Regional business development focus

Syncronise regional business development activities.

Why do people have businesses in a regional area?

Lifestyle is one of the primary reasons for having a regional business. Community opportunities and possibilities are everywhere, and the more things change the more community opportunities open up. Look beyond the current reality and an improved lifestyle and see what is possible. A community’s strength improves as the standard of business acumen, and business knowledge improves. 

Your aim should be to create new conversations, that will lead to new relationships, better health and better businesses, and more exciting places in which to live, Community opportunities are everywhere. young people stayed in their community and either worked for someone or created their own regional busines, they weree gone. Today the cost of travel sees them moving around the world and creating new types of businesses. They understand the technology and communications and know they can set up a business anywhere they choose. This means that they choose their old community by choice, not by accident of birth.

Regional business can be grouped as follows

  • Those that are part of national networks, chains, franchises. Associations and other various national groups.
  • High growth ‘gazelle’ businesses. They increase their revenues by at least 20% annually for four years and make new things happen.
  • Potential high growth businesses. Small-medium high growth business is where the jobs will continue to come from.
  • Low aspiration businesses. Regional business turned into a lifestyle with no ambition, no growth for growth, or profit sake.

Creating a fresh approach to regional business 

Successful regional business and community development is an accumulation of many actions and outcomes. The sum of many individual efforts repeated day in and day out can have a profound effect. It is the day to day actions taken that determine the growth and success of a community. Unfortunately, many people involved with the initial steps, fall by the wayside as they cannot see the impact of their individual efforts.

Yet, with every additional step, you immediately enhance the value of the initial step. Your guarantee is in driving the actions in a coordinated and practical way until objectives are met.

Some communities are stable, but only around their foundation industries (agriculture, mining, tourism etc.) and the associated support services. Few have applied global thinking and innovation that will add new opportunities and businesses. And other initiatives leading to job growth and drought-proofing their future. Special attention also needs to be applied to the youth in regional communities, they are the future.

Regional Development is a concept that has been abused and misused for a long time.  It is caught between tradition and change, individuals and government. There are plenty of “talk fests” without action, the movers and shakers are flogged to death, Regional Development is often used as a political football. Terms  are too academic and should be more practical. After all, you are looking for growthands new and sustainable jobsthath come about through business growth and sustainability.

Communities should be looking to improve business performance, putting in place strategies for

The opportunities are shifting towards people with new ways of working, which can be very difficult to see living in isolation. The only thing you can be certain of is that there will be many surprises. Most people and communities still operate in isolation or wait for the government to make it happen.

  • Retention and expansion of existing businesses.
  • New development and attraction of new types of businesses.
  • Taking steps to address social and health issues through business involvement.
  • Adjusting their community to thrive in the new global economy.
  • Support in the development and implementation of new ideas and opportunities.
  • Combatting the impact of ‘sponge cities’.

Without large capital expenditure, growth can only come about by increasing business activity and community participation. The best bet for you is to be ahead of the pack and implement ways to handle the future with some surety using your own initiatives.

Providing a platform, or framework for addressing issues, projects and sharing information and knowledge is critical in focusing available resources in a collaborative and integrated way while maintaining active networks and tapping into the dynamics of wider networks.

Improved support for the willing, community ‘movers and shakers’ must be addressed with increasing efficiency and effectiveness along with a technology and communications growth path to support them. This should includeintroducingf new ways of doing business, sharing of the information, knowledge, ideas and opportunitie, ands the workload throughout the community.

Regional business prosperity issues needing to be faced

Consider the community, or region as a business. While the following list may appear to be negative, look for the opportunities to create new products and services, expand into new markets, improve business efficiencies with better business models  and better business planning. Look at such things as outsourcing, innovation, import replacement and overseas markets. There is a need for more flexibility to adapt to the nature of the ‘regional business’ and ‘regional community”.

The following is a long list, but, not all things will apply to every community. Use it as a checklist to identify the problems, frustrations wants and needs of the community. Look for opportunities to address the competitiveness of smaller communities and their businesses and non-profits.

  • Poor Internet, broadband and social media capacity in regional business.
  • The limited number of ‘movers and shakers’ in small communities that are flogged to death.
  • Poor support from the bigger ‘sponge’ cities for the smaller towns and villages.
  • Helping smaller communities to become part of the new global marketplace in a competitive way.
  • Poor business planning culture, concern for the future versus the tyranny of the urgent.
  • The major force in innovation and the maintenance of competitiveness is the use of modern technology.
  • Limited ability to grow and make costly changes because of variable access to critical infrastructure and resources.
  • Narrow product and service range within the community because you simply don’t need the biggest ranges.
  • Little interest, or investment in information and knowledge systems.
  • Limited ability to scan, monitor or influence the market environment effectively.
  • The small market which can lead to increased vulnerability with sparse backup resources, making any mistakes lethal.

People issues to address

  • Scope for domination of decision-making, people in regional businesses, are too nice.
  • The need for external help in upgrading business management practices, breaking the vicious circle of problem continuation.
  • Lack of management and employee slack to cope well with all the business functions and eventualities.
  • Limited leverage in obtaining capital, skills and support needed to run a modern business.
  • The small scale can benefit from networking and clustering strategies but are sometimes difficult to implement because of small numbers.
  • Close interpersonal relationships in the workplace with short and informal communication and information channels.
  • Exposed to the potential for errors because of the lack of modern systems and control processes.
  • Little interest in establishing traditional or virtual business incubators
  • Poor understanding by the people in the community of the big picture and changes taking place.
  • Few businesses are ‘Investor Ready’ in order to make changes and take up opportunities.
  • Tiny management teams, committees, limited/unbalanced skills.
  • Relative operating simplicity and informality, which can lead to sloppiness and inefficiency.
  • Multi-functional work roles for managers and employees, sometimes inhibiting innovation.
  • Associated problems with part-time employees and a small number of available contractors for outsourcing.
  • Shortage of promotable employees, with a lack of specialist staff because of much job overlapping.
  • Little or no employee training, job analysis or human resources planning.
  • Limited capacity to pass on lessons learned to other businesses that desire to emulate other’s success.

Helping regional business to compete in the modern global marketplace

Despite the lack of support and slow Internet speeds, regional businesses can overcome challenges to compete with their urban counterparts. While they might seem to lack the speed of their city-based counterparts, they make up in values, trust, friendliness and reliability. Regional business often lacks the on-the-spot support networks of their metropolitan-based counterparts. This creates unique challenges around recruiting staff, logistics and access to advice. However, they mostly find ways to compensate.

Regional business support services have been incredibly fragmented up until the advent of the Internet and improving transport systems. Access to broadband services is helping regional business to make quantum leaps in every aspect of their business. Every day you hear of regional businesses breaking into new and exciting international markets and utilising the services of other companies located anywhere in the world.

Regional businesses can compete when large chains enter their markets. Community involvement can help make all the difference in highly competitive regional environments when people work together.  The Whileortant, is ntraditional marketing ot as effective as how a regional business position itself to be important to the community.

Things to focus on to win new businesses and jobs

Most communities will support their local businesses whenever they can and even pay higher prices. This is particularly so where they are focused on solving problems and frustrations while delivering to customer and community wants and needs efficiently. The following outlines some areas that regional business, not-for-profit organisations and communities can focus on to win the business they want and need.


What’s Chinese cooking have to do with anything? This post will provide you with some new ways to adjust your thinking and your attitude to running a regional business, Encourage people to lookstartew business based on their hobbhobbies to tk outside the box.


The major force in innovation and the maintenance of competitiveness, providing knowledge and information. Facilitating networking and creating ideas and new business opportunities. Adapting to new information technologies in the cloud certainly, enhances efficiency if broadband is available.


Having mobility and flexibility built into your working environment is not all about working from home. Mobility is about businesses and their employees working from wherever they want or, need to be. While working from home may not be a suitable option for everyone, there are many new and different ways of working,

Business Model

Does every business need a Business Model that works well all day, every day? Will it capitalise on the unique value the business provides? Does it deliver worthwhile outcomes for prospective customers to form a lasting relationship? Can it show how they will make the money they want? Does it take advantage of the new technologies available? A Business Model should also differentiate the business in the marketplace,

Business Planning

Perhaps it’s time to let go of the past and celebrate your life and your community with some new insights and a fresh start. Life is full of challenges, so what you need now are a breakthrough and a more positive direction. Never, ever give up on what is important to you and a good business plan will guide you, faster and safer than anything else,

Value chain

A value chain is a set of activities that a business operating in a specific industry performs in order to deliver a valuable product or service for the market. The value chain includes both the primary and support activities. All helping to produce profitable growth and sustainability in the businesses and not-for-profit organisations of the community.


Lack of a clear direction or vision is what holds back many regional businesses. Lack of direction causes many problems and frustrations. Running a business is hard enough without running around in circles.  This is precisely what you risk doing if you don’t clarify your business direction. Businesses that start failing often lack clarity of purpose, so it pays to get your business’s purpose sorted first,

Creativity and innovation

In the rapidly changing global marketplace, the chances are that many of the ways you are doing business are already obsolete. The continuous struggle becomes the norm. You can’t find ways to solve the problems and frustrations you have, that are stopping you achieving your aspirations. Creativity and innovation need to be at the forefront of everything you do, if breakthroughs are to be achieved,

Entrepreneurs make things work

It is rare to face a real fork in the road and knows with 100% certainty that one way is the right way and the other is the wrong way. The key drivers of businesses not-for-profit organisations, communities and projects are the attributes of entrepreneurship. Visioning, joining up the dots, problem-solving and action orientation. It is worth noting that it inesses and organisations thatdriving your communities and the lifestyle you treasure. This is something a lot of people still do not understand or accept,

Attracting great employees

Business and sometimes life in general, “can be too hard doing by yourself”. Your future can be better than you think and if you are attracting and associating with good people. If they have similar values to your own, it can make all the difference to your business and your life. But, you don’t meet good like-minded people by watching TV and keeping your own company


Businesses are seeing a better way to achieve their strategic objectives with outsourcing. Reducing costs, improve customer satisfaction and provide efficiency improvements. It is very important for smaller businesses in growing profits and sustainability. If you want to compete against bigger companies, outsourcing might give you the answers you are looking for, Ask yourself. “Why would some of the best supply chain experts in the world decide to outsource”? Outsourcing is growing rapidly.


Most people like dealing with regional people because of their good values. People spend too much time crafting values statements and too little, putting them into practice. The work isn’t crafting values; it’s living them. An important new system you could implement is one that enables everyone in the community to evaluate and align behaviours with values.


Without flexibility, people can become trapped. You can create more flexibility in the business environment to inspire everyone and improve productivity and bottom lines. With advancements in technology, you can connect with all stakeholders anywhere in the world. Businesses can operate your business remotely while improving their work/life balance. Rapidly growing businesses are always concerned with their ability to be flexible and adapt,

Not-for-profit programs

Are you struggling to find the purpose of your organisation? Are your community improvement programs being put on the ‘back-burner”? Do you have that feeling of emptiness, or wonder if you’ll ever reach the kind of success you know is possible and would like to achieve? If this is the case, working with businesses (instead of in isolation) and others in the community can make a positive difference,

Reality checks build better futures

The reality is often hard for people to accept. Close your eyes and imagine yourself building a better future. What do you see yourself doing, and when would you like to do it. When you look at your current reality, do you feel something is missing in your life, or you’re always waiting for something to arrive? This blog is about helping you have a reality check on your aspirations,

Regional and local knowledge systems

These are needed to inform the community, businesses, investors and planners of the nature of the community and the economy. To underpin strategies for economic and community development, identify opportunities and bottlenecks and to measure and benchmark performance. Systems should also be looking to capture what is wanted and needed from ‘big data’. ‘The Internet of Things should also be taken into account.

Communities need servicing

While businesses may come and go, communities need to preserve their business environments and the theirvices theyhe community. Business closures can lead to the decline of the community and allow surrounding centres to capture the local customers. Businesses are the engine room of every community and like your car, need to be serviced regularly for best performance,

Community support

Providing facilities for community groups is one of three kinds of community involvement or mutual support. It can consist of something as painless as permitting a high school band to use the parking lot for a fundraising car wash. Businesses can do this by creating spaces where community members can gather and socialise. Unlike a lot of marketing efforts, community involvement is not expensive. Businesses can also contribute support by supplying employees to work as volunteers.

Moving from concept to reality

The concept is a facet of community development that invests in existing businesses by providing them with:

  • Access to strategic information and knowledge so important to keeping businesses vibrant.
  • Identify and developing their entrepreneurial skills.
  • Provide ubiquitous access to current business thinking so nobody feels isolated.
  • Making connections to key customers and suppliers can help many businesses.
  • Create strategies and efficiently target their markets.
  • Encourage the development of innovation strategies because without innovation; businesses quickly become uncompetitive.
  • Help in tapping into the ‘flooded rivers’ of ‘big data’, information and knowledge’,
  • Provide important information that is typically only accessible to major corporations.
  • Helping with connections to technology that businesses may not otherwise have access to, or be able to afford.

The reality is supporting and motivating the businesses and not-for-profit organisations To the point that they take action and do something with what they have. Helping them to acquire more skills and resources to grow profitably and sustainably.

Approaches to improve regional business communities

Academics and governments tend to discuss how global forces shape the choices regional business and communities need to make, rather than the wants and needs of the real people who live there.

It’s great to think in terms of ‘regional and economic development’. But it is the individual choices and actions that are the primary drivers, which require a catalyst. Without large capital expenditure, growth and business prosperity can only come about through increasing entrepreneurial participation.

As a foundation for community development, the interest in entrepreneurial activity continues to grow across the world at a rapid rate. Various communities around the world are using different tools and methods, but the core concept of entrepreneurship is still the same. Identify the entrepreneurs, support them and build a nurturing environment for growing businesses. By all means, change the conversations in the community but, the days of ‘talkfests’ is over if you want action.

Business diversification is seen as a method to reduce the dependency on ‘commodities’ in regional areas. Regional areas usually have a competitive advantage in natural-resource-based industries. However, they usually have a distinct disadvantage in knowledge and technology-based businesses, due largely to remoteness, lack of connectivity and lack of business support services, all things that you can focus attention on. Government policy tends to chance the diversification objective with a heavy emphasis on a ‘silver bullet solution’ outside the region.

Start with what you have

You will have more success by looking inside the region at what is already existing and building from there, rather than putting most of your effort into hunting for big opportunities elsewhere. When you start chasing external opportunities, you have responsibilities, and you can quickly lose focus. Your first priority is no longer to the people who live there because the new opportunities tend to come first.

You must strive to develop local entrepreneurs and encourage investment by home-grown businesses, home-based businesses and lifestyle businesses. This is the only way most communities, towns and villages, can feasibly integrate themselves into the global marketplace of the future, without a huge investment.

As a prelude to developing strategies to start moving things forward, you might develop Arts and Crafts. And look at immediate improvements to current tourism activities. Perhaps you could offer free rents to arts and crafts people to fill empty shops and add interest to the community. These people are renown for bringing others in their industry to work with them.

Your next step should be to carefully consider the approaches you will take and just how you might generate new ideas and opportunities.  With regional business, ad hoc approaches are usually just a flash in the pan. Consider how you can help those businesses and not-for-profits that already exist.

Don’t fall into the trap of a marketing campaign to attract new businesses that will compete with the existing business. You will only alienate the existing businesses and the money spent is always better utilised to expand the existing businesses who have already chosen to live and work there.

Tourism as a significant role to play

The next thing you might do is to revitalise all the community tourism activities, including accommodation, restaurant quality and local tourist attractions that have become tired. You want to increase the number of visitors to your community.


The value of a community of tourism is often overlooked. There is more to tourists than their money.

Simply because they can bring new opportunities and resources and set up new businesses at no extra cost to the community, a good facelift will also lift the community’s overall morale and attitudes. Start with the worst building in the main street and work from there.

Quotable quotes

“How entrepreneurial is your community? Yesterday you said tomorrow, but the issues need to be faced today, so why didn’t you”? Peter Sergeant

“I think that we had a different view of what the 21st century could be like. With much more of a sense, from our perspective, of trying to have an interdependent world. Looking at solving regional problems and conflicts. Having strength in alliances, operating within some kind of a sense that we were part of the international community. And not outside of it”.  Madeleine Albright

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