PBN Chairperson’s Report

I’m delighted to report that 2014/15 has been a good year for PBN.

We’ve built on some great foundation work that was achieved last year to increase membership and get the finances into a strong position.  We have even increased membership further from the 63 last April to 67 currently.  Our social media presence is now much stronger, our website is being populated with members’ news and local events and so we very much encourage members to use all these media to promote your business.

We now have on average 3-4 non-members attending each networking event which this year were a wide range from small informal networking lunches to the ever popular social media training evening.   We had a very enjoyable networking meeting with our Dundee equivalent “Women Ahead” at Glendoick and we’ll repeat an event with them this July.  To be honest we’ve also had a couple of events which turned out not to be popular for different reasons – a Blairgowrie event and a social shopping evening.  We will continue to have events in Perthshire towns and be careful about their scheduling.  Social and shopping are not on our members list of preferences.

Which brings me to member feedback.  This year we really focussed on getting members’ views on what PBN is providing.  We did an on-line survey in September to which 24 responded and had a full committee brainstorm/strategy session in November to reflect on the results and critically appraise what we are doing.

From that we set ourselves some actions for development and on-going principles.

We also considered whether we should, as PBN, be more of a lobbying, influential voice for women’s enterprise as described in our mission.  We recognised we had not focussed on that over the last few years and we would value your views as members whether that indeed should be part of our Mission – and if so – what issues are of concern to members which should be taken up by the committee.  And if not and we are a wholly a networking support group – it should be removed from the Mission statement .  Views please.

Back to the topic of member feedback, we also carried out a telephone survey in February conducted by one of our members Jan Birnie of Craigie Business Support.  One of the points raised was a preference for a breakfast time networking event – so we’ve organised our first one for June.

In line with member feedback also next year we’re looking to have more speakers and continue with the range of events, formal and very informal networking and the social media training event.  We plan to make help members make more use of the ASB connection.  We also plan to have more on-going communication with members, so please keep in touch and let us know your thoughts, good and bad, so the Committee can deliver what you need and value.

Lastly I would like to thank last year’s committee for all the hard work and commitment over the year and to welcome the new committee for 2015/16.

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