What follows is an initial discussion document which aims to highlight a number of areas where the Charter might seek to produce income. There will be more and each will require individual plans. I have already provided frameworks and background information for some of these. Others hopefully are self-evident and I will have missed some. Any comments in this regard are welcomed.
This will be a learning process. Some things will work and some won’t. My recommendation would be to take elements of what I have identified and make them work and become cash generative. When they are start working on a few more! The elephant in the room however is how much of a budget in terms of funding and resources are the Council committing to this project. If we know that then we can start deciding how best those resources might be channelled.
To help and encourage the business community to generate well paid employment for the residents of Croydon using a model that is self sustainable in the medium term.
The Charter represents a golden opportunity for a number of different groups to gain benefit whether that be local businesses earning money or Councillors having a platform to engage better with local businesses etc. It also has the potential to be a white elephant. For it to succeed will require a number of “sells” which will encourage the business community to engage. Identifying what would be in it for them should be in the forefront of our minds as it would be very easy to be viewed as the Council preaching from the pulpit that business owners should simply pay more attention to their staff. In this eventuality the Charter will fail.
The Charter can be viewed as helping local business do better. I view the key areas as being:
I believe the expertise available can allow progress to be made in all four areas, however I do have a concern that the Council has a number of credibility issues that it will need to accept and address if we are to achieve a positive outcome.
To achieve a self-sustainable model will require a number of interim steps and associations. I have mentioned the IOD as a potential partner to provide credible training programmes etc. and I believe there is a desire from both sides to engage, but not necessarily yet on this project. Networking events (whether they be breakfast clubs, evening events or other) will need to be an income stream in the future, however it is accepted that a number of groups will, as a gesture of good will assist in the short term. We should not view these relationships as anything more than this. I would certainly encourage the Charter to treat each provider in these circumstances as a sponsor, allow them time to speak as a Sponsor would and place a value upon it which would fit with normal marketing principles. Without such an approach it is very easy to simple view everyone’s time and efforts as being for free! Again such an approach is likely to lead to the failure of this project.
At Frost Group, we want to make things as easy as possible for you. That is why, if you can’t come to us, we’ll come to you. We operate face to face, nationwide meetings, wherever is most convenient for you.