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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

Gone Fishing

A game warden catches an unlicensed fisherman in the act. “Looks like you are over the limit buddy.” “You’re going to pay a big fine for all those fish in your bucket.”

Fisherman:  But, Officer, I didn’t catch these — they are my pet fish and I just bring them here to swim. When they’re done they jump back into the bucket.

Game warden: Oh really? This I’ve got to see. If you can prove it, I’ll let you go.

The fisherman empties the bucket into the lake and waits patiently. A few minutes go by and nothing happens.

Game warden:  So where are the fish?

Fisherman:  Fish? What fish? Are you crazy?

Most people – at least here in Iowa – remember the first time they caught a fish. It may have been at the pond with dad, maybe at a lake in Minnesota with the grandparents.

Regardless of the stage and the characters, it’s an ear-to-ear grinning achievement when little hands ferociously hammer at the reel until a fish is left dancing on the line inches from their face.

I can remember reliving this joy with my daughter when she was only 4.  She was jumping up and down with jubilation when she landed her first catch on her very own (it was a 3-inch blue gill that more closely resembled bait).

The lessons learned while landing our first fish can be key today when we are trying to “land” a new customer in business today. Everyone is online, nearly all the time, and this connectivity (while annoying to many) has changed the way people buy everything. Gone are the days of opening up a store front and waiting for customers to roll in (imagine getting in your boat and fish jumping in without you putting a line in the water).

Today educational information is your lure, price and offer is your hook. To attract customers you need to provide educational information that goes beyond merely listing the products you sell. Unbiased, informative articles and advice will attract website traffic. However, to get the sale you must have a compelling price and offer. Having a great price and offer but no educational information is like having a hook with no lure. Having educational information without a great price and offer is like having a lure with no hook. To increase site traffic you must give the customer information beyond just a product list with prices.

Providing education to customers can sound hard and complicated, but if you are passionate about what you do, you naturally know a lot about what you sell or provide (share it). Today people want to know about the food they eat, the clothes they wear, nearly everything they pay money for; they want to be informed and know that they are getting value.



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