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Archive for August, 2016

Three Essential Building Blocks for Creating The Website Your City Needs

Most cities have a website. It’s a necessity in our highly technological world, where the Internet is usually the first place people go when they’re looking for information about a specific location. But does your city have a good website?

When you’re trying to attract retail development to your city, the first thing they’ll do is look you up online. If they find an out-dated website that’s hard to navigate, they’ll likely take their business somewhere else. A poorly designed website tells potential investors that your city doesn’t know how to market itself. In contrast, a solid website design lets investors know you’re serious about investing in the city and staying in touch with the visitors and community members who will form their client base.

municipal website design

Professional

Overall, layout is the first thing people notice when they visit a website. Is the homepage eye-catching and uncluttered? Is the menu simple and navigable? Does the search bar work? Is your community website mobile-friendly? If you can’t answer “yes” to these questions, then it’s time for a redesign.

Modern city websites utilize web design principles to create a responsive site that works well and looks good on mobile devices as well as PCs. When you have a good website, it gives your community instant credibility and helps you stand out from the competition. It’s one of the fastest ways to demonstrate the business value of your community.

Easy Navigation

The second thing users notice about a website is whether or not it’s easy to use. No matter how nice the homepage looks, the website is useless if users can’t find what they’re looking for. You want a website with clear, consistent headers and navigation menus to guide users in the right direction.

When potential retail investors are looking at your website, they want to know people who visit your site can easily find places to shop or dine out. This information is usually included in a “visitors” link in the menu. The “visitors” link often directs to another website with information for tourists on where to shop, eat, and stay while they’re in town. This website should also be helpful and easily navigated.

Up-To-Date

Catching a visitor’s attention and being easy to navigate aren’t the only roles of a website. It also has to present relevant, up-to-date information. No one’s going to be impressed with the website if they search for upcoming city events and find a news article that’s 2 years old. Make sure all the information about your city is as current as possible.

Convinced you need a website redesign? Contact Retail Attractions for help. We know exactly what your website needs to attract new investors. We are partnered with a full-service website development firm to provide web consulting, design, development, hosting and maintenance services specifically tailored to your community’s needs.

The Common Sense Guide Negotiating A Fair Retail Deal

When forging a public/private partnership for retail development, fairness must play a role. It would be very difficult to sustain a partnership where one party feels like they got the short end of the stick during the negotiations process. Defining, and agreeing on, what is “fair” for all parties involved can get rather tricky, though.

Retail Development Consulting

Do Your Homework

By the time you reach the final negotiating stage, you should already have a good understanding of what you and your potential partner each hope to get out of this retail deal. Spend time talking with them and building trust. Be clear about what you need this deal to accomplish and get clarification about what they expect as well. The better you understand the deal being negotiated, the more likely everyone will be satisfied with the terms in the final transaction documents.

Stay Involved

It’s imperative that the principle parties stay involved during negotiations. You’re the ones driving the shared vision. You’re the ones who will reap the benefits, and consequences, of this deal for the next few years. Ignoring or abdicating responsibility for negotiating a fair agreement can make the deal fall through. Retail deals are much more successful if you’re putting effort into laying a solid foundation for long-term cooperation.

Think Long Term

Don’t loose sight of the big picture by getting bogged down in tiny details. Remember compromise is often a necessity for both sides. Be ready to negotiate sticky aspects of the deal and work through disagreements before the terms are finalized. Ideally, you’re forging a long-term partnership that will benefit both parties. Exercising patience during the final negotiations and documentation process will pay off long-term.

Consult Experts

There’s far too much involved in negotiating a retail deal for the public/private partners to do it alone. Don’t hesitate to bring in experts to consult on the details. Both sides need legal and technical counsel to help negotiate terms and make sure you don’t miss any legal requirements or site-specific details that have bearing on your transaction.

When thinking of experts who can help in the negotiation process, don’t underestimate the value of bringing a retail specialist on board. If you hire Retail Attractions, you get the advantages of insight from an economic development professional without the cost of a salaried employee. We’ll work with the community and/or development firm to smooth the negotiation process and help you reach a fair and mutually advantageous agreement. Contact Rickey Hayes for more info, or click here to check out the services we offer.