The U.S. economy gets a lot of attention — and rightly so. Since 1871, the U.S. has maintained its position as the largest in the world with economists estimating it will reach $22.3 trillion this year. This is partly because our currency is favored around the world, and we are graced with vast natural resources, but it’s also because of our high productivity, with a per capita gross domestic project (GDP) around $66,000. Compare that to China, which boasts the world’s second largest economy, but only has a per capita GDP of $16,000.

For large, international corporations, the nation’s economy, GDP, and other figures are crucial in strategizing about their projected income, expenses, and growth. But for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), their local economy often has a bigger influence on their success…or struggles.

Local economies are a big deal to SMB owners

As a financial professional who advises SMBs, you have a tremendous opportunity to help your clients monitor and understand the driving economic metrics most likely to affect their overall business success. Specifically, there are three key indicators you should track, understand, and share with your SMB clients: your local economy’s overall condition, local business growth, and local residential real estate.

These factors all heavily weigh on an SMB’s outlook, so owners are understandably interested in this information. For example, if you’re meeting with someone in the building materials industry in the Portland, Oregon area, he or she will be very concerned about the growth potential for their local economy. It will impact their ability to hire qualified employees, effect their pricing, and influence their sales projections.

4 reasons financial professionals need local economic data

  1. Business owners are asking. If you sit down with an SMB owner for an hour, they’re going to ask you about the economy. You need to be knowledgeable about both the national and local economies so you can have an intelligent conversation.
  2. Businesses want to establish new locations. If you have a local business client who is thinking about expanding to a new city or county, it would add great value to the relationship to be able to offer economic data on that particular city or county.
  3. Improved presentations. Financial professionals make a ton of presentations. Including graphs and charts of the economic data for your client or prospect’s market makes for compelling visuals.
  4. Top performers select niches. Many financial pros, such as business bankers or accountants, are generalists. However, it is often beneficial to focus on three or four niche industries and become very knowledgeable about them. Local economic data can help you identify which niches have potential in your market. Then use the data to form a marketing or sales development plan.

We’ve enhanced the details within our Local Economies data

SMB success is driven by the success of their local economy, but that type of microeconomic data has been difficult to get…until now. The Local Economies section of Vertical IQ has been expanded to help you become an expert on over 300 metro areas in the U.S., as well as 3,100+ counties. Here’s what’s new:

  • Local economic data now covers more than 3,100 counties in the U.S.
  • New homepage layout with video introduction and expanded National Economic Outlook content from local markets expert, Ingo Winzer from Local Market Monitor
  • New map view to easily see city/county and surrounding areas
  • Enhanced Overview page with key statistics and easier navigation for specific Local Economy chapters

Each profile contains six sections that you can use to offer your SMB clients key microeconomic insights:

  • Overview: Quickly see changes to economic indicators for the area compared to national averages.
  • Population and Income: Understand trends that affect demand for consumer-oriented businesses in your area.
  • Employment: Track local job growth that affects competition for employees and wage rates for local businesses.
  • Residential Real Estate: Get insight on housing trends that impact construction activity and demand for home goods and services.
  • Home and Rent Price Forecast: Share insight on housing price trends with businesses dependent on consumer spending.
  •  Web Links: Access additional news and local government information to share with clients.

A powerful resource to help SMBs

SMB owners are looking for someone to be the authority on their local economy. Be prepared when one of them asks you for your thoughts on the current environment. Or better yet, be proactive: Print, share, and discuss this crucial information with your SMB clients. With our enhanced Local Economies data, you can:

  • Educate your SMB owner-clients about their local markets’ economic conditions
  • Share economic reports with clients opening new locations in other geographies
  • Strengthen loan requests, business valuations, presentations, newsletters, and blog posts with economic data
  • Focus your own business development efforts with local market statistics

By using the improved and expanded Local Economies section of Vertical IQ, professionals who advise SMBs will be armed with the type of microeconomic data business owners want. Use the data to ask specific and insightful questions about how their business is being directly impacted by economic ebbs and flows. You’ll quickly gain their confidence and open doors to new opportunities.  

>> Learn more about the enhanced Local Economies section of Vertical IQ in our recent press release.

>> Log into Vertical IQ to start using Local Economies today!

>> Want to learn more? Request a demo of Vertical IQ.