By Janet Ady, President/CEO Ady Advantage



The economic development field is more intensely competitive than it's ever been, and that trend is going to continue. Competing successfully starts with an understanding of your location's economic assets.


The drivers for this megatrend:

  • First, the economic development field is maturing. It's no longer a fledgling field; today, it's a bona fide professional industry. Most of the 3,000+ counties, boroughs and parishes have an economic development function, let alone the states, regions, and tens of thousands of communities, many or most with an economic development function.
  • The increasingly sophisticated tools and analyses that site selectors use today requires that ED professionals be at the top of their game to compete.
  • The pool of relocating companies - especially the big whales - is relatively limited, so there's more competition for a relatively small set of prospects.

Implications for EDOs:

  • This will sound counterintuitive as we're talking about site selection and business recruitment, but the first implication is for EDOs to have strong business retention and expansion (BRE) programs. Why? Two key reasons:
    • First, your BRE program is your best defense against a competitor's business recruitment program.
    • Second, how your treat your current businesses is the best indicator of how you may treat a business that relocates to your community.
  • A second important implication is that you absolutely have to understand your value proposition. (Read More) 


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Ady Advantage Services


Ady Advantage (formerly Ady Voltedge) is a comprehensive and integrated economic development and site selection consulting firm. Our clients include more than 300 economic development organizations, for which we provide support on the full range of needs, including economic strategy, market differentiation, and implementation. Our corporate services focus on helping manufacturers and other sectors grow their businesses through an integrated solution set that includes various components, including facility expansion.

Our focus on both sides of the economic development equation is unique. It gives us important insight into the perspectives, challenges, needs, and sensitivities of site selectors and economic development organizations alike, bringing added value to both. 


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