The first step in community economic development, especially when it relates to marketing buildings, sites or a community industrial park, is ensuring that interested businesses can find you. That’s marketing, and in today’s digital world, communities that want to be noticed have to use every online tool available to them.
One of the difficulties in getting the word out about available sites in your community is the simple fact that we don’t know who is looking or when. That means your list of properties has to be constantly available, 24 hours a day, for growing companies to access. The information has to be easy to find, complete and compelling because if people can’t find the information they need, they will move on. They won’t telephone city hall for more data, they won’t email with questions—business decision makers will simply go to a different community’s information source. That is the new digital reality and the reason why your website—and websites available for you to use—are so important in marketing your buildings, sites and industrial park property.
Communities have more opportunities than ever to promote themselves. The South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development has upgraded its GIS Planning service. Check out sdreadytowork.com/tools-resources/find-properties/ to discover listings throughout the state. Your industrial park and available properties can be on that list; which helps GOED steer businesses to your community when your sites match up to a growing business’ specific needs.
In addition, the Location One Information System (LOIS) is available to all LCEDA and MCEDA communities. LOIS gives you a way to list buildings and sites and use GIS mapping to provide interactive search capabilities, improving your website’s functionality for prospects. To learn more about LOIS or to schedule a LOIS workshop for your community, call me at 605-339-0103 or email email@example.com.
The tools are in place to help your community catch the eye of business prospects. They are out there looking—and we need to be ready for them 24-7.
By Nick Fosheim, Executive Director, Lincoln and Minnehaha County Economic Development Associations
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