More on the subject of combating “brain drain.” This time: how to get your alumni back, at any stage of life.
Action Items for Everyone:
- Hold awe inspiring alumni reunions. Cross the Year boundaries and combine all the classes. Do this more than once every millenia. (Waynoka does it every 5 years.)
- Pick one online tool for alumni, and promote it ceaselessly. Work to get everyone you can find signed up on classmates.com or some related tool. Encourage the networking!
- Include all alums. Private schools, church schools, rural schools, vo-tech schools, schools now closed or consolidated, all the schools you can think of. Remember the colleges, universities, junior colleges, beauty schools, and trade schools. Heck, include the pre-schools if it will help!
- Develop an outstanding mailing list of alums. Use it wisely to promote your the quality of your town, events and opportunities to return.
- Publish an alumni directory. Make it the fashionable place to have your name listed. Allow alums to provide a bio or some personal info. Promote networking!
- Create incentives to move in. Can you finagle reduced utilities? Streamlined permitting? Free or reduced building lots? If not, what about compiling a list of standard incentives anyone could qualify for, like homebuyer assistance, free checking or anything you can think of! Now, the kicker is that you must promote these incentives.
- Promote your business opportunities to alums. Do you have an industrial park? Building incentives? Do your alums know about them?
- About the Author
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.