During the downturn in the economy, it is becoming more important than ever for cities to be proactive in their economic development strategies. How are cities achieving this focused approach? They are becoming more involved in the attraction of new businesses and also becoming more involved in assisting local businesses understand their market and how to capitalize on that market.
Being proactive in terms of your economic development strategy is not just about retail expansion, it’s also about local retention and growth within your market.
I interact regularly with cities in the California market and have noticed a trend among communities to not only work toward new commercial expansion, but also to retain and help promote the thriving businesses that exist within a community at the local level. As cities become more strategically focused on existing business and assisting with their growth and success I would like to share some suggestions about how to do this.
Local business can achieve desired growth by understanding certain facts about the customer base in the trade area:
- Utilize information to analyze the behavior of customers in order to identify which are the most valuable to your business
- Use customer contact, feedback and loyalty schemes to retain customers and increase your sales
- Sort your customers into groups and niche markets – some of the benefits of segmentation
- Identify your competitors, find out more about them and then use this information to improve your business
- Identify your objectives and write a plan that will help your marketing generate sales
By following these guidelines, local businesses can thrive in any market condition