If you care about winning a battle, focus on today. If you care about winning the war, think beyond tomorrow.
In far too many businesses, companies focus too much on today’s battles. They get so immersed in making this one sale, in closing this one transaction, in getting through these operational steps, that they find themselves with the same one sale, one transaction, and one step-orientation the next day.
So what’s the problem with that? The problem is that caring almost exclusively about today doesn’t help you to plan for tomorrow, to think strategically, to think long-term, and to succeed long-term. It doesn’t help you to research, study, and anticipate what you customers will do, how the environment will change, and what your competitors will do.
This conundrum is no different in the world of economic development. Too many communities are too focused on new business acquisition and don’t invest enough resources or planning on how to retain and grow the companies already located in their jurisdiction. This is where effective Business Retention & Expansion programs come into play.
Communities that care about the long-term, realize it’s not all about the hunt, the new business, the relocation. It’s about keeping what you have and growing them. It’s about having strategies to ward off other jurisdictions recruiting their businesses. It’s about becoming as vital to the businesses as the businesses are to the community.
Mooresville, NC economic development groups created ‘Moving Mooresville Forward 2017’. According to a recent article, the strategy has 5 key initiatives:
- Business retention/expansion/acquisition
- Creating an environment for small business growth
- Workforce development
- Transportation planning
- Creating a business environment and quality of life that fosters individuals’ and businesses’ desire to stay.
Note how these initiatives are focused mostly on what you currently have – your businesses, your environment, your employees, your infrastructure, your quality of life. Mooresville realizes that it must create an environment that fosters retention and expansion, and that same environment would be of interest to companies seeking relocation options from elsewhere to Mooresville.
When you want to succeed for the long-term, plan how to enhance, retain, and grow what you have instead just focusing on today’s sale, today’s transaction, and today’s task.
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