From Genesys to a revelation: Local Multinationals are the low hanging fruit

I have had the opportunity to do some work with Invest NB so I put my bias on the table but I have to say the folks who are complaining that most of Invest NB’s announcements have been multinational expansions (i.e. they were in NB already and are now expanding) are misguided.

I don’t understand that gripe.  I have said (and many others too) that in a hard investment attraction market – with stiff competition – the best opportunities for growth are those multinational (and local) firms in our own backyard.  I specifically recommended that Invest NB go after the firms already here and try and convince them to expand here and – it seems they are having some success (Salesforce.com, Thomson Reuters/Elite, now Genesys Labs, etc.).

The critics say those firms would have expanded anyway.   While I don’t know the specifics of any of these files, there is nothing that would indicate these firms would have expanded here – automatically.

Anyone in sales will tell you the best opportunities for a new sale will always be through upselling existing customers.  That’s why you get harassed by the telephone company to add new services (or at least I do).

A few years ago I completed a project in another province that involved interviewing multinational firms located in a specific city in that province.  Of the dozen or so firms I interviewed, only 2 or 3 had any idea the provincial economic development agency would actually help them pitch head office on the potential of expansion in that city and none – not one – had ever got a visit from that provincial economic development agency.  That’s a strange case to be sure but it does point out the absolute imperative to make sure you comb through your own couch for loose change before you start knocking on the neighbour’s door.

Invest NB is following the investment attraction playbook.

 

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One Response to From Genesys to a revelation: Local Multinationals are the low hanging fruit

  1. mikel says:

    I don’t think that was EVER a criticism. Who out there says “yeah, its a new job, but its a company that was already located here”.

    The criticism of Invest NB was that it was no different than any other provincial job creation program. Pretty sure the liberals gave money to corporations and then had a press release saying how great “Self Sufficiency NB” is, or whatever. Now they simply change the name and all new job creation plans are attributed to “Invest NB”. In fact, I can just see local company x saying they are expanding, and the government calling them up and saying “wait, we’ll give you some money and can you say ‘Thanks Invest NB’?”

    Your final paragraph though is a little light on details. Somebody ELSE in the company may have heard from somebody in the government. More to the point, we’ve seen guys here list all the staff from the Enterprise locations, regional development, local development, ACOA, and others. So the question is…if they aren’t contacting companies within the province…what the heck have they been doing? Junketing to California?

    But come on, Salesforce had a government EQUITY position right from the get go. To even suggest that these guys weren’t involved with government players all along is to REALLY be stretching our credulity. Yes, you need SOMEBODY to interact with these companies, but it doesn’t need to be “Invest NB” (and of course a lot of people think you shouldn’t be involved AT ALL).

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