Is your community ready? Part 1

Is your community prepared for potential business growth opportunities? Do you know who your primary points of contact are when the time comes? Does your community have a team dedicated and ready to jump into action when the call comes in?

Is your community prepared for potential business growth opportunities? Do you know who your primary points of contact are when the time comes? Does your community have a team dedicated and ready to jump into action when the call comes in?

Each community has a different set of criteria for new business investment in their area. This is a valid issue as the mix of businesses and services should be such that provides for a successful business climate while maintaining local tradition and culture desired in each community. This is the identity of the community and a high priority must be placed on maintaining that.

One key strategy is to develop local e-leadership teams and ready response teams. The e-teams are broader in nature and serve as a network and peer group to connect, learn and grow collaboratively with a proactive vision, while your Ready Response Team has the ability to mobilize on a moment’s notice when investment opportunities arise. These groups are self-led and self-identified, community by community, however NLEA offers training based on best practices to get your team up and running.

Typically, the agenda for regular e-team meetings incorporates a short educational component, presentation from a local entrepreneur or future entrepreneur, local updates from key officials and agencies, and round robin sharing from everyone in attendance. These groups, by design, have a limited amount of structure to ensure the most efficient use of everyone’s time who attends.

Now, with that said, each local team must integrate modifications to the format that suit the needs and audience. This includes the frequency of the meetings, who leads the meetings, and when and where the group meets. Whatever is the most valuable and productive way to convene these meetings should be employed in each community, and it varies in those that are currently active.

By proactively developing this capacity in each community, these efforts not only position your community well, but also help support the stronger regional position of your region, which is great for all who live, work and play in your area.

In part two of this Michigan State University Extension article we will further discuss forming your local ready response team.

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