Your Small Town’s Unique Assets – Regional Flavor Principle #2

by Joanne Steele on November 25, 2009

The last several posts have covered different aspects of creating a Regional Flavor Strategy for your small town or rural region.

To answer the important question, “Why would we want to go to all that work?” I can only point to the condition many small towns find themselves in right now, in the middle of the worst recession since the 1930’s.

A Regional Flavor Strategy is one method from bringing an entire small town or rural region together to create a network of strong successful locally owned businesses that are more able to withstand the inevitable economic peaks and valleys.

Perhaps the only value of this current economic catastrophe is its bringing to the direct and unavoidable attention of every rural community, the need to do something different, right now.

Today, we’ll look at Principle #2 of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity’s Regional Flavor Framework.

Know all the assets specific to your area and develop ways to add value to them.

This is something you can do without any expert assistance. You know your small town’s assets.

  • You know the people who get things done, they’re assets.
  • You know the small businesses that always seem to make it no matter what the economy throws at them. They’re assets.
  • You know the organizations that bring people together for the good of your community. They’re assets.
  • You know the things that bring visitors to town right now. They’re assets.
  • You know the public servants who are always looking for ways to make your small town better. They’re assets.
  • The biggest asset for any community is a group of people committed to a positive future for their town.

You don’t need a big meeting to start making use of these assets to improve your own business (make it more unique, world class and innovate – strategy #1 that we talked about yesterday).

By networking with the assets you’ve identified to gain information, share ideas, market cooperatively, or to discover new innovative projects you could work on together, you are building your Regional Flavor Strategy one contact at a time.

Assets are not just a big list to be stored somewhere. They are opportunities waiting to be captured.

By using your knowledge of what’s already working in your small town you can start building networks of prosperity that reflect the unique character of your area and support each cooperating partner’s success. That’s what Regional Flavor is all about.

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