Last week, Kristina and I attended SMU’s Annual Economic Forecast for 2014 out at the university’s Plano, TX campus. The event is hosted by SMU Cox School of Business located in Dallas and is always filled to capacity with local business and civic leaders. The dean of the business school, Dr. Albert W. Niemi, Jr., compiles the data and delivers the forecast every year.
The economic news and the data were a little bit of a repeat from the 2013 forecast; most of the country is still struggling with recovery from the 2007/2009 recessions. Fortunately, we don’t see or feel that as much here in Dallas / Fort Worth compared to other states. Those of us here in Texas are not only recovering, but we are seeing growth statewide.
The big takeaway messages for businesses in DFW are the following:
- We are in an economic bubble here in Texas. While the rest of the country is having a very long and sluggish recovery from the recession, business is booming here in the Lone Star State.
- Texas has a very pro-business environment: low taxes, low cost of business, free labor market (no unions), geographic advantages for commerce and travel, and quality of life.
- We are one of a few states that will experience 30%+ population growth between 2010-2030, people are moving here in droves.
- Dallas-Fort Worth is uniquely positioned to become the major commerce center in the United States.
Businesses in Dallas-Fort Worth should prepare to position themselves to take advantage of the explosive economic and population growth. You need to stand out from local competitors when businesses or new transplants are looking for what you do or sell. This takes preparation.
Whether you are B2B or B2C, here are some online marketing strategies to start considering:
- Update to your website with current service/product descriptions, contact us page and map, links to social media and lots of high-quality visuals.
- Get a consistent graphic look for your website, business cards, social media and collaterals. You want brand recognition – a visual representation of your business helps to achieve that. Just think of Nike, Microsoft or Starbucks. They don’t even need to say their name to get recognized.
- Get active on and own your social networks. Create a Google+ Page and Google Local account for your business. Create a detailed profile for yourself on LinkedIn, including a company page.
- Check to see if your business is accurately depicted on online business directories.
- Start creating and curating content about what you do and what is important to your target audience.
- Consider online advertising and promotions.
- Start networking online and offline.
Time, knowledge and resources are required to evaluate and prepare your business. You want to ensure your business is well positioned to stand out in front of the competition as the economy and population continue to grow here in Dallas-Fort Worth. The good news is there are agencies to fit every company size and budget here in the metroplex. Our team at Witmer Group is excited about business growth in this exciting time for Texas!