Halfway through 2012, I thought I might give everyone an update on our progress and a look forward to our plans. Seven months have passed since the retirement of our longtime executive director, Susie Stevens. Ã‚Â In her place, Eric Meade took over membership activities and volunteers stepped up to handle administration, events, marketing, etc. Ã‚Â The goal was to increase the total number of members enough to replace the most time-consuming volunteer efforts with paid staff.Ã‚Â
Our strategy to increase the number of new members largely succeeded. Ã‚Â WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve signed up approximately twice as many new members as in previous years during the same period. Ã‚Â Opportunity Knocks has also experienced setbacks as member retention was higher than normal too. Ã‚Â Small business owners are a dynamic group. Ã‚Â People often leave Opportunity Knocks because they move or need to find a job.Ã‚Â
Sometimes, members leave because Opportunity Knocks was not the right fit for them. Ã‚Â ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s often because the member was mismatched with his or her team, the facilitator needs improvement, or we fail to meet some other need. Ã‚Â Opportunity KnocksÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ strength lies within our teams. Ã‚Â If people donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get value from team meetings, members will not waste their time attending.