It has been a good year all round and progress has been made in all areas.
We have spent this last year settling into Mary Green Manor and it has provided us with an excellent venue. Apart from the odd foray into the small room behind the restaurant, the Henry viii suite has proved to be an excellent location. Tudor beams and mullioned windows do nothing to divert the enthusiasm of our members. We have changed our seating layout from the well tried horseshoe shape to four round tables. This has proved an excellent layout that provides us with more room and the potential to house more members.
The breakfast continues to be excellent.
Terry Maylin has continued to oversee the recruitment process and has devised a new approach that involves 3 members at a time spending 3 months doing all they can to attract new visitors. Of course, once we have the visitors through the door it is everybody’s responsibility to convert them into members. Indeed we must all remember our individual obligations to look for visitors and potential members.
The most recent addition to the membership was our 30th member. Given weekly absences through illness, holidays etc. the venue will certainly cope with 40 members. So let’s see what we can do this year.
Last year we redesigned the format of the meeting to deal with the occasional Education Session of half an hour during a meeting. We will be looking this year to produce more of such meetings at least on a quarterly basis.
Scott Griffiths and Jill Willis finally put the finishing touches to the Education materials that are now drip fed to every new member and were sent round to all existing members. It was a substantial task which they have completed to an excellent standard and the existence of these materials helps shows us to be the professional and streamlined organisation that we have always aimed to be.
4. EBF Development
Through Steve Roach we have negotiated an advertising package for EBF that will eventually have our name being advertised 5 times daily on Phoenix FM. This will help drive potential members to our Web Site. At this time the Web Site is being revamped by Scott Griffiths to be modernised and to be ready to take on and be receptive to any visitors to the Web Site.
It is hoped that all of this will raise our profile and assist in the attraction of visitors and therefore the recruitment of members.
One other new initiative that we will be launching soon is the creation of an EBF “Mark of Excellence” similar to a “trusted Traders” or other approved supplier scheme. Members of EBF will be able to apply for this award and if they meet the criteria (which are currently being finalised) then they will appear on our special Mark of Excellence page on the website, but will also get a unique badge/logo that can be used on your letterheads, email signatures, website footers, van liveries and so on. It’s another way for EBF to try and help you to promote your businesses and to stand out from the crowd. We’ll be announcing more about this new scheme shortly and inviting members to apply.
This has been a good year as far as performance is concerned.
This year has shown an increase from £838,052.00 to £1,055,304 this represents a 20% increase.. Arising from these figures we have extrapolated the following:
Referrals were also up from last year, from 951 to 991.
Some more stats are going to be published on our new website:
- Average value of business passed between members each month: £91,660
- Average number of referrals passed each month: 97
- Average money received from each member per year: £37,931
- Average payback for every £1 invested into EBF: £43
(This last statistic includes the cost of membership and a weekly breakfast fee, divided out against the average money received.)
As members we must all seek greater awareness of our fellow members businesses, be this by 1 2 1 and Synergy Team Meetings and attending the Weekly Meeting, so that we can keep on increasing these figures.
Brian Painter is now well and truly installed in our Social Secretary and organised a successful Christmas Party at ASK in Billericay High Street.
Remember, Brian, as Social Secretary is a facilitator. You must as members put forward to him any potential social event and assist in its organisation. Social interaction is essential.
The next Social event on the calendar is the Wine Tasting organised through Jo Eastwood. Let’s all try and think of one social event and suggest it to Brian. Overwhelming him with ideas could never be a bad thing.
We have also in this last year supported the local Special Needs And Parent Charity SNAP. Richard Reed has been our co-ordinator and some of the members have visited their premises and received a guided tour.
We have had a very successful year with an improved amount of business passed between our members, and a slow but steady increase in the membership of the group. Hopefully we will see a continued increase in members. There is a simple equation between a number of members and the number of referrals you are likely to get.
There are already lots of exciting new ideas and initiatives planned for this coming year, starting with Phoenix FM advertising, the Trusted Business scheme and an improved website.
Remember that this is your group… if you have any thoughts, ideas, criticisms or suggestions then please use YOUR membership committee to present these. Unlike other networking groups we are independent and able to adapt ourselves for the benefit of us all.