Free online tools to assist Mesa business owners

Local businesses representatives attended an event Sept. 8 at Carrabba’s Italian Grill for the launch of two free online business tools. (Photo special to the Independent)

Local businesses representatives attended an event Sept. 8 at Carrabba’s Italian Grill for the launch of two free online business tools. (Photo special to the Independent)

The city of Mesa launched two free online business tools at an event for local businesses hosted at Carrabba’s Italian Grill on Sept. 8.

The tools are available at and Mesa SizeUp is a market data analysis tool, while Mesa SiteSearch is a commercial real estate search tool.

Using information that is updated quarterly and derived from millions of data points, Mesa SizeUp is designed to offer Mesa businesses four main services. One, it offers business and industry analysis, showing business owners how their company compares to the competition in areas such as revenues, salaries, turnover and healthcare cost. Two, it offers competitive assessment, allowing business owners to map out their competitors, customers and suppliers. Three, it offers advertising analysis, helping business owners find the best place to advertise to get the most out of their marketing dollars. And four, it offers demographic analysis, allowing users to draw a boundary that then supplies users with demographics, labor force and consumer expenditures for that designated area.

“Unless you have millions of dollars to go out and do market research, this is a pretty great tool,” said Kim Lofgreen, the marketing and business development manager in the city’s Office of Economic Development.

“This program gives growing businesses the ability to make decisions based on good data and information,” Mesa Mayor John Giles said in a news release.

Mesa SiteSearch, on the other hand, is a commercial real estate search tool intended to connect Mesa to business decision makers early in the decision-making process, as well as ease the ability for present Mesa businesses to expand or relocate.

“Cities that can’t provide information, they’re off the list of potential locations. So we’re trying to find ways to stay on the list, make a case for Mesa, and not only make a case for Mesa, but win. That way we’ll bring more and better jobs to Mesa,” said Mr. Lofgreen.

Mesa SiteSearch is powered by LoopNet Inc. and offers a customized list of properties that meet the search parameters applied by the user. It also offers the user detailed information about each property including a property map, broker contact information and area demographics.

The reaction of the local business members at the launch event was overwhelmingly positive.

“The first part of that program, the market analysis and its different features are something that I’m real excited to queue up and start playing with when I get back to the office. That is an incredibly useful tool,” said Carl Forkner, the director of marketing and special projects at Dynamic Worldwide Training Consultants. “If I was in the business of looking to relocate or expand that second tool would be a great tool as well.”

Sherry Ecklund, of Desert View Aerial Photography, also was very excited about the new tools.

“I think it’s going to be a great tool for competitive analysis,” Ms. Ecklund said.

She also sees the potential for these tools to improve business-to-customer connections, as well as business-to-business connections such as it will do for her own business. “It is a key tool for me. I can find what properties are for sale and what brokers are doing what. When he pulled up the photos on the property site, that is what I do. I take an aerial photo of the property. So now I can go on, find the brokers, give them a nice glossy print of it. So now they have my name and maybe our pricing if they’re looking for an alternative or just wanting to try something new. So I’m very excited about it,” she said.

To access the city’s free business tools, visit and Users can also register on the site to receive notifications whenever the information is updated.

Editor’s note: Charles Clark is a journalism student at the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and wrote the article as a class assignment.

    Recent Posts

    You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.