News

5 Things To Know Before An Investor Comes To Town

5 Things To Know Before An Investor Comes To Town

February 17th, 2020

by Ian Smith 

In a perfect world, a city should be open to all investors that are ready to expand or relocate.  Unfortunately, investment attraction does not work that way.  Some cities are steadfast in adhering to their list of “key industries” or “key sectors” when they are seeking to initiative attracting new companies to their town.  This enables the lead economic development agency of the city to rely on the same proven and successfully strategies to convince companies to operate in the city’s jurisdiction. 

For cities that would like to go outside their comfort zone in terms of fetching investors in different sectors, a strategic approach is needed in terms of selecting the right sector and company.   Once the potential investor is selected and the meeting with the company is booked, the economic development agency’s researcher will have some work to do.  Specifically, the researcher must be able to provide intelligence to inform senior executives regarding the following five aspects of the sector and company:

1 – Future trends 
2 – Details on the value chain
3 – Senior executive strategic outlook 
4 – Company’s investment patterns
5 – Competitors

Some of the aspects might have been dealt with earlier on in the investment attraction process, however; it would be wise to cover them again as potential investors visit the town.


1 – Future trends 

Investigating and identifying future trends in the sector are the most important task to be done in regards to preparing for a meeting with investors.    Senior executives must be in the know in terms of how sustainable and profitable the sector will be in the future.  This will allow executives to gauge if the sector has a place in the city and how it will bring wealth for years to come.   Information on future trends can be discovered in sector profiles, marketing research reports and articles in industry-specific publications.

2 – Details on the value chain

For cities that are looking to strengthen the value chain in a  particular sector should obtain details on how a potential company can enhance the success of other small companies within its jurisdiction.   With the help of a strategic analyst, executives can be informed  on how the potential investor can play a vital role in terms of adding more jobs in the local economic.

3 – Senior executive strategic outlook 

In order to get an idea of where a potential investor is going in the future in terms of being successful, consider gathering information on senior executives’ strategic outlook for the company and industry.  Mentions about new products and or services, investments, joint ventures and partnerships in the press are great indicators of future moves and outlook for growth.  The outlook will provide details on how the city could play a role in upcoming strategic initiatives.

4 – Company’s investment patterns

Unearthing investment patterns can answer a lot of questions about a potential investor in terms of how the company seeks to growth and operate.  For example, if there are any questions regarding the possibility of building a new plant, researchers should gather and assess:
  • The number of greenfield plant investments that has taken place in a period of time (i.e., 16 to 18 months).
  • The number of expansion projects in the past two years.
With the proper analysis, agencies can gauge whether or not the company has the capacity to invest, invest in what assets and on what time horizon.

5 – Competitors

The level of competition within a sector can tell an economic development agency a fair bit about a potential investor.  On the surface, the agency can identify a competitive advantage which the investor may have to be a leader within the sector.   As a result, the agency can position the city as an asset to enhance the competitive advantage.

Need help attracting foreign direct investment dollars to your region?  Contact us TODAY.  

Read Related Past Posts: