Working Here

Livability.com section – Working Here

Overview Direction
If you are writing a Business overview, identify and include facts and statistics, about what is driving or most characterizes the business climate within the community. Is it a strong transportation system (roads, rail, air, ports)? Is it geography (promixity to an industry cluster in a larger city nearby)? Are there a lot of new industries with jobs to fill? Who are the major industries and top employers? Is there a large number of small independent businesses? Larger industries? What about entrepreneurs? Are there programs in place to encourage entrepreneurship? What types of industry are being targeted by local economic development officials (300-450 words)?

Feature Direction
Consider these things and include the answers in your copy:

  • What does the company do and to whom does it sell its products or services? In other words, how do they make their money? The answer should be state in one or two sentences and be clear enough that it could be said to someone on a typical elevator ride. Avoid using company or industry jargon, marketing slogans and promotional language in explaining what the company does.

    Bad: “The company provides the only ERP solution designed for the mid-market with native business process management capabilities, including powerful exception management tools.”
    Good: “The company designs and sells software used by small- and medium-size  companies to track production, inventory, financial and other data.”

     

  • Why is the company operating in that particular market, and what keeps it there? Can the answer be expanded upon? For example, if access to customers is an answer, is it because of availability of an international airport, proximity to major interstates or a port facility?
  • What is the company’s annual revenue? How much has it grown over the last five years as a percentage?

     

  • What is the company’s output? How many tons/units does it produce, lines of code does it write, meals does it serve, calls does it handle, customers does it assist each day or month, or year, etc.? This type of figure will give some context to the scope of the company’s business.

     

  • What is the total square footage of its operations in the market and how many locations does it have overall?

     

  • How many people does it employ (in the local market) and overall (if the company extends beyond the local market)? Is there a figure for local payroll amount?

     

  • How long has the company been in operation, and how long has it been in the market? How was it started and what have been its major milestones? How much has the company invested in the market in plant, property and equipment?

     

  • What does the company see as the market’s major attributes or resources? Again, look for specifics beyond the generalities. If the answer is a quality workforce, how is that measured and what does it mean?

Seeking Sources: If no specific source has been provided to you, it is always preferable that you speak to the owner, chief executive or president, if a company is based in the market, or to the head of the local operation, such as a general manager, plant manager, division president, etc. When that is not possible, please use the formal title of the source and avoid the term “spokesman,” unless that is the person’s actual title (it usually isn’t).



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