BusinessFlare Approach Entrepreneurship Small Business

Be an Island

Forget the Moat and Make Your Startup a Tropical Island.

Forget the Moat and Make Your Startup a Tropical Island

Good article from Interesting because this approach can work not only for startups, but will also fit into the BusinessFlare Approach to Economic Development and help guide cities and communities.

There are four ways for a business to become an island, according to the author.

1-Aim to Please. Focus on serving their customers. This is as relevant, if not more so, to local governments, especially ones that are looking to attract new businesses, workers, and residents. This is where most local governments need to focus since one of the most consistent complaints from consituents (customers) is that cities have poor customer service.

2-Don’t Copy. Move Beyond. Businesses should not replicate what others are doing. Get inspired, then use your strengths to go beyond. This is a good economic development lesson, because cities can’t replicate the success of another city due to many factors. Your city can get inspired by the San Antonio Riverwalk, but you can’t have it so don’t try. Learn from it, then chart your own authentic path.

3-Build on your Strengths. Every business is unique and should function based on individual strengths and weaknesses. Same for cities. Start with who you are, what you know and who you know.

4-Maximize Value, not Output. Valuable experiences are what a business’s customer craves. Keeping costs down is important, but increasing value is more so. The same applies to city services. Increase the value for the cost and economic growth and quality of life will follow.

Read more…

BusinessFlare Approach

Governing for Economic Development

Very happy to announce that BusinessFlare® Publishing Group‘s first book, Governing for Economic Development, was released today as an eBook and paperback on Amazon. The audiobook will be out later this month. You can download your copy here!

All too often local governments focus on economic development tactics without a strategy, seemingly throwing things against the wall waiting for something to stick. The BusinessFlare® Approach provides a base of understanding that helps local governments implement strategies and tactics that can improve their local economy and grow their tax base within the limitations of their resources. BusinessFlare is an approach that is based in the evaluation and adoption of strategies and tactics to improve six areas of economic development influence: investment drivers, common business climate themes, community connections, economic development values, opportunities and implementation. The former economic development director for Miami Beach, Kevin S. Crowder’s BusinessFlare Approach is based on one of the most significant local economic development successes of the last thirty years and is presented in a way that is relevant to every community. The book also contains bonus material about craft breweries, markets, and resident recruitment.

Sales from this eBook support the BusinessFlare® Academy, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting micro-entrepreneurship and providing economic development education for local elected officials.

BusinessFlare Approach Downtowns Investment Drivers Quality of Life

Ciao San Fran! Part 3

Will Remote-Work Policies Lead to a Bay Area Exodus?

Will Remote-Work Policies Lead to a Bay Area Exodus? (Infographic)

Highlighting our opinion on one of the five investment drivers, Labor, is the continuing exodus from the San Fransisco area, once a thriving, authentic and awesome city that has ignored resident quality of life. while demanding more and more from those residents. This is great news for those communities that are actually creating great public places where people want to live.

Cities that embrace and understand the changing landscape of the labor markets and focus on quality of life as an economic development strategy will position themselves for success. Read more of our short opinion on this.

This is great for downtowns

This is great for Florida

This is great for Tennessee

This is great for Texas

From Entrepreneur Magazine – “the next question those companies’ employees will likely ask themselves is natural: Why would I stay in the Bay Area if I’m not going into the office? Long the epicenter of tech in the U.S., the Bay Area has become prohibitively expensive for all but the highest-paid workers. Its housing costs are among the highest in the nation, and it’s gotten so bad that companies like Google have pledged staggering sums to help solve the shortage of affordable housing.”

Read more…

BusinessFlare Approach Entrepreneurship Investment Drivers Quality of Life

Investment Driver: Labor

Why Resident Recruitment is as Important as Business Recruitment, and Quality of Place is the Best Incentive There Is.

How are employees coping with remote working? | HRD New Zealand

There is the adage that retail follows rooftops. Well, business follows talent, and now more than ever talent seeks out quality of place.

More and more, people in general, and especially the talented workforce, are looking for real, authentic places where they can be part of a community. Places that have character and history, community gathering spots, and opportunities to engage with each other.

Cities that embrace and understand the changing landscape of the labor markets and focus on quality of life as an economic development strategy will position themselves for success. Thirty years ago, when a company advertised for a high-skill job, 10-15 prospects would show up for an interview, and one of them would receive the job. They wanted the job and would accept it on the company’s terms (location, salary, hours, etc).

Fast forward to today. 10 companies might advertise for a high skill job, and one person might be qualified. Today, the worker is in charge, not the company. The worker will set the terms regarding location and telecommuting, salary, hours, etc.

What does this mean for cities?

Similar to the skilled worker/company dynamic, it is now the workforce that is in charge of where they decide to live, and they will make that decision as part of a balance of different lifestyle choices that include housing characteristics, transportation and commuting, school quality, social and recreational activities, and many other factors, even including the presence of craft breweries. As previously mentioned:

Cities that embrace and understand the changing landscape of the labor markets and focus on quality of life and quality of place as an economic development strategy will position themselves for success.

BusinessFlare Approach COVID-19

Its all about Cash Flow

Restaurants Say Socially Distant Dining Rooms Could Wipe Out Business – Wall Street Journal May 28, 2020

Businesses prohibited from opening were offered PPP loans to pay employees to not work. Unemployment compensation is higher than some workers were making so they aren’t going back to work. Will they have jobs when the dole runs out?

And now, businesses are expected to operate at 25% or 50% capacity, mostly businesses that operate on thin margins. This equals negative cash flow in most cases. Clearly many of these policy makers missed our BusinessFlare® Academy Economic Development for Local Elected Officials class. From our textbook (soon to be available online, in print, and in audiobook!):

“Cash Flow is King – The bottom line for economic development is cash flow. Cash flow is the key to a business’ success, and it is important to remember that there are only two things that improve cash flow: increasing revenues and/or reducing expenses. This is important to remember because there are so many things that a community can do that impact a business’ cash flow including how policies are implemented and what those policies are to begin with.  That said, elected officials have a role that is broader than economic development, and which includes the health, safety and welfare of the community. Therefore, policies will be implemented that have a negative impact on cash flow. In those cases, it is important to understand and respect the impact of policy decisions and implementation of those policies on business cash flow to maintain credibility with the private sector.” – From “Governing for Economic Development

Clearly the last sentence has been ignored in many places.

Read more…

BusinessFlare Approach COVID-19 Investment Drivers

Investment Driver: Land

With Economic Development, ultimately, it’s all about the LAND…

J.C. Penney’s Bankruptcy: It’s All About the Real Estate

Barron’s coverage about J.C. Penney’s expected bankruptcy filing, which will split it in two, with one entity remaining as a retailer, and the land becoming property of a real estate investment trust (REIT). At a time when no one knows the value of that land, at least nor for the moment.

BusinessFlare Approach COVID-19 Investment Drivers

Investment Driver: Capital

Investors Are Worried About Muni Bonds. How to Profit From Others’ Fear.

From Barron’s:

“The municipal-bond market has lagged far behind the recovery in other sectors of the credit markets. Does that present a warning—or an opportunity—for investors?

With top-grade munis offering higher after-tax yields than corporate junk bonds, the answer would appear to be the latter.

State and local government borrowers haven’t gotten the same benefit as corporations from the Federal Reserve, as my colleague Alexandra Scaggs explains . Investment-grade and high-yield corporate bonds have rallied strongly in response to the Fed’s backup, while munis have provided relatively paltry returns.” Read more…

Also from Barron’s – Federal Aid for Cities won’t be Cheap

“The Senate appears more reluctant to write a blank check to states and local governments and is likely to demand the inclusion of provisions to shield businesses and health care providers from coronavirus claims,” McLoughlin and his team wrote. “Enactment of the next round of legislation is likely to be more challenging than the first four.”

Read more…

BusinessFlare Approach Investment Drivers

Ciao San Fran

An article from City Journal about the importance of Good Government to retain and attract businesses and grow the economy. Bad government, dysfunction and incompetence have the opposite result, combined with sky high taxes, fees and operating costs.

“America’s Havana – Thousands say ciao to San Fransisco”

Thousands Say "Ciao" to Deeply Troubled San Francisco.

Part of the BusinessFlare Approach includes adoption of economic development values – Credibility, Information and Certainty. Clearly not present in this case, combined with negative Investment Drivers including Regulation and Capital.

Read more…

BusinessFlare Approach COVID-19 Investment Drivers

Investment Driver: Labor

Skills-based hiring can help fill jobs quickly, retain talent, diversify an organization’s talent pipeline and provide a greater awareness of skill attainment and critical upskilling needs.

Lake County manufacturer

Interesting post about shifts in Labor Market Analysis out of Orlando. Worth a read…

BusinessFlare Approach COVID-19 Investment Drivers

Investment Driver: Regulation

Two examples of how regulation directly impacts economic development at a very large multi state level, and also on Main Street. The BusinessFlare Approach views Regulation as the Investment Driver where all communities start on a level playing field with each other, and how they apply it will greatly influence their competitiveness for investment (and competitiveness of their businesses).

State Street in Bristol is divided between Virginia and Tennessee.

At the national level, Elon Musk threatened to move Tesla’s HQ operations from California to Texas due to Alameda County’s restrictions on reopening.

More importantly, at the local level State Street in Bristol is divided between Virginia and Tennessee.Travis Penn, who opened Delta Blues BBQ in Tennessee last September, said his sales initially dropped 70% during the transition.Deel, whose Burger Bar is in Virginia, said he went from $1,500 days to $90 days.

But that’s where the similarities end right now.If Virginia’s first phase begins as anticipated on May 15, restaurants on one side of State Street, like Delta Blues, will have had an 18-day head start on dining service, over restaurants like Burger Bar on the other side of the street. Read more…