Stimulating Community Entrepreneurs
Missouri Department of Economic Development
Stimulating Community Entrepreneurs
Notes of presentation
Planning should be the number one priority for starting up a business. Failed businesses are those that have no plan in writing. There are three types of businesses, those who have no plan, an oral plan or a written plan. Those with an oral plan succeed three times as often as those without a plan and those with a written plan ten times as often as those with no plan.
If you can’t raise money you shouldn’t be in business. You are always going to need funds for one project or another, so if you can’t sell a banker on your initial project you won’t be able to convince him later to support your proposed plans of action.
The banking community needs to address risk issues including loan and credit criteria.
Producers need to have input on agendas for university research. Global competitiveness should be one of the current research topics.
By what manner can one go about changing the university research projects?
We should be marketing to foreigners, promoting ourselves better. This means more marketing research, but the right kind of marketing research. Marketing is often confused with bragging.
Picking of research problems should be done by industry.
Missouri is increasingly taking this focus. Missouri has recently moved 26th to 23rd in the nation in exports. Of the $15 billion Missouri exports, only $1.2 billion is agricultural goods. This must and can improve.
How do you differentiate between development of an economic base and quality of life?
A. Identify problem (i.e. best grads leaving area/businesses closing)
B. Make sites available to businesses
C. Make buildings available (i.e. 35-45,000 sq ft buildings with 40′eave height). If they are not already constructed, the community must provide this structure in order to be competitive.
In one project in Southern Missouri, the town bought land for $325,000 to start an industrial park and then raised money for the first building. They ran into lots of naysayers, but they stuck with it and were successful. But, boy did the leaders have to take a lot of grief until they landed a good industry. Then everyone took credit for it.
Things you need to get a project started like this include: cooperation from the banking community, land, building(s), and access to technology.
Notes of presentation by Roedemeier in afternoon session
Development of Entrepreneurship
Local groups like the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary and the Arts Council all have their places in economic development, but they can be obstacles in the path to success. Make sure they all are working TOWARD the common goal of economic development instead of standing in the way of progress. Sometimes it can be tricky to get things done because everybody else thinks that they are already working on this problem.
A brighter future for rural America? The reason why some communities work and some don’t can usually be traced back to the efforts of one person.
For startups and existing businesses, education is the key for success. Reach out and take a casual trip to see the technology that’s available in government and industry research.
In Missouri, 60% of income derived by farmers comes from off-farm sources.
How do you go about organizing a town/community meeting successfully given the lack of propensity to change and the power people you have to work around?
There is a three step method
1. Economic status quo: help people realize things could be much better. What is is not good enough.
2. Buy-in of power brokers (some of them at any rate)
3. Editor of the local papers (bring in and get his confidence; stories of success and failure)
Bring in new talent/new people for meaningful jobs to initiate successes, take on more responsibility.
Communities can come together to share ideas from other areas.
Sometimes meeting at another site with an expert to interact with the citizens generates good ideas.
I’d like to ask about technology, especially information technology changes. As businesses downsize, they concentrate on core service and outsource in other areas to reduce their cost/unit, is there any way for small communities to exploit this technology?
The higher value the commodity produced, the less of a factor freight becomes. With the onset of internet technology, 8 hour days are now 24 hour days. The key is to gather the right brains in or into the community.
Company barometer: Look at the age of the company’s assets, the older they are the more likely that company is to move or shift in some way.
One thing a community can do for itself is to interact with the local communications controllers and try to get on the cutting edge of technology there. Those communities who have electronic communications capability are the ones who have the best opportunities available to them.
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