In the article NuStar Energy Plans $365-Million Expansion in Louisiana, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal hailed growth of an existing company in Southeast Louisiana. According to Gov. Jindal, “When I entered office, I said business retention and expansion (BRE) would be our top economic development priorities. Today’s announcement shows our strong commitment to retaining and growing existing Louisiana companies so we can create more opportunities for our people here at home.”
When local communities focus on keeping their existing businesses, they’re doing it to keep fees, taxes, jobs locally. If a State is focusing on business retention and expansion such as Louisiana, they are it doing it to keep fees, taxes, and jobs statewide. There’s no altruism involved in a BRE focus; it’s business…and that’s absolutely fine.
According to the article, “Louisiana Economic Development’s Business Expansion and Retention Group, or BERG, began working with NuStar more than a year ago to cultivate the expansion project.”
So what can any business learn from this example? If you want to sustain a business, you want to grow a business, you have to focus on retaining and growing with who you already have; learn these lessons:
· Get buy-in from the top, with leadership being an outward, visible champion of retention and growth.
· Create structures in your organization that exist to support the effort.
· Dedicate staffing/financial/research-driven resources to retention initiatives.
· Partner with clients by planning together how to succeed/grow.
To be a big success in retaining and growing with existing clients, buy into these BRE lessons.
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