Chairman’s report, AGM 2012

The last year has been a relatively mild and dry one which has allowed many competitions and training events to go ahead with few cancellations and days lost to bad weather. This has been quite a relief when we have to forward plan our two day training conference in January. For many this year has seen a downturn in business and commercial development. With rising costs of forage and fuel to name just two expenses that we have had to bear. We have all had to reflect long and hard on our profitability and our economic base line with no immediate upturn forecast.

When we consolidate costs we often have to reduce expenses in non-prioritised areas of which training and marketing can fall under and at times be considered luxury items. But not all is bad news, this can also be a time to re-train and consider alternative income streams to support out finances. This year has seen an increase in the number of complete BHS Instructors, all of whom are warmly welcome into the F and I Association with a year’s free membership.

Developing an entrepreneurial attitude within our business is a skill most of us have; we are always trying to find an extra income stream and up skilling ourselves. It is with this in mind that I hope many will attend the March Conference which is aimed specifically at the marketing of our businesses, the use of modern media materials and questioning ourselves as to what our individual image and identity is to our clients.

The F & I is a group founded on the training and continual development of its members. However all too often if falls down to the same people to run and organise training activities for a few members to enjoy. Some activities bring in reasonable numbers but many a potential good day is cancelled due to poor commitment beforehand. I ask each of you to let myself and any of the committee members to know what you would like to see delivered, but don’t be surprised if we expect you to support it! Numbers can be small, so regional / local days are equally as valuable as a major event. So please let us have your input and commitment.

On another note, Di Roberts as secretary has been asked to promote through the website training days / clinics run by individual members. I think that our website is an excellent forum to support each other. I would like this to become more formal whereby members can email their clinic to Di for uploading to the site. Full details of the format will be made available.

Lastly, I wish everyone a fruitful 2012; the Olympics in our own Country will be an event not to be missed with many of you actively involved in its delivery. The Equestrian and Paralympic teams are in strong contention to achieve many successes. Good luck to all and every F & I member into 2012.

Jo Winfield FBHS