23 Jun 2014

Does your economic development org. need an online site selection service? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Anatalio Ubalde is an economic developer, entrepreneur, and inventor. He works with organizations throughout the nation to foster enhanced economic development strategies using Internet technology. His work in geographic information systems, economic development and the Internet has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fortune, The New York Times, TechCrunch, and Inc. In 2009 he was named a Fellow Member of the International Economic Development Council for achieving exceptional stature in the field of economic development.

Does your economic development organization need an online site selection tool? This chart and the following 11 questions will help you determine the answer that works for you. (Click on the infographic image for a larger version). 

Need Site Selection

A. Do you work to attract new businesses?

Business attraction is always one of the top priorities for most economic development organizations. Today, businesses are evaluating communities online before ever contacting an economic development professional. If these business people can’t get the demo- graphic, labor, business, industry, real estate, and geographic information they need from your website, you risk losing their economic investment.

B. Do you want to grow your local businesses?

Business retention and expansion is growing in importance and data-driven business assistance programs such as Economic Gardening are growing in popularity. Much of the same data that businesses considering locating in your community is extremely valuable to those already in your community. ZoomProspector Enterprise tools enable local businesses to perform market analysis around their business’ location.

C. Are you trying to foster entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurs that want to grow their business are going to create new jobs and grow your local economy. “Gazelle” businesses are responsible for much of the job growth and economic activity in the country. By giving them the data they need to discover business opportunities they can make smarter decisions through data.

D. Are there geographic advantages for business in your area?
If there aren’t geographic advantages to doing business in your location no one is going to do business there. So you have to demonstrate the value. Business site selection is all about location, location, location. You need to show the local geographic information they want such as use incentive zones, business improvement districts, land use, zoning, etc. Like all other data, your geographic data should be interactive and viewable on a map to understand the spatial aspects of the data.

E. Do you have a quality labor force?
Availability and access to quality labor is often the #1 driving issue for businesses. It is the thing that keeps them awake at night. You need to provide businesses with the confidence that you have the labor that solves their needs now and into the future. Do this with data about the types of businesses and employees that are in your area. All the data should be interactive, filterable, and mapped visually.

F. Are you located in a regional economy?
Businesses may locate in a city, but they operate at all levels from regional economic labor areas to neighborhood economies. You need to show them data from the hyper-local to the regional. Every business is different, so you have to enable them to perform address-specific economic development data analysis using radius and drive-time analysis that is as small as a neighborhood or can be as wide as hour drive-time commute. Data should be accessible and viewable at the Census block, ZIP code, city, county, regional, and state levels.

G. Are you trying to grow your economy?
Economic development is about growing your economy. If you aren’t focused on this you probably aren’t doing economic development. If you aren’t focused on this perhaps you should find another job.

H. Do you like collecting and updating demographic, labor, and industry data multiple times each year?

Collecting data is a pain in the neck. It’s boring, time consuming, costly, and takes your time away from other important activities. With ZoomProspector Enterprise your data is automatically updated multiple times each year with no work for you.

I. Do you work with site selection consultants or corporate real estate professionals?
81% of site selection consultants and corporate real estate pros say that online GIS systems like ZoomProspector Enterprise are valuable for their work. In addition, they are 33% more likely to have visited an EDO website than contact an economic development staff person when compiling long lists of potential locations. This online informa- tion advantage is the difference between success and lost opportu- nity of making it to the short list.

J. Do the businesses you work with use the Internet?
90% of businesses are networking online (Manta, 2012). If you don’t have a sound online economic development strategy you are at risk of sub-standard economic growth. Today, providing quality services online is mandatory and not a luxury.

K. Do you compete with other EDOs for business investment?
The competition for business investment with other economic development organizations just keeps getting stronger. Sophisticated EDOs that are committed to winning are leveraging the best technology and services to outcompete and out-service lesser economic development organizations.

Have you answered YES to these questions? Give us a call today (415-294-4774) or contact us at sales@gisplanning.com


Post has no comments.

Post a Comment

Captcha Image