Success Story: Creating the “GO-TO” Place for Business
In 2015, St. John’s Board of Trade saw the writing on the wall and knew it was time to challenge the status quo. With a declining membership coupled with decreasing event attendance, the world around them changing and innovation was crucial to survival.
Operating under an organizational model that hadn’t changed in over five decades, re-creating their member value proposition was the first challenge they tackled.
They changed their entire way of doing business to better serve members – everything from day-to-day operations to programs and events.
CEO Nancy Healy led this undertaking by:
- Implementing a tiered membership
- Eliminating two core positions
- Inventing two new core positions: Director of Business Solutions and The Storyteller, telling the story of our SME’s
- Creating new, customized smaller events such as Pints & Peers and Opportunity Knocks.
As part of the new model, the BOT established a Business Solutions Team to serve as a single point of contact for business needs. As approximately 70% of members had fewer than 25 employees (of which 354 had 5 or less), many members were operating without any business development staff. Their philosophy is knowledge is power, and missing access to a resource can mean the difference between success and failure for a business. Working on behalf of member businesses, the team seeks out opportunities such as RFPs, wage subsidies, and business growth opportunities (e.g., the Climate Smart Initiative), and it has proven themselves to be a valuable resource.
They track progress by using objectives and key results to ensure they stay on the right track. The result? The St. John’s Board of Trade is the “go-to” resource for business in the St. John’s area.