Mr Flyer and the FSB, should you join?
Mr Flyer has recently joined the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) after having a convincing meeting from one of their representatives who showed us that it was certainly worth our while. However, after joining and reading more into the 'benefits', it could be excellent, though it could also be a waste of money. So, should you join the FSB?
What were the things that initially drew us in?
1. Free banking. I don't know about you and your business, but bank fees soon add up. The prospect of free banking is obviously good, and it genuinely is free. However, and it's a rather big however …unless your business is turning over £2,000,000, then you will not get a bank manager, nor can you even see an advisor at a branch. With Mr Flyer, we are a fast-growing business, and at times we need to see our manager to see how best they can help us move forward, so this free banking is of no use to us. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
2. Cheaper fuel via fuel card. As we are constantly driving our flyer distributors to and from their locations each day, along with seeing clients, etc. A big chunk of our cash is eaten by fuel. However, once again, unless you are driving an insane amount of miles each month, this service is invalid. At this stage I was beginning to think that it should be named the FLB, 'Federation of Large Businesses'!
3. Virtual terminal. Often cash flow can be affected by slow-paying clients, often at no fault of theirs. As such, we have been looking into a virtual terminal. The cost has previously deterred us; however, the FSB does genuinely seem to do very good deals for small businesses. In the new year, you should expect to be able to pay us by card.
4. Legal services. We recently asked a solicitor to quote us on re-writing our terms and conditions, but the quote was £500! I do not believe the solicitor was trying to rip us off; in fact, based on the time we were told it would take, the quote wasn't unreasonable at all. However, for us as a leaflet distribution company to justify 'investing' £500 would be a poor use of our capital. We are yet to really challenge the legal services of the FSB, though based on the booklets it seems there are no restrictions, and the service may well prove invaluable.
5. Networking. Though Mr Flyer is leaflet distribution business, we know it is vital to have a balanced marketing strategy, of which, networking plays a key part. We have already been invited to a number of networking events, which all look very good, and I am sure we will take them up on one in the next couple of months.
Should every small business join?
No. I recommend you do your due diligence before investing in a membership with the FSB. We are happy we joined, despite some of the services offered not been available to us. I'm sure the membership will really prove its value to Mr Flyer as we put more time into really investigating the services in full, and then taking advantage of them.
How do I join?
Joining is simple, you can do it online or (I recommend) meet a representative and let them show you the benefits first. We met with Stuart Green, who I fully recommend you meet with if you are interested in learning more. If you would like an introduction, please feel free to contact us today.