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September 2014 Futurescape - Community Futures British Columbia
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Community Futures British Columbia

September 2014 Futurescape Newsletter - quarterly newsletter for staff and volunteers of Community Futures offices in British Columbia.  

Please share this email with staff and volunteers.

At the Community Futures British Columbia Fall Event in October 2013, the membership identified five opportunities for development.To read the full report on the plenary session, please click here. The relevant Community Futures British Columbia committees have been working diligently, check out the progress that has been made.
2014 Community Futures Provincial Conference 
"Leading in our Communities" is less than a month away (October 5-7.) For conference information please click here.
2015 National Conference June 3 to 5, 2015
Community Futures Network of Canada's National Event will be held in Québec's beautiful Charlevoix region. The event promises inspiring conferences, local discoveries, tours, shows and networking opportunities. Click here for more information.

 
Community Futures Pan West Leadership Institute

Available via online streaming video sessions.


Staff Sales Training

The objective of this video/manual is to provide information on effective sales tactics and strategies which will included steps on how to be effective service providers, a template for region management and a briefing on performance attitude.


Working with Growth Oriented Businesses

Community Futures Pan West 's Vision is " to help create diverse, sustainable communities by supporting local, community based economic development". One important way to accomplish this is to identity growth oriented businesses in your region in order to learn what challenges they are facing and if Community Futures can help them overcome those challenges and reach their goals. This session including the manual provides information on "Why you should do this" and "How to do it".
Marketing and Branding the Organization - Marketing Committee
The development of a consistent brand message that includes key messaging, marketing strategy, and social media strategy was identified as the number one priority of the network.

Having a consistent brand message and marketing strategy across the network should increase lending by Community futures offices and thus reduce idle funds.Through discussions with existing contacts and research provided by Community Futures British Columbia staff, the Marketing Committee developed an RFP, which was distributed electronically through various channels.There were three submissions and after discussion with each proponent, Community Futures British Columbia engaged Laura Balance Media Group (LBMG).

As research is essential in developing a marketing plan. LBMG coordinated two surveys. The first survey was sent out to partners and clients to determine their knowledge of the Community Futures program in BC and as well as to gain knowledge about their overall impression of Community Futures. The second survey was sent to a sample of small business owners, by Vision Critical - a company employed by LBMG, to ascertain what the general perception of Community Futures is in the rural areas of the province.

The outcomes from the survey were very positive and this information was shared with the Network and with Western Economic Diversification. Having completed the research phase, LBMG is currently developing the province wide public relations and marketing strategy. This strategy is scheduled to be presented to the membership at the Provincial Conference in Victoria, BC.

As well as developing and implementing the provincial strategy, LBMG will provide a toolkit and guide for each of the 34 Community Futures offices in BC and Community Futures British Columbia to assist with understanding the campaign and its expected impacts, activities and timelines. LBMG will also provide recommendations for individual offices for effective implementation at a regional and local level to leverage the provincial campaign in Community Futures regions.

Strengthen Community Futures British Columbia - MOU Committee 

The development of a consistent brand message that includes key messaging, marketing strategy, and social media strategy was identified as the number one priority of the network.  

Developing an MOU to be signed by Community Futures British Columbia and the members of the Network was put forward as a method of strengthening Community Futures British Columbia.  A committee was struck, and the committee members working with the support of Community Futures British Columbia staff developed a draft MOU.  The draft MOU has been reviewed by the Board and has been distributed, along with background information, to the members for their review and comments.  If approved by the membership at the AGM, the MOU will be signed every three years, and will replace the annual membership agreement.
 

Collaborate with other Offices and Stakeholders - Networks and Partnerships Committee 

“Network Connections” is a database that has been developed to enable staff and volunteers in the Community Futures Network in BC to list and share their skills and connections.  

This new and valuable resource will be populated with information provided by staff and volunteers in the Community Futures Network in BC.  Volunteers and Staff are encouraged to create a user account for the Member’s area of the Community Futures British Columbia website.  From the Member’s area, users will be able to complete a form with information that was determined as valuable by the Networks and Partnerships Committee in promoting the Community Futures program.  In recognition of the diversity of the volunteers, volunteers can also complete a paper form and submit it to the Community Futures office, so that they too can be included in the database.  
 
Venture Connect - Sponsorship of Program
Community Futures British Columbia, the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Venture Connect are working together to offer training workshops to small business owners throughout the province on strategies for small business succession. Delivered by Venture Connect, the Business Owner Succession Strategies (BOSS) program will includes workshops and presentations in rural communities around BC. As Lori Camire, Executive Director Venture Connect comments “In addition to providing knowledge and support to business owners and stakeholders, the BOSS Project provides an outstanding opportunity for Community Futures to demonstrate, especially to the Province, how the Network can work together to deliver on contracts.”

As of the end of June, 2014, 202 people had participated in the workshops, 136 in presentations, and 18 in train the trainer sessions.  Participants agree that the workshops are a good learning experience with plenty of information to consider and use, if not immediately, in the future.

Darrell Goertzen hosts these sessions, and his knowledge, creativity and experience adds to their value. His background includes experiences in the corporate world across Canada and the US, as well as being a business owner in 4 different companies. He has started several small businesses and successfully transitioned them to new ownership.

 
No events were planned for July or August. September, October and November have 8 events planned, once the dates and locations are confirmed they will be posted on the Venture Connect website. The project will achieve or surpass the contract requirements.

Strategy for Service Quality and Consistency - Values Standards and Performance Committee

Values, Standards and Performance Committee with the support of Community Futures British Columbia staff has been working diligently on your behalf to investigate options in developing a strategy to ensure Service Quality and Consistency across the Network.  A report was disseminated to the membership for consideration and comments. 

The Committee has also encouraged the membership to complete the revised Self-Assessment that is available on the Community Futures British Columbia website. The Self-Assessment can be completed by downloading the document and having staff and volunteers complete it on paper, or by contacting Community Futures British Columbia to have the first part of the assessment completed via Survey Monkey.  It has been agreed that encouraging the membership to complete the Self-Assessment and request Network Support visits is the first step in achieving this opportunity.  All feedback on the Self-Assessment process is appreciated.
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