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Financial Management and Quality Programming

Posted by: FernieChamber
Monday, May 1, 2017

The Fernie Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization. This does not mean that we spend without regard for revenues or profits. As a business association, the Chamber board mandates that we follow financially sustainable business practices. We do not spend more than we have. Further, our spending is focused on our mission. Our offered programming and education courses are the results of a thoughtful process on what our members need. Our programming is designed to help members build their businesses, to be stronger financially, to grow and to reach their goals. All this under the mandate of strengthening commerce in Fernie.

In 2016, the Chamber received grants from Resort Municipality Initiative, Community Futures East Kootenay, and Imagine Kootenay to host workshops, education sessions, and a tradeshow designed to give our members the capacity to do more. 91% of the revenues for workshops, meetings, and seminars were spent on programming. The expenses include speakers, room rentals, travel fees, advertising, and handouts to name a few. The remaining 10% goes into general revenues to pay Chamber overhead fees like phones, internet, insurance, and staff. 2016 program highlights include Business Model Canvas Workshop, Social Media Workshop, Go2HR workshop, Tax Session Lunch and Learn, and the Fernie Ambassador Program

Another board focus over the past two-years has been to ensure financial management systems are in place. The board has established reserve funds to deal with capital expenditures that will come, and operating reserves to protect the organization from unseen circumstances. Board and Executive Director working together have sought out new revenue sources to pay for improvements to our services. Once such example is the Southern Interior Development Innovation Grant. This grant allowed the Chamber to upgrade technology in the board room, including a camera and mic system so the room is plug and play ready for web conferencing, and the purchase of an electronic information kiosk to better serve visitors coming into the Information Centre.

Financial Management systems are critical to an organization success. Both in for-profit and non-profit worlds. A study out of the Stanford Graduate School of Business found firms that act quickly to institute formal mechanisms such as operation budgets, cash budgets, and financial monitor systems (tools that measure profitability, customer acquisition costs, variance from actual budget, and so forth) had higher growth rated in terms of revenues and head count. With these tools in place, your business will also be more successful in securing venture capital should expansion be in your plans. You can read more on the study here https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/smart-startups-dont-wait-set-accounting-systems

Is your business ready to update or get started on a financial management system? There are a number of local and online resources available to you including in-person consultation options and online training programs.

Full service, one-on-one consulting options

Basin Business Advisors

Community Futures East Kootenay

Under the Sun Consulting

Capasiti Consulting

Training - online or inperson

Chamber Learning Network 

Small Business BC

Financial Analysis & Planning for Non-Financial Managers, College of the Rockies  

Business Directory Search