This month: Robyn Bailey, Business Infrastructure Manager
Robyn is an expert on commercial land and development processes, and is the Loudoun, Virginia Department of Economic Development liaison with the development community. We put Robyn on the hot seat this month with these questions:
What's your best advice to entrepreneurs?
"Let a broker do the work for you in site selection. It's like hiring a real estate agent to find a house. It takes some of the emotion out of the process and focuses the search on key requirements. But before you do, think about how your business operates so the broker can help you get the best property. Do you rely on high visibility -- is signage and drive-by traffic important? Will customers be visiting you and needing parking? Do you require high-speed connectivity? Is there any area of the county you're most drawn to? Think these through."
What are some things small businesses might not be aware of?
"I see smaller companies focused too heavily on making the finances work and not enough on the other things like visibility, location, connectivity, or parking. These issues can make or break your business just as much as the finances."
What should small businesses know about working with the county?
"I see some small businesses that are leery of government. If you contact us, we always try to help. While you may find we refer your small business on to other people or organizations that can help you the best, that's what we do with all business, regardless of size."
What was one of your most memorable deals?
"A financial services firm. I worked with them over a 10-year span where they looked at three different sites. Each time the deal fell through was heartbreaking, but it taught me that if the first site doesn't work out, there's a reason, and a better one will be the end result. It also reminded me that at the end of the day, it's all about relationships, because they kept returning to us each time they were ready to do the deal."