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  • Liv Stromme

Using a CRM to enhance business community relationships

The relationships with your business community always contain more than what meets the eye. From all the micro interactions at community events, business visits, frequenting their establishments, and even running into them at the grocery store you know these people as your neighbors.

When it comes to business retention and expansion, these interactions are mainly stored within the brains of economic development professionals, remembering everything from your business owner’s children's names to their industry needs. This is one of your strengths, because it lends you to be a great community partner, but it can also be a downside when it comes to succession planning.

Using a CRM to store business information such as points of contacts, employee site, industry sector, revenue, and much more allows a team to share and read the story of this business all in one spot. By moving data out of a spreadsheet, sticky notes, emails, and the scattered notes in your memory, you can build a one stop location for storing and referencing a business relationship to the city.

For example, if you’ve been working with a business over the years and are planning for retirement, your successor is going to have some big shoes to fill representing your community to this business owner. By storing all the data points such as how many employees work here and which grants this business has received, tracking your calls/meetings, and syncing your email onto a business profile within a CRM like Bludot’s solution, you can unlock transparency for the person filling your position and ensure a smoother transition for the business as well.

We know as economic developers, that storytelling is a large part of the work you do. By combining data, email interactions, and meeting notes you can tell countless stories of how and why a business matters and their important contributions to your community.

These stories of success can help with grant writing, attracting new industries to your community, and attracting new talent to your region. Additionally, by leveraging and compiling the data in one spot, it can help your team and community track gaps that businesses are looking for additional support with.

Leveraging a CRM in fast-growing Dallas, OR

Local economic development is a critical aspect of any city's growth and sustainability, and the City of Dallas, OR, is no exception. With a population of over 16,000, this fast-growing city has managed to retain its small-town feel, attracting new residents who value its charm. Tyler Ferrari, the Economic Development Specialist for Dallas, OR, emphasizes the importance of building a thriving business community, stating, "We strive to help businesses be successful because cities cannot be successful without the businesses' success." This commitment led the city to evolve its strategic approach to local economic development, recognizing the need for accurate business outreach and effective resource dissemination.

Partnering with Bludot has been transformative for Dallas, OR, providing a centralized platform to store critical information about businesses, streamline communication, and track progress. Bludot's CRM has enabled the city to maintain an updated business inventory, utilize map functionalities for targeted outreach, and digitize community engagement efforts. This has allowed Dallas to proactively support its businesses, from road closure notices to facilitating the Facade Improvement Grant process.

Tyler Ferrari notes, "It's hard to make that in-person contact because we are just so busy and we didn’t have a place to store that information either. So, we’re excited we have an easy place to collect and store that information centrally." Through Bludot, the City of Dallas, OR, is building stronger relationships with its business community, ensuring long-term economic vitality and community-centric development.

To learn more about how Bludot’s solution can enhance the work you do, please set up a demo.


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