Preaching the benefits of FSB membership
As the membership Officer for the Federation of Small Businesses in Gloucestershire, my role is to present the benefits of membership to business owners throughout the county and enrol them as new members.
As the biggest membership organisation in the UK (and anywhere in Europe) for business owners, the FSB has a long history of lobbying for their rights in parliament and is credited by all political parties for doing more to help small businesses than any other business organisation.
It is estimated that approximately £400million is saved by small businesses each year through schemes and incentives that the FSB has lobbied to get introduced.
As well as being the most successful lobbying organisation, members also benefit from an unrivalled legal and financial benefits package to help and support them through a life in business.
Included within the annual membership fee is 24/7 access to teams of solicitors for unlimited legal advice, access to experts on DSS, Inland Revenue, VAT, PAYE,
NI and Health & Safety.
Most importantly, members are able to get guaranteed advice on employment law, and are protected by the best Inland Revenue & VAT investigation cover available.
There are, in addition, many other legal benefits. Financially, most members find themselves better-off than they were before joining due to great money-saving benefits including free for life business banking, discounted credit card processing, discounted telephone and broadband services as well as a high quality business insurance brokerage.
With over 7,600 members in our region and with 20% of all business owners in the southwest being members, it is no surprise that we get taken so seriously by local, regional and national political institutions. This strength in numbers cannot be underestimated.
I visit all sorts of businesses, and with such a wide range of benefits available from the FSB, there really is something in it for everyone. Someone you know in business will be a member.
I generally recruit between 50 – 60 new members a month. Some of these are sole traders with no staff, but with membership open to directors of companies employing up to 250 staff, we have a diverse range of business sizes to cater for.
Many well-known and long established family businesses in Gloucester rely on the FSB as their preferred back-up and support mechanism. The Gloucester branch now totals over 700 members.
The bottom line is that the benefits of membership are so strong that 97 per cent of businesses I visit join the FSB.