We worked in partnership with the City of Ferndale’s Community and Economic Development Department to develop the Ferndale ResourceMap, an online self-assessment tool capable of improving the process beginning entrepreneurs and established business owners go through to identify and understand the resources, services and requirements for starting and sustaining an enterprise in Ferndale.
January 20117 - April 2017 (15 Weeks)
for the Ferndale Resource Map was created using three key methods: Interviews
with key stakeholders, mapping existing business support resources in the
community and conducting a competitive analysis of business support tools used
in other communities.
The City of Ferndale expressed a desire to make it easier to start and maintain a business in the community. Currently the department’s operational processes and structure for communication and information sharing with the city’s business community is inconsistently maintained, inaccessible and lacks cohesion with entrepreneurial support organizations inside and outside of the city. Navigating the process and getting support often depends on personal connections even though service providers aim to help.
Starting a business is difficult, but there are a lot of resources and service providers who want to support entrepreneurs and local businesses. Transparent and clear communication channels are critical to have between service providers and support seekers. Local government is one of these service providers. They can help navigate bureaucracy and find resources and opportunities for local businesses through face-to-face interactions, but we saw an opportunity to streamline and expand such service using an information tool. From insight gathered from interviews, mapping, and competitor analysis, we designed the Ferndale ResourceMap to be an online self-assessment tool on the city website. By navigating to the ResourceMap and answering a few key questions, users can search for support and regulation resources to meet their business needs. Features of this product include a database of business support resources and permits that users can filter based on preferences and a scheduling option to make appointments with staff members from the Community and Economic Development department.You can access the tool here: https://gxdesign.seamlessdocs.com/f/development_tool