One of the things I have noticed about any organisation is that, when a meeting is planned, it is just about impossible to find a day & time that would enable all members to attend. Likewise, not all members feel that a formal meeting is the right forum to raise any issues or concerns that they may have, nor feel comfortable in making suggestions and offering ideas in front of a large group. With this in mind, I am setting up regular, informal meetings for business owners without a shop-front and weekly drop-in sessions where I can be available to any member. These meetings/sessions are not designed to replace the now quarterly member meetings organised by the 4HTA, but my hope is that they will compliment the more formal member meetings and allow a greater number of businesses to be involved.
Non-Shop Front Meetings
As someone who operated a business from home, without a ‘shop-front’, I understand that the needs and views of non-shop front businesses can be quite different to those with premises, yet no less important. From wherever a business is run – whether that be from home, from a unit, a non-customer facing office, or even from a van with a phone – each forms an important and valued part of the Heatons business community. Having the input of all businesses is what makes us stronger as an association, allowing us to achieve so much more together.
The non-shop front meetings are planned to be very informal – more of an opportunity for discussion and to meet fellow business owners in a similar position. The first meeting takes place on Monday, 16 July, 11am at Rocksalt Cafe Bar – this is not a set venue or time for all future meetings, but we thought it was a central spot to get things going. The meeting is open to all 4HTA members who do not operate from a shop-front, but any non-members are welcome to pop along to find out more about the 4HTA and hopefully, join us.
(No issues with bringing children along if necessary – I have brought my daughter to numerous meetings when I have been stuck for childcare!).
As I have no office for members to be able to come to see me with any issues or ideas, I realised that it would be beneficial if I could make myself more easily available to members through drop-in sessions. As of September, I will be setting myself up in a chosen coffee shop each week for members (or non-members who wish to discuss 4HTA) on a once-a-week basis. Each week, I will be in a different Heaton to make it easier for businesses based there to stop by, and to provide the opportunity for business owners to raise any issues or concerns, discuss ideas for projects, or just to have a general chat! Please keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook sites toward the end of August for details of when & where these will take place.
I hope these new meetings/sessions will be of use and that members will take advantage of them. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions – or if you would like to arrange for me to stop by to see you – at the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks and look forward to being able to see more of you, more often!