and labor availability is central during the site selection process, because human capital often represents 80 percent or more of a company’s overall costs.
We're not only determining quantity and the quality of the labor pool but also future pipelines of talent derived from local educational/training programs.
TI/IC – Target Industry/Identification of Prospective Companies
Together, a SWOT analysis and labor market analytics will indicate what industry sectors a community can build upon. Typically those sectors are already represented by existing employers.
We also identify prospective companies for recruitment, providing on a quarterly basis a list of 25 companies within the identified target industry sectors over the course of one year. (100 companies total.) Included will be contact information of senior corporate decision makers and value proposition statements.
During that one year period, we will also hold monthly conferences, during which time we will will advise and consult on marketing strategies within the specified sectors.
RM -- Resource Mapping
Resource mapping and and the subsequent resource guides that are created gives an economic development organization the ability to document all the different types of assets with a community.
They could be economic development, workforce, government, transportation, financial, tourism assets, you name it.
This allows the creation of dynamic directories that can be used for purposes of business recruitment, business retention and expansion, and entrepreneurial development.
For example, a business entity interested in healthcare could easily access a listing of all physicians, hospitals and clinics within the community or surrounding region.
On workforce development, an economic development organization can literally digitally design and send an interested party a breakdown of all the different workforce training programs in the market area.
Being able to do that demonstrates that there are many working parts within the community that can benefit a business. Documenting and understanding what assets you have to offer is key in providing value to customers and is included in the BBA Action Plan.
We Stay With You
But it doesn't end there. After our initial action plan is submitted, BBA will hold monthly virtual meetings with an economic development organization for one year, focusing on our recommendations and how to make them work.
"Dean is many things: he's affable, intelligent, thoughtful, and cares about what he does and the counsel he provides. Above all, he engages his stakeholders in each step of the strategic planning process and provides nuggets of insight that are likely to spur on deeper conversations which ultimately leads to solutions. I worked closely with Dean and his team for several months as they worked on the strategic plan for our community. They have continued to stay involved as we worked t0 implement their recommendations. During that time, Dean became a trusted adviser, confidant, and friend." -- Russell Graves, former executive director of Childress Economic Development Corporation, Childress, Texas.