Do you remember the quote from your high school literature class – “Brevity is the soul of wit”? Basically, Shakespeare meant that clear and intelligent discussion (and wit, of course) usually involves concise wording. In other words, don’t be long-winded. Keep it short. You make better points when you use fewer words.
For Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) organizations, brevity is paramount in data gathering, analysis, reporting, and prioritization. Typically economic development staff in local municipalities, chambers, or other agencies must try to stay on top of what’s going on in hundreds or thousands of local businesses. These BRE groups must do it with limited staffing and resources. So they must be focused, highly prioritized, and efficient. They must have a clear strategy on who to visit versus survey versus monitor using more passive means. They must leverage partnerships, understand when to outsource research, determine ways to gather data on local businesses in as little time as possible, and prioritize.
The analysis of all data collected needs to be as automated as possible, and reporting needs to let a few key metrics (about the company’s jobs/tax/fees impact on the community and its risk of job loss) guide prioritization, actions, and future contacts.
If you’re in an organization that is asked to manage a large client base with a small staff base, learn from BRE organizations.
Focus on how to optimize effort to maximize impact.
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