Let the majority roar!
Are you one of the 96% who ‘gets it’? asks Richard Catt, referring to the percentage of CFA members that have retained membership in the past year.
AFFILIATIONS, accreditations, associations and other memberships; there are so many on offer these days that it makes the mind boggle. So, do you really need the CFA logo to run a successful contract flooring business?
It probably wouldn’t surprise you if I were to basically argue that you do, but equally it may be interesting to learn that our renewal rate last year was more than 96%. So, in other words, I’m far from alone in my assessment that the CFA offers value, measured by those who already work with us.
That’s a strong endorsement in its own right, but then I can add that of the 4% that didn’t renew, several of those simply ceased trading or retired without selling their businesses.
My position is actually a little subtler than a blank statement that you simply have to be a member of your trade body to run a flooring business. I’d go as far as saying you don’t have to, but I’d qualify that by arguing that without CFA membership you have to work much harder than necessary and miss some really low-hanging fruit.
And as I explain some of the benefits below, bear in mind that all CFA member benefits are available to a flooring contractor of any size for £631 plus VAT. Smaller companies fish in the same pond and enjoy the same benefits, larger ones get extraordinary value.
Let’s start with the logo, perhaps one of the main things many companies seek when joining the CFA. I’m very comfortable with this, as we’ve worked hard over the past few years to establish the CFA logo as representing a quality supply chain.
The benefit is reinforced by the CFA providing our online directory and annual handbook that seeks to, and does, deliver work for our members. Our website alone gets on average more than 1,500 visits per month, which if you combine it with the handbook distributed to 7,000 readers of CFJ, provides work to members through the CFA.
Ask most manufacturers’ representatives if they seek to work with CFA members and you’ll find as basic foundation to their accounts, they do.
The CFA logo opens doors and can be proudly displayed on websites, vans, business cards, emails and quotations to show your business has been independently vetted, offering reassurance to potential clients. I recommend you point this out, as it might sway a client when pricing is close.
The logo delivers - it just does.
But I’m very keen to point out membership of the CFA offers so much more. If the logo is first on most peoples’ list of reasons to join, then the benefit helplines are close behind.
Employment law, health and safety and access to a leading firm of specialist construction solicitors all come as part of your CFA membership. They’re all on-hand when you need them without spending time ringing round to find someone you trust and can afford.
Then of course, there’s access to our documents and templates including terms and conditions and a disclaimer document that gives some proven protection if you’re being forced to lay flooring onto a wet subfloor without a surface DPM.
A benefit that might be coming more into play is our monthly email update, which is your single most important point of reference for what’s going on in the flooring and wider construction industry.
Don’t misunderstand me, it always has value providing regular information on discounted training through Fita (YOUR training organisation with 15% off for all members) but we also ensure CFA members know what to do on some of the big, potentially damaging issues.
Only recently we covered the new VAT rules that come into play later this year, breaking down what you need to do and giving resources to help your businesses prepare. We provided a simple guide for members on GDPR that’s still available through the members area of our website and we also include details of member events that range from purely social (if networking is ever that!) to more business-orientated meetings.
You choose where you engage. However, if ever there was going to be a need for clear and direct information, when we FINALLY agree what Brexit means for our country, the CFA will support members with up-to-date intelligence to break through the media noise.
There’s so much more including technical support, guidance notes, a free dispute resolution service and free credit checks, that the challenge for us is actually ensuring members realise what they have at their disposal, all for a single payment.
Did I mention that is costs just £631 plus VAT for contractor membership? Join now as it will be one of the best post-Brexit investments you make.