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  • 1. The South AfricanBusiness Retention & Expansion Manual Version 1.2 February 2010
  • 2. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThis manual draws on experience gained since Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natalpiloted the first South African Business Retention and Expansion visitationprogrammes in 2003. It and the Durban Investment Promotion Agency programmesthat followed from 2005 onwards both relied on an adaptation of the Bank ofI.D.E.A.S. handbook for BR&E facilitators in Australia written and generously madeavailable by Peter Kenyon. This is turn had origins in North American experienceand particularly the booklets by George Morse and Scott Loveridge published byNortheast Regional Center for Rural Development at Pennsylvania State Universityand used in the Business Retention & Expansion International training programmefor many years.More recent Business Retention & Expansion International training material togetherwith advice and suggestions have been made freely available by Henry M Cothran ofIFAS Extension, University of Florida.Preparation of the manual was generously funded by the GTZ Strengthening LocalGovernment Programme: Local Economic Development Componentimplemented by ICON-Institute Private Sector and Swisscontact.This Manual was written by Gerry Delany and Claire Patterson. This manual is the primary resource for the South African BR&E Training Course approved by Business Retention & Expansion International for certification purposes for courses conducted in South Africa by BREI recognised trainers.DisclaimerThe information contained in this document is for guidance and does not take into account everypossible factor that needs to be considered in implementing a BR&E visitation programme. It shouldtherefore be used in conjunction with appropriate research and specialist advice. The intent of thisstatement is to exclude liability for any opinions, advice or information expressed in this document. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. See for details.
  • 3. The South African Business Retention & Expansion Manual HOW TO USE THIS MANUALThis manual aims to assist anyone directly involved in setting up or runningconducting a locally driven business retention and expansion (BR&E) visitationprogramme in South Africa. It was designed on the basis that the person most closely involved in the running a local programme, i.e., the local co-ordinator, should attend a recognised training course based on this manual. Any BR&E facilitator supporting a local programme should have been similarly trained and be experienced in the use of this material. The manual should be used in conjunction with the accompanying Volunteer Interviewer Guidelines which contains material not included in the manual. Additional material such as sample surveys and editable resources can be provided during the training course. The manual is in seven sections corresponding the stages of a typical BR&E programme. The first section, the Introduction is designed for awareness raising – to get BR&E on the agenda. The next section, the Overview, aims to brief anyone who might be considering a programme and provide the key points of what is involved. The remaining sections provide details of how to conduct a BR&E visitation programme in five clearly defined stages. For each stage resource materials such as worksheets, guidelines and examples are provided at the corresponding section. 3
  • 4. The South African Business Retention & Expansion Manual CONTENTSSection 1 IntroductionSection 2 OverviewSection 3 Stage 1: Setting upSection 4 Stage 2: PlanningSection 5 Stage 3: VisitationSection 6 Stage 4: AnalysisSection 7 Stage 5: Implementation
  • 5. The South African Business Retention & Expansion Manual INTRODUCTION In this sectionWhat is BR&E?Why is BR&E important?Approaches to BR&E.Which approach is best? THE GOLDEN RULE Business stays and expands where it is well treated and appreciated
  • 6. The South African BR&E Manual IntroductionINTRODUCTIONThe Labour Force Survey released by Statistics SA in August 2008 revealed thatroughly one in every four South Africans available and willing to work could not findemployment. More specifically it recorded that 4,1 million people were unemployedand described another 1,1 million as “discouraged work-seekers”. That is amounts toa total of 5.2 million jobless people.It was still an improvement on the situation when unemployment peaked in 2004 asnearly 2 million new jobs had been created since then. Unfortunately while that wastaking place about 200 000 newcomers were entering the job market each yearwhich meant that the total number of people without work was actually being reducedat the rate of 300 000 a year. It was progress, but was clearly going to take a longtime to bring unemployment down to a reasonable level.Now even that progress has been stopped in its tracks by the world economic crisisand the hard won gains of the last few years are being reversed. That has veryserious implications for the country as unemployment is already responsible for anenormous amount of poverty and creates the conditions under which crime and othersocial ills flourish. To stop or slow job losses and start creating new jobs again willrequire a massive national effort. One in which all reasonable options must beconsidered.How can sustainable jobs be created? Reduced to the basics one can grow theeconomy by:- creating new enterprises- attracting investment and new enterprises from elsewhere- retaining and growing existing enterprises.In doing so opportunities for employment are also created in government, theacademic world, NGOs and so on.Much has been written and said about helping people to start new businesses.Perhaps even more attention has been given to attracting investment. On the otherhand relatively little mention is made of the possibility of creating jobs by growingexisting businesses or the fact that a job saved is as good as a job created. Thismanual will focus on this third, rather neglected possibility, commonly known asbusiness retention and expansion or BR&E.What is BR&E?Any strategy or programme designed to help existing businesses to grow or preventthem from shutting down falls under the broad definition of business retention andexpansion. Turnaround Solutions implemented by Productivity SA as part of theDepartment of Labour’s Social Plan is just such a programme. Through itenterprises that employ 50 or more people and are in danger of closing down orshedding jobs may seek technical assistance to regain competitiveness or to reducepossible job losses. 2
  • 7. The South African BR&E Manual IntroductionIn fact there are many programmes and initiatives that directly or indirectly helpexisting businesses to grow. They range from infrastructure improvements like theDube Trade Port that will create opportunities for businesses in KwaZulu-Natal toskills development and learnership programmes, business development centres andadvice and assistance with exports. Since most of these initiatives are equally usefulto new businesses or in helping to attract investment, they would not normally bedescribed as BR&E.Business retention and expansion is more usually defined as any local, national orregional strategy specifically designed to help existing businesses to surviveand to grow. In practice most BR&E initiatives take place in a local or perhapsregional context and are usually seen as an element of local economic development.Why is BR&E important?Actions to retain and expand existing business are important for eight very goodreasons.1. Top of the list by far is the fact that most new jobs are created by the growth of existing business. International research shows that 60-80% of all new jobs are created in this way. 1 In contrast attracting investment from outside accounts for perhaps 10-20% of new jobs2 while starting new local business makes up the difference – somewhere between 15-25% of new jobs. Sources of new jobs The tendency to focus attention almost exclusively on investment attraction and creating new businesses is rather like concentrating on the icing and the cherry while forgetting to actually bake the cake!2. A job saved as good as a job created. In fact it is usually easier, cheaper and quicker to save an existing job that to create a new one from scratch. Existing businesses do not have to be attracted to the community, they are already there. New start-ups are much more vulnerable to failure than existing firms, especially in the first year of operation. 3
  • 8. The South African BR&E Manual Introduction3. Even when the economy is growing communities lose jobs each year 3 when businesses close because, for example, they are no longer profitable, the market changes or the owner retires. It not only affects people directly employed in such businesses but also has a “knock on“ effect on other jobs. This is much more pronounced in times of recession and not only will the loss of a key employer have an impact on their local suppliers but it may also be the last straw that closes a bank branch, retailer, engineering shop or dentist. In the USA it is estimated that for every 100 direct jobs lost in this way another 140 to 286 jobs will be lost in other areas of the economy as a result.44. Conversely the growth of existing businesses creates markets and opportunities to start up and to grow other local businesses. Sometimes the solution to the problems of one businesses may be to start up or recruit another such as a key supplier or a particular service.5. A community that supports and encourages the growth of its businesses is likely to be attractive to outside investors. Local business people who are positive about their business environment make the best and most credible ambassadors.6. Over 70% of South African small business owners have had a formal sector job before starting their own business. Only 5% do so without prior work experience.5 Yet most unemployed people are young and have never had a job. Where are they to get the experience to start a business of their own if the growth of existing business is neglected?7. Existing local business people are a rich source of new business ideas. They are also the most likely ones to do anything about it to judge by Australian experience where local businesses account for 70% investment in a region. According to McKinsey & Co “a regions number one lever for encouraging growth is its existing people and businesses”.68. Locally owned businesses, some of which may have been in the same community for generations, are more likely to remain in hard times than those attracted from outside. Firms attracted by incentives may well move on as the value of the incentives declines or they get a better offer from somewhere else.Approaches to BR&EMost formal business retention and expansion programmes are based on thepremise that to help existing businesses to survive and grow, the best way to start isby listening to the ideas, suggestions and concerns of business people themselves.There are two broad approaches to how this is done. In the continuous approach professional staff are employed by an economic development agency to systematically interview business in their area. . Interviews are conducted throughout the year and may be face-to face or by telephone. The staff member is in a position to respond immediately to requests for information or to act as a broker between the business and various resources to address particular problems. 4
  • 9. The South African BR&E Manual Introduction Although the focus tends to be on individual businesses rather than the environment in which they operate, there is nothing to prevent the economic development agency from convening workshops or initiating action to solve common problems. In the locally driven or “traditional” approach management and implementation of the programme is in the hands of the community in which it takes place. The community is normally defined geographically but it may also mean a community of interest such as tourism or motor manufacturing. It is also known as the “volunteer” approach because it uses local volunteers to implement much of the programme and emerged from programmes pioneered by New Jersey Bell in the 1970s. In 1986 a model was developed in Ohio that combined this approach with good practice from elsewhere in the USA and eventually became the basis for a training and certification programme for Business Retention & Expansion International (BREI), the professional association for BR&E practitioners.7 In this model a BR&E visitation programme is initiated and managed by a task team of local leaders who recruit businesses to participate in a survey conducted by a team of volunteers. The results form the basis for an action plan to improve the local business environment which is then implemented over the next 2-3 years. Outside resources may be used to assist at various stages, e.g., preparing the survey, analysing the results or implementing specific proposals. Although the main focus is on common issues and the local business environment, the concerns of individual businesses are also addressed.Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages as follows.Continuous Locally drivenConducted by paid professionals Conducted by local volunteers, may be assisted by professionalsSurvey firms throughout the year Visit 50-100 local firms in 2-3 weeksShows broad regional trends Snapshot of local issuesUsually targets specific industries Usually targets specific localitiesTends to focus on larger firms Usually visits cross-section of firmsAction plan for individual business Action plan for business environmentCan address common issues over time Can respond to needs of individual firmInput to regional policies, programmes Input to LED strategiesCan broker resources quickly May have difficulty accessing resourcesDoes not attempt to build local capacity Builds local capacity and social capitalLittle local buy in Local buy in usually much higherDepends entirely on professionals Robust process, minimises use of professionalRelatively costly Relatively inexpensiveIndefinite life Limited life, 2-3 years 5
  • 10. The South African BR&E Manual IntroductionBoth are already in use to some extent in South Africa. The Wesgro BR&Eprogramme in the Western Cape is an example the of the continuous approach butused on a limited scale. The BR&E programmes supported by Trade & InvestmentKwaZulu-Natal and the Durban Investment Promotion Agency programmes haveused the locally driven approach for a number years.One could perhaps identify a third approach which in South Africa at least is rarelytermed BR&E, but nonetheless aims to assist existing local businesses to surviveand grow. In this case an economic development expert is appointed to survey localbusinesses and to develop proposals for action to improve the business environmentor perhaps address the problems of a local sector or even specific firms. The extentof interaction with local role-players varies considerably, local buy in is oftendisappointing and access to resources to implement the recommendations can be aproblem. Despite good intentions all too often the main outcome is little more than areport.Although it has many of the disadvantages and few of the advantages of either thecontinuous or locally driven approaches, this “expert-driven” approach to BR&E isprobably more widely used in South Africa than either of the other two!Which approach is best?For a formal BR&E programme the choice is essentially between the continuous orlocally driven approach. Both have their virtues as can be seen from the table on theprevious page. In certain circumstances, e.g., where it is limited to the clients of aninvestment promotion agency like Wesgro, the continuous approach may well be aviable option. In practice, however, the cost and the scarcity of skilled professionalswould usually rule it out in most South African situations where even the betterresourced metropolitan councils might have difficulty maintaining a continuousprogramme.It means that the locally driven approach is a far more practical option for SouthAfrican conditions. It is the most widely used approach internationally and is easilyintegrated into a local economic development strategy. The fact that it builds localsocial capital is a particularly attractive extra given the low levels of trust and co-operation that exist in many communities and without which economic developmentis very difficult.For these reasons the locally driven approach is strongly recommended for SouthAfrica and is the approach employed in this manual. 6
  • 11. The South African BR&E Manual IntroductionReferences1 Study after study has shown that existing businesses are responsible for creating anything from 40% to as much as 90% of new jobs. See, for example, David Birch, Job Creation in America, 1987 or David Kraybill, Ohios Challenge, Retention and Expansion First, 1995.2 “80-90% of jobs are created from within the community” says Mike Stolte in Tools for Building Strong Communities, CEIL, 2007.3 Up to 10% according to Henry M Cothran quoting Kotval in Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Programs: Why Existing Businesses Are Important, University of Florida, IFAS Extension, 2006.4 Kentucky Economic Expansion Program (KEEP), 1998.5 Chandra, Moorty, Nganou, Rajaratnam & Schaefer, Constraints to Growth and Employment in South Africa; Evidence from the SMME Firm Survey, World Bank, 2001.6 McKinsey & Co, Lead Local Compete Global: Unlocking the Growth potential of Australia’s Regions, Final Report to the Commonwealth Department of Housing and Regional Development, 1994.7 For many years the BREI training programme was based on Implementing Local Business Retention and Expansion Visitation Programs, by George Morse & Scott Loveridge, North East Centre for Rural Development, Pennsylvania State University, 1998. 7
  • 12. The South African BR&E Manual IntroductionSome AbbreviationsBEE Black economic empowermentBR&E Business retention & expansionBREI Business Retention & Expansion InternationalBREV Business retention & expansion visitation (programme)CCTV Closed circuit televisionCI Confidence intervalDCCI Durban Chamber of Commerce and IndustryDIPA Durban Investment Promotion AgencyDVD Digital versatile (or video) discFET Further education and trainingIDP Integrated development planKm KilometresKZN KwaZulu-NatalLED Local economic developmentNGO Non-governmental organisationPASTA Popular, affordable, short term, achievableSA South AfricaSEDA Small Enterprise Development AgencySETA Sector education and training authoritySMME Small, medium and micro-enterpriseTIKZN Trade and Investment KwaZulu-NatalUSA United States of AmericaVIP Very important person 8
  • 13. The South African Business Retention & Expansion Manual OVERVIEW In this section Common terminology Goals and objectives Role-players Programme stages TimescalesThe goal of BR&E programs is to stimulate local economic development by helping existingbusiness increase their sales and employment, through a combination of programs that not onlyincrease these firms competitiveness but also improve the communitys quality of life. George Morse
  • 14. The South African BR&E Manual OverviewCOMMON TERMINOLOGYThe following key terms used in this manual are consistent with those used in trainingresources accredited by Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI).1Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E)Includes all programmes and initiatives aimed at helping local businesses to surviveand grow.BR&E Visitation Programme (BREV)A locally driven initiative that uses a structured interview process to learn about theconcerns ideas, and priorities of local business and initiates specific action plans andlocal economic development projects to address them.Local Economic Development (LED)A sustained effort by community stakeholders working together to make use of localresources, advantages and opportunities to create sustainable jobs and economicopportunities and improve the quality of life for all, especially those who are mostdisadvantaged.Sustainable JobsEconomic and employment opportunities which are not just economically viable butalso satisfy local environmental and social norms. It includes new business and selfemployment options.CommunityCommunity is used in the dictionary sense of "all the people living in a specificlocality".1 Business Retention & Expansion International (BREI) is a non-profit association of economic development practitioners formed to promote BR&E, to share knowledge through research, publications and meetings and to train and accredit practitioners. See 10
  • 15. The South African BR&E Manual OverviewOVERVIEWGoal and ObjectivesThe goal and objectives of a local business retention and expansion visitationprogramme are as follows.GoalTo stimulate local economic development and create employment opportunities byretaining and expanding existing business.Objectives To identify the ideas, concerns and priorities of local business and the obstacles that prevent them expanding. To respond immediately to urgent concerns. To develop an action plan to assist business to solve problems, improve performance and explore opportunities. To enhance the relationship between local business and the wider community. To establish a partnership of local role-players to implement strategic actions for sustained economic development. Where possible to inform provincial and national business development policies and programmes. 11
  • 16. The South African BR&E Manual OverviewRole-playersImplementation of a BR&E programme involves a number of local and external role-players. Local host partnership (local sponsors). Task team. Local (project) BR&E co-ordinator. Volunteer interviewers. Local action teams. Trained BR&E Facilitator (BR&E professional). BR&E Programme Manager.For a local BR&E programme to succeed it is essential that all roleplayers are clearabout the part they are expected to play and fully committed to playing it.Local host partnershipThe local hosts initiate and support the local programme and are ultimatelyresponsible for its success and ensuring it takes place as it should. For this reasonthey may also be referred to as the local sponsors. Their task is to: Promote the concept and programme locally; Recruit and participate in the task team; Secure or provide adequate funding; Provide administrative support.Although a single organisation could undertake all of these responsibilities,experience has shown that a partnership has greater credibility and is much morelikely to succeed. The partnership might be an existing local economic coalition orLED partnership or could be formed specifically for BR&E by two or more of thefollowing. Local and/or district municipalities; Local business chambers or associations; Regional or local economic development agencies, investment promotion agencies or local development companies; Business Development Centres and SEDAs; Institutions for tertiary education and research; Community development organisations and NGOs; Service clubs or faith based organisations.Task teamThe task team is a group of 6-8 credible local leaders who have the time, enthusiasmand commitment to take responsibility for promoting and implementing the local 12
  • 17. The South African BR&E Manual Overviewprogramme. Although members do not take part in order to represent any interestgroup, the team should nonetheless broadly reflect the main role-players in the localeconomy, e.g., municipality, business associations, local tourism body, agriculture,emerging business, business support organisations and so on. Members should be: Credible and influential champions for the programme. Respected for their knowledge of and contribution to the local community. Able to think and act strategically. Enthusiastic about the programme and prepared to commit the necessary time to attend at least six meetings and to take part in the survey as a interviewer. Able to respect and exercise confidentiality.The size of the team is determined by its role and responsibilities. The temptation toconvene a large body representing every interest group in the community should beresisted. It should be small enough to ensure efficient decision making, encouragecommitment and guard confidentiality, yet large enough to generate ideas andinformation and to undertake all its responsibilities. The recommended size istherefore 6-8 people, perhaps 10 at the most.The task team is responsible for promoting and managing the BR&E visitationprogramme and implementing the plan of action that emerges from it. Collectivelythe task team is responsible for: Setting the key dates, determining the overall programme and timing, monitoring progress. Selecting a local co-ordinator. Reviewing key information about the local economy, Determining the scope of the business survey. Design of the survey questionnaire. Recruiting participating businesses and volunteers. Taking part in the survey as volunteer interviewers. Reviewing the survey questionnaires between them. Developing proposals for action based on the survey findings. Presenting results and proposals to participants and the wider community, Setting up teams to implement the agreed programme of action.In addition individual team members will take particular responsibility for one of thefollowing. Chairing task team meetings. Promoting the programme locally and working with the media Responding to “red flag” issues Developing a business information kit, responding to requests for information. 13
  • 18. The South African BR&E Manual Overview Preparing and managing the launch and feedback events.Local co-ordinatorThe local co-ordinator provides hands-on capacity for the day to day managementand implementation of the visitation programme. This involves the following. Providing a secretariat function to the task team, arranging meetings, initial briefing and results workshop. Working with the appropriate task team members to develop and disseminate promotional and publicity material. Working with the whole task team to identify potential participants and volunteers. Arranging launch, volunteer training and feedback events. Preparing survey forms, information kits and the survey database. Identifying business to be visited, arranging and managing the interview schedule. Collecting and monitoring survey results and entering them in the database. Initiating responses to “red flag” issues and requests for assistance or information. Organising the survey analysis and the preparation of the feedback report. Facilitating the establishment of teams to implement the agreed action plan.The task of local co-ordinator is a critical one. It could either be assigned to a staffmember employed by one of the local host partners or someone might be contractedspecifically for this purpose. Either way it is absolutely essential that they are in aposition to devote an average of 2-3 days a week exclusively to the task for theduration of the BREV programme.Such a person does not need to be highly qualified but should certainly have thefollowing skills and qualities. Excellent interpersonal skills; Proven organisational skills with a concern for detail and accuracy; A professional approach with the ability to maintain confidentiality; Sufficient language skills and understanding of the subject to be able to extract and summarise survey results for entry into the database; Reasonably familiar with the area to be covered by the survey.Volunteer interviewersThe survey interviews are conducted by volunteers all of whom are trained in the useof the survey questionnaire. Working in pairs they will normally undertake two to four(and certainly no more than six) interviews which, on average, means recruiting onevolunteer for every two businesses to be interviewed. 14
  • 19. The South African BR&E Manual Overview The primary task of a volunteer is to use the structured questionnaire to obtain the views, concerns and priorities of local business with regard to the local business environment. They also need to be able to recognise and bring to the attention of the task team any instances where there is a need for urgent action or assistance. Their responsibility is to listen and record. It is never to defend local institutions or programmes, offer suggestions or make promises.Volunteers have an opportunity to make a contribution to the economic developmentof their community while taking part in an interesting and stimulating programme. Itoffers useful insights, learning and contacts but is not an opportunity to promote apersonal agenda or interest.Volunteers will typically have the following qualities. Enthusiasm for the programme. Good communication and listening skills in the language of those being interviewed. The ability to record information clearly and accurately in the language of the survey form. Reliability in keeping appointments and sticking to deadlines. Commitment to maintaining confidentiality.The programme relies on volunteers treating the information they receive during theinterview in the strictest confidence. It is strongly recommended that all task teammembers and volunteers sign a code of practice and confidentiality agreement beforethe survey begins.Why Volunteers?The use of volunteers is central to this approach to BR&E and plays a key part in itssuccess. Volunteers by definition are interested in the outcome and have a stake inthe success of the programme. They form an important part of the audience whenthe findings and recommendations for action are presented and are potentiallyvaluable and informed members of action teams.The involvement of volunteers sends a powerful signal to local business that theircommunity is genuinely interested in their well-being and what they have to say. Inturn the knowledge and experience that volunteers gain makes them more aware oflocal business issues and the part they play in the community.None of this can be achieved by hiring students or unemployed people to conduct thesurvey. This is sometimes proposed in the mistaken belief that volunteers are usedsimply to save money and that they may be more difficult to recruit and control.Most importantly, experience has shown that the use of local volunteers to conductthe survey makes it more likely that the outcome will be action rather than justanother report gathering dust on a shelf. This is because people believe what theydiscover for themselves and are therefore more likely to take action as a result. 15
  • 20. The South African BR&E Manual OverviewLocal action teamsLocal people must take responsibility for initiating action or implementing it directly ifthey are to ensure it delivers what they hope to achieve or indeed that it takes placeat all. In a typical BREV programme this involves the formation of small action teamsto address each of the priorities, typically 3-6 people who are passionate about aparticular issue and committed to doing something about it. They often includebusiness people who have taken part in the survey or volunteer interviewers. Theydo not have to be experts in the subject they are dealing with as their task is tomobilise the necessary resources and expertise to address the problem.This implies focussing on short term achievable actions in the early stages in order todevelop the skills and confidence to tackle more difficult issues later.BR&E FacilitatorAlthough it is important that ownership and control should remain in local hands, it ishelpful to make use of a trained BR&E facilitator for advice and information and tofacilitate certain stages of the programme. This is particularly necessary when thelocal co-ordinator and task team are running a BREV programme for the first time.With time and experience they will rely far less on external resources. An externalBR&E facilitator may assist in the following way. Briefing the local host partnership and task team on how to run a BREV programme. Facilitating decisions on the scope of the survey and the questionnaire. Acting as a source of advice and information on the running of the programme. Training volunteer interviewers. Providing a quality check on the completed surveys and database entries. Analysing survey results and preparing findings Conducting a task team workshop to develop recommendations for action. Facilitating the community feedback event and the formation of action teams. Advising on monitoring and reviewing progress.In certain circumstances the BR&E facilitator may be asked to provide additionalassistance such as capturing survey results in a database.BR&E Programme ManagerBR&E Programme Managers are the organisations that initiate and host theprogramme at provincial, regional or metropolitan level. They are responsible for thefollowing. Promoting the concept and raising awareness of the potential benefits of running a BREV programme. Arranging and possibly subsidising the training of local co-ordinators. Promoting the development of BR&E practitioners. 16
  • 21. The South African BR&E Manual Overview Providing resources such as BREV programme manuals, sample surveys, databases and information kits. Subsidising the cost of local programmes where appropriate. Facilitating access to resources for implementing action plans. Monitoring trends in order to recommend improvements to business support policy and programmes.A word of cautionBR&E Programme Managers and other champions may be tempted to see a BR&Evisitation programme as the solution to the problems of every ailing local economy.This is definitely not the case. It is not a just question of how much a communityneeds to retain and grow its business. What matters is whether a sufficient numberof local people actually see that need and want to do something about it. 17
  • 22. The South African BR&E Manual OverviewProgramme stagesThe programme may be divided into a number of stages each separated by a keyevent or milestone.Stage 1: Setting upThis typically begins when potential local hosts are briefed about the benefits of aBREV programme by the BR&E Programme Manager or a BR&E practitioner. If theydecide they want to proceed, the next steps are as follows. Form the local host partnership, Identify potential task team members and gain their commitment. Obtain or provide all the necessary funds and in kind resources. Recruit and if necessary arrange the training of a local co-ordinator. Acquire suitable office accommodation and services for the co-ordinator. Secure the services of a BR&E facilitator to the extent necessary.Only when all of these are firmly in place can the next stage begin.Stage 2: PlanningStage 2 begins when the task team meets for the first time; it includes the followingactivities. Conduct a task team briefing on the BR&E programme and the part they are expected to play. Review the main features of the local economy as input to the task team. Determine the scope and form of the visitation programme. Agree the programme steps, budgets and timelines. Promote and publicise the programme. Identify and contact the businesses to be visited. Recruit volunteer interviewers. Launch the programme publicly.Stage 3: Visitation Train volunteer interviewers. Conduct the survey and capture the data. Respond immediately to “red flag” issues.Stage 4: Analysis Analyse the survey results. Respond to requests for information. Task team members workshop results and prepare recommendations for action. Identify potential resources and partners. 18
  • 23. The South African BR&E Manual Overview Present findings and proposals at stakeholder feedback event, set priorities, form action teams.Stage 5: Implementation Convene action teams, initiate action plans. Monitor progress. Task team review results after six months Conduct report back meeting, set new priorities.TimescalesTimescales can vary significantly but normally it should be possible to set up aprogramme from scratch, conduct the survey and start to see tangible results fromthe programme of action all in the same year. A diagram of a typical programme isshown overleaf.The starting date is very important as once the launch at the end of Stage 2 is held, itis essential to continue without interruptions – such as the December holidays – untilthe action teams have begun their work and Stage 5 is firmly under way. Stage 1: Setting up the programme rarely takes less than two months and it frequently takes quite a bit longer to get all role-players on board and secure all the necessary resources. Stage 2: While planning and preparation takes a full six weeks, there is rarely good reason to extend much beyond that. Stage 3: Volunteer training, interviews and data capture, should be completed in three to four weeks. Any longer and the programme can suffer a serious loss of momentum. Stage 4: In order to maintain stakeholder interest it is important to be able to feedback results and recommendations as soon as possible after the survey. Two to three weeks should be quite sufficient. Stage 5: Action plans should be selected and structured to yield tangible results within six months in order to build capacity and maintain enthusiasm. The task team review and report back event at the end of this period is an opportunity to decide whether to continue the implementation as a BR&E programme or to integrate action plans into a broader LED programme. 19
  • 24. Programme Stages and Timelines All visits Feedback Resources completed event securedConvene task Six month team Launch Report back 1 Set up 2 Planning 3 Visitation 4 Analysis 5 Implementation 2-3 months 6 weeks 3-4 weeks 2-3 weeks 6 months (Feb – Mar) (April – May) (May – June) (June) (July – Dec) 20
  • 25. The South African Business Retention & Expansion Manual STAGE 1: SETTING UP At the end of Stage 1 A local host partnership to initiate and support the programme will have been formed. Task team members will have been identified and will have agreed to serve. Local and external resources in cash or kind will have been secured. A local co-ordinator will have been recruited and trained. Office accommodation, equipment and services for the co-ordinator will have been acquired. To the extent necessary, the services of an external facilitator will have been engaged. The host partners will then have taken a final decision to proceed. The wisdom of the community always exceeds the knowledge of the experts. Harold Flaming, Ontario BR&E Programme.
  • 26. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 1: Setting upSTAGE 1: SETTING UPBringing local role-players on board and assembling all the resources necessary torun a local BR&E visitation programme requires patience and persistence. There islittle room for compromise as the difference between getting it right and getting itnearly right can make or break the programme.Forming the host partnershipA local programme typically begins when potential host organisations are introducedto the possibility as a result of a promotional campaign conducted by the BR&EProgramme Manager or perhaps at a briefing session by a BR&E practitioner.Bear in mind that a BREV programme is not the answer for every community (seeResource 1.1) and that more than one briefing session may be necessary to enablepotential host organisations to make an informed decision about whether and how toparticipate. To do so they need to be clear about the following. The goals, objectives, benefits and limitations of a local BREV programme. Why the locally-driven volunteer-based approach is recommended. The different role-players and their responsibilities. Programme steps and timing. The resources required and – where appropriate – available.Potential host partners could be any of the organisations listed in the Role-playerssection of the Overview but to date the most common arrangement is a partnershipbetween the local municipality and the local business organisation. South Africanexperience to date suggests that a partnership has important advantages and shouldbe regarded as the norm in all but the most unusual circumstances.Obviously partnerships can also have disadvantages such as the possibility that onepartner will find itself doing most of the work or providing most of the resources. Therisk of this happening can be reduced if all partners are quite clear about thecontribution each is expected to make and record this is in a simple agreement ormemorandum. Better still if they then publicise the details! Advantages of a partnership Any one of the potential partners could initiate and run a BREV programme provided it had the resources and capacity but even under these circumstances there are definite advantages to forming a partnership. A partnership gives the programme broader credibility and appeal. Signals joint local action, self reliance and co-operation. Brings in more resources, skills and contacts. Mobilises a wider network of businesses participants and volunteers. Increases local ownership, more people have a stake in its success. 22
  • 27. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 1: Setting upIdentifying the task teamIn identifying possible members of a task team it helps to remember that they are notbeing selected to represent any interest group, instead their role is to plan, manageand take action. Obviously they must have the necessary time, skills andenthusiasm to do so. Time commitments? A task team member should be able to make time to undertake the following. Participate in about six task team meetings - particularly the initial briefing meeting and the results workshop. Help to identify and recruit participating businesses and volunteers. Take part in the launch and feedback events. Conduct at least two interviews. Convene the first meeting of one of the action teams. Spread over 3-4 months this is not as demanding as it might seem. When Step 5 is under way task team members may opt to join one of the teams implementing the action plan. It is also an opportunity for members who wish to drop out to be replaced by action team representatives. Thereafter task team members will: Participate in a meeting every 4-6 weeks to monitor progress. After six months take part in a short workshop to review achievements. Play a part in a report back event for local stakeholders.Task team members should have local credibility and influence. Who they are maybe just as important as what they say when it comes to convincing people to supportand participate in the programme.It follows therefore that task team should reasonably reflect the main interestgroups and role-players in the local economy including the host organisations.This is important not only for its credibility but to ensure a sufficiently wide range ofskills, knowledge and networks.For the same reason it is also necessary to be conscious of the gender balance.However it can a mistake to try and make a team more representative by recruitingsomeone who simply does not have enough time or interest to contribute fully.Indeed by not being up to date or missing critical decisions they can easily become ahindrance.The task team should be made up of local people. Augmenting it, for example, withrepresentatives of government departments and development agencies in the hopethey will offer access to resources is to misunderstand its purpose. Unless they tooare local people they are unlikely to have the necessary local knowledge, contacts orstake in the development of the local economy. 23
  • 28. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 1: Setting upResourcesThe cost of a BREV programme depends on the willingness and resourcefulness oflocal role-players in begging, borrowing or adapting existing resources in order toavoid having to pay for them in cash. Indeed the extent to which this happens isoften a useful indicator of how well the rest of the programme will run.Local resourcesBoth local and external resources are required. Clearly offer the most scope for localrole-players to find non-cash alternatives. Local Co-ordinator. This is usually the biggest local expense unless a local partner can assign or second a competent staff member to the job. The co- ordinator must be available exclusively to the programme for roughly 50% of a normal working week throughout Steps 2 to 4. Where the co-ordinator has to be contracted allow a total of about 12 days a month for four months, i.e., 48 days. This can be reduced to about 42-44 days for the three month survey programme shown in Resource 1.2. Further savings many be possible by assigning specific responsibilities to members of the Task Team. Office. The local co-ordinator will need office space as well as access to a computer, e-mail, telephone, fax and photocopier. In most cases one of the local host organisations will provide this free of charge and even absorb the cost of phone calls and stationary. The cash value of these will have to be budgeted for if the co-ordinator works from his or her own home or business. Launch and feedback events. Local custom should dictate the timing and nature of these events. They should be designed to suit the target audience rather than the sponsors. Typical would be a simple breakfast or an early evening function at which light snacks are served. Finding a free or low cost venue is often possible but getting sponsorship for catering may be more difficult. Volunteer training. Volunteers must attend one of the two a half-day training sessions conducted by the co-ordinator and/or facilitator - this is non-negotiable! The venue(s) should be easily accessible, tea/coffee should be provided and video/DVD equipment is required. Volunteer expenses. Paying volunteers even a modest stipend can lead to all sorts of complications and is not recommended. On the other hand they should be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses such as travel and parking. This should be borne in mind when determining the scope of the survey and assigning interviews. In practice relatively few volunteers actually claim such expenses.External resourcesDecisions taken by local role-players also have an influence on the cost of externalresources. 24
  • 29. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 1: Setting up Co-ordinator training. The local co-ordinator must complete a BR&E co- ordinators’ training course before running a BREV programme for the first time. Currently no more than one or two such course take place each year, usually in the second quarter. The cost of training may be subsidised but the co-ordinators travel and accommodation expenses will have to be covered by the local budget. Facilitator time. This is generally one of the larger items on the budget and can vary considerably depending on the skills and experience of the local co- ordinator and Task Team. A newly trained co-ordinator would typically need about 14-15 days support. With experience this can be reduced significantly. A co-ordinator who has completed a couple of successful BREV programmes and is backed by good Task Team might need only 4-5 days of facilitator’s time to help with analysis, recommendations and feedback. (See Resource 1.5.) Facilitator expenses. While the analysis and report writing can be done electronically, the rest of facilitators input is generally made during short visits of a day or less at a time. Travel and accommodation expenses can therefore become prohibitive if the facilitator is not based within, say, 200-300 km. Database. A database package such as MS Access or even a spreadsheet can be adapted to record and analyse findings and it is not necessary to use a statistical package. The cost of customising costs will depend on the survey questionnaire being. A database customised for BR&E in Australia has been used in KZN For a number of years and should be available from the supplier for about R1 000. Although it is based on a questionnaire that can be used in most circumstances, the database itself is not easily adapted to other formats. A sample “first time” budget A budget for a three month survey with a newly trained co-ordinator might look like the following (see Resources 1.4 - 1.5 ). NB Facilitator and co-ordinator rates are illustrative! Local Co-ordinator R66 000 44 days at R1 500/day Office R15 000 Phone and consumables only Launch and feedback events R7 000 Venue (subsidised) and catering Volunteer training R3 000 Venue, catering, and video Volunteer expenses R2 000 Re-imbursements R93 000 External Co-ordinator training R4 000 Typical, depends on location Facilitator fee R42 000 15 days at R2 800/day Facilitator travel and accommodation R10 000 200km radius, 3 overnight stays Database R1 000 Minor customisation R 57 000 Total R150 000 The actually cash outlay may be a great deal less especially if the co-ordinator is seconded to the programme e.g., from one of the local hosts. External costs will be considerably reduced if the co-ordinator is already trained and experienced. 25
  • 30. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 1: Setting upLocal Co-ordinatorSelection of the right person for the task is an important early decision (also seeRole-players section of the Overview). For practical reasons it is generally taken bythe local host partnership before the task team meets for the first time but the taskteam should be given an opportunity to endorse it and where possible to be involvedin the selection process.A local co-ordinator might be an employee of one of the host organisation or could beseconded to the programme by a company, government agency or educationalinstitution. An intern, familiar with the subject and the area might also be an option orit may be necessary to engage someone specifically for the programme.Skills and qualitiesA good co-ordinator does not have to be highly qualified but is likely to have a trackrecord which reveals the following qualities and skills. Able to organise events and/or short programmes. Gets things done and delivers on promises. Methodical and organised. Thinks ahead. Pays attention to detail and is concerned about “getting it right”. Maintains confidentiality. Gets on well with people at all levels. Communicates well in writing, on the phone and face to face in the language of the survey. Understands enough about the business environment to be able to extract and summarise survey results for entry into the database. Computer literate – word processing, simple spreadsheets, email. Reasonably familiar with the area to be surveyed.AvailabilityIt is absolutely essential that the local co-ordinator is available to work exclusivelyon the BR&E programme for approximately 50% of the working week for the durationof Stages 2-4. There will be peaks which will demand significantly more than 50% ofthe working week but these should be offset by quieter periods.Clearly it is just as important that the local co-ordinator should be enthusiastic aboutthe BR&E visitation programme and having an opportunity to play a key part in it.TrainingA local co-ordinator without prior experience should have completed the BREIaccredited South African Local BR&E Co-ordinator Certification Course within fourmonths of the start of the programme. (N.B. This should be planned for well inadvance as courses are held fairly infrequently.) Experienced co-ordinators shouldbe able to produce evidence of a satisfactory track record; alternatively as BREIcertification of South African co-ordinators becomes more common it should serve asimilar purpose. 26
  • 31. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 1: Setting upOffice accommodationThe local co-ordinator will clearly need some sort of office accommodation duringStages 2-4 together with access to computer, internet and email, phone, fax andphotocopying facilities. It should be preferably be located fairly close to the area ofthe survey and thus accessible to volunteers during the visitation stage.Office space is often made available by one of the host organisations and if so theextent to which they are willing to cover costs such as phone calls, printing andcopying should be clarified and recorded at the outset. Similarly when a local co-ordinator makes use of a home office or their own business premises it is importantto agree on a budget for such charges as well as how they will be claimed and paid.Payment should, of course, be made promptly. Failure to do so signals a lack ofcommitment to the co-ordinator which is hardly the best way to ensure theircommitment to the BREV programme!BR&E FacilitatorThe BR&E facilitator contributes to the local programme in three ways. The first is toact as a source of information and guide the task team and local co-ordinator throughthe various steps of a BREV programme. The need for this largely falls away whenthe co-ordinator is experienced. The second contribution is to facilitate decisionmaking at key stages, e.g., determining the scope, workshopping results, settingpriorities for action. Even with an experienced co-ordinator there are advantages inusing a skilled outsider for this task. Finally the BR&E facilitator analyses the resultsand is a valuable resource in developing proposals for action.Using a facilitatorThe facilitator’s task is not to run the programme but to make it easier for local peopleto plan, manage and implement a BREV programme themselves. It. One of thevirtues of this approach to BR&E is that it does not rely unduly on scarce and oftencostly expertise. Instead it makes use of the skills and knowledge of local peoplewho, if they follow the programme, should be able to achieve satisfactory results withthe minimum of outside help.However, a balance has to be struck. Minimising the facilitator’s contribution in orderto save money may put the programme at risk if the co-ordinator and task team lackexperience. On the other hand the more they ask the facilitator to do for them themore expensive it becomes and the less ownership, understanding and commitmentthey will have. This also puts the success of the programme at risk.Deciding how much support will be necessary depends very much on how familiarthe task team and co-ordinator are with how to run a BREV programme. TheResource 1.5 worksheet shows the normal minimum that an experienced team wouldcall on the assistance of a facilitator. It also recommends a number of additionalactivities where a team new to BR&E would need help. Finally, it identifies someoccasions where a facilitator might be considered in certain circumstances. 27
  • 32. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 1: Setting upFinding a facilitatorWhat is a BR&E facilitator? Basically it is someone with an in-depth knowledge ofhow to run a BREV programme and who has good facilitation skills coupled with asound understanding of local economic development in general and businessretention and expansion strategies in particular.An initiative is under way to enable South African practitioners to obtain BREIcertification as BR&E Professionals. In the meantime it is a matter of consultingBR&E Programme Managers and looking at individual track records.The BR&E facilitator may be contracted directly by one of the host organisations. Inother situations the BR&E Programme Managers may make a facilitator available fora certain number of days. In either case it is important to agree and record inadvance both the number of days and the tasks to which they will be allocated. Anyvariation on this is should also be agreed and recorded by all parties.Final commitmentUp until this point the preparations have been largely low cost, low profile activitiesand a decision to delay or cancel the programme would not involve seriousembarrassment. All this will change from the beginning of Stage 2. It is thereforerecommended that having satisfied themselves that all the preparations have beenmade and the necessary resources are in place (see Resource 1.3 Assessingreadiness ) the local partnership ends Stage 1 with a formal decision to proceed withthe BREV programme. 28
  • 33. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 1: Setting upRESOURCE 1.1 Do we really want a BREV programme?A business retention and expansion visitation programme is not the answer for everycommunity. Clearly if the local economy is booming, the business community will seelittle need for a business retention and expansion initiative and will be too busy totake part in it anyway.In contrast if the local economy is deeply depressed or has just experienced aserious shock such as the closure of a major local employer, it may be difficult tomotivate local people. They may well believe that their problems can only be solvedby a major intervention by government or big business. It would be better topostpone a BR&E programme until at least some of them start to believe that theirown actions can make a difference.What counts is not the local economic situation but whether local people want to dosomething about it themselves. If the answer is even a cautious “yes”, a BREVprogramme can be an excellent way to start as it is relatively easy to implement andhelps to build local confidence and capacity. Assess your communityStatus Characteristics RecommendationToo busy to Local economy is thriving, no NO GO BREV not needed or likelybother shortage of opportunity, everyone to win support . doing own thing.Centre of Big outside interventions or NO GO BREV unlikely to getattention investments taking place or planned. sufficient attentionStrategic Key stakeholders have a history of GO BREV should be successfulpartnership planning and working together.Amicable Local stakeholders sometimes work GO BREV should build together confidence and capacity.Directionless No one takes the lead or seems to GO BREV could provide the know what to do. framework for action.Finger pointing Local stakeholders see others as the MAYBE Proceed with caution, get problem. commitment of key players first.Non-co- Key role-players do not work together NO GO Identify and fix the problemoperation before considering a BREV.Conflict Serious disagreement or antagonism NO GO Get expert help to solve between key role players conflict! 29
  • 34. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 1.2 Typical BR&E Programme (timescale in weeks) January February March April May June July August September October November December January 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 1 2 3 4 Stage 1: Setting up Brief potential partners Partners commit to BREV Secure local funds -----> Roleplayers ready, Identify Task Team resources secured Select and train co-ordinators -----> Secure extenal funds (if reqd) - - - - - - - -> Appoint facilitators -----> Stage 2: Planning Convene and brief task team Baseline briefing - -> Public launch of Agree scope of programme BREV programme Identify & contact businesses to be visited - -> Recruit volunteers - -> Publicity, promotion & launch Step 3: Visitation Survey Train & assign volunteers complete Conduct BR&E Visitation interviews Prepare database, capture results - -> Respond to red flags Step 4: Analysis Analyse data Action agreed at Respond to requests for information - - -> feedback event Task team results workshop Prepare report Action reviewed at report back Prepare and conduct feedback event Step 5: Implementation Convene action teams Implement action Continues - - - -> Monitor progress Task team review Report back event
  • 35. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 1.3RESOURCE 1.3 Assessing readinessThe set-up stage ends and you are ready to begin a BR&E visitation programmewhen you can answer yes to all the following questions.1. Has a local host partnership been formed to initiate and support the programme? Have the contributions each will make been recorded? Input Organisation recorded2. Have 6-8 credible and capable local people been identified to form the task team? Have they agreed to serve and to make the time available? Name Agreed3. Has a budget been prepared? (Attach budget.)4. Have firm commitments in cash or kind been obtained for all the local cost items?5. Have firm commitments in cash or kind been obtained for all the external costs? (Attach details.)6. Has a local co-ordinator been recruited and trained? (Attach appointment letter.)7. Has office accommodation, equipment and access to office services been secured for the co-ordinator? (Attach details and terms.)8. Has a trained BR&E facilitator been engaged? (Attach appointment letter and schedule of days required.)9. Have all the host partners formally agreed to proceed with the programme? 31
  • 36. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 1.4RESOURCE 1.4 Budget working sheetBR&E Budgeting Cost SourceLocal Co-ordinator Rate x no of days/weeks Office cost Accommodation Rate x weeks/months Phone and fax Monthly cost x months Internet and email Monthly cost x months Photocopying and printing Surveys, info kit, reports Events Launch Venue and catering Volunteer training x 2 Venue, tea/coffee Feedback event Venue and catering Volunteer expenses Reimbursements Other (specify)External Co-ordinator training Course fee Travel and accommodation Depending on location Facilitator Fee See Resource 1.5 Travel and accommodation See Resource 1.5 Database software Software, customisation 32
  • 37. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 1.5RESOURCE 1.5 Budget working sheet – facilitator days Add if Add No of No of Normal Budget new to optional return overnight minimum days BR&E extras trips staysBrief local partners ½Assess readiness ½Brief task team 1Baseline briefing ½Determine scope ½Identify who to visit ½Publicity and promotion ½Launch ½Volunteer training 1Check first surveys 1Database prep 1Red flag response ½Data capture 3Analyse results 3Results workshop 1Prepare report 1Prepare feedback event ½Feedback event ½Action planning ½First follow up ½Mid term follow up ½Six month review 1Report back ½Other Min 5½ Add 9 Add 5½Fees: No of days _____ x R _______ per day = R _________Travel: No of return trips _____ x distance _____ km = ______ total km Total km _____ x R _____ per km = R _______Overnights: No of overnight stays _____ x R _____ allowance per night = R _______ 33
  • 38. The South African Business Retention & Expansion Manual STAGE 2: PLANNING At the end of Stage 2 The task team will have been convened and briefed on the programme and the part they will play. The task team will have reviewed the main features of the local economy in a “baseline briefing” session. The scope and form of the survey will have been determined. Programme steps, budgets and timelines will have been agreed and recorded. A promotion and publicity programme will have been initiated. The businesses to be visited will have been identified and invited to participate. Volunteer interviewers will have been recruited. The programme will have been formally launched. I always wondered why somebody doesnt do something about that. Then I realised I was somebody. Lily Tomlin
  • 39. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 2: PlanningSTAGE 2: PLANNINGThis stage encompasses all the activities from the first meeting of the task team tothe formal launch of the programme at which point everything should be in place forthe visitation stage to begin.Convening and briefing the task teamThe local host partnership is responsible for convening and hosting the first meetingof the task team which should be chaired by an appropriate representative of thepartnership. The purpose of the meeting is to: - introduce team members to one another and to the local partnership, the co- ordinator and the facilitator; - explain why the BREV programme has been initiated and what it might achieve; - describe the programme steps and possible timing for each; - explain the responsibilities of each role-player and the task team in particular; - use a sample survey and mock interviews to illustrate how the survey is conducted; - deal with any concerns or misconceptions and ensure all team members are fully on board; - agree a draft schedule of future meetings and key events.After representatives of the host partnership have explained why they have initiatedthe programme and what they hope it will achieve, they would normally hand over tothe BR&E facilitator to continue the meeting as a short orientation workshop orinduction programme. See Resource 2.2 Task Team Meeting Plans.Time should be allowed at the end of the meeting to set tentative dates for futuremeetings and key events and to make firm arrangements, including the election of achairperson, for the baseline briefing in Meeting 2.Even an experienced team and co-ordinator will benefit from an orientation“refresher” at their first meeting but this can be kept appropriately short. It may evenbe possible to combine the agendas of Meeting 1 and 2 in a single session byincluding an update on the state of the local economy.Baseline briefingThe purpose of the baseline briefing is to give the task team a broad overview ofwhat is already known about the local economy including any initiatives andinvestments in the pipeline. The purpose of this is to: - enable the task team make more informed decisions about the scope and nature of the survey; - reduce the risk of duplicating previous enquiries; - provide the background against which the survey results will be examined and recommendations drafted; - act as a reference point against which progress might be assessed.The local municipality and other member of the host partnership will almost certainlyhave in their possession a number of reports and analyses containing useful andrelevant information. They may also contain much else and simply giving the task 35
  • 40. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 2: Planningteam copies to read is unlikely to be welcome or a sensible use of their limited time.Instead it is recommended that people familiar with the context and contents of suchdocuments make short presentations on the key information to the task team.The presentations would normally draw on documents such as the IntegratedDevelopment Plan (IDP), Spatial Development Framework and related land useschemes, local economic development strategy as well as analyses anddevelopment strategies for various economic sectors. Previous business, consumerand visitor attitude surveys could be useful if any are available. Backgroundinformation and key features of major economic or infrastructure investments likely totake place in the next few years should also be included.Ideally the presenters should also be task team members or at least available to actas an information resource when key decisions are being made, e.g., whendetermining the scope of the survey or when analysing the survey results.When the presentations are complete the task team should identify what theyconsider to be the key issues as well as any obvious information gaps and theimplications this could have for the survey.Before concluding the task team should prepare for the next meeting at which keydecisions will be taken on the scope of the survey, work-plan and the responsibilitiesof individual team members. Task Team Responsibilities Responsibilities all task team members have in common: Review existing information. Set the direction of the programme, take key decisions such as the scope and timing of the survey, monitor progress. Recruit participants and volunteers. Volunteer! Review surveys (shared). Develop proposals for action. Manage the launch and lead the feedback event. Convene action teams. Specific roles for individual members. Chair: a good facilitator, organised, committed and available. Publicity: 1-2 people to brief role-players, deal with media, acknowledgements. Red flags: 2-3 people with a bias for action, able to respond to urgent situations. Information: 1-2 members to respond to requests for information. Events: 1-2 people to prepare and manage the launch and feedback events, mobilise participants. Also see meeting plans in Resources 2.2 and 2.3. 36
  • 41. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 2: PlanningScope and form of the surveyThe first major decision facing the task team is where to conduct the survey and howmany businesses should participate in it. As with any decision is it important toagree on the objectives or criteria before trying to evaluate the alternatives, otherwisethe task team may get bogged down in futile discussion without a clear means ofresolution. Key considerations in deciding where to conduct the survey are asfollows.Where What the businesses to be surveyed have in common, e.g., locality, sector, size, value chain or cluster. Alternatively they might be emergent or BEE enterprises or located in a disadvantaged community. Unless participating businesses are bound together by a shared interest they will be difficult to mobilise. Moreover the results of a survey of businesses scattered over wide area and in different sectors would have little meaning and result in few useful conclusions unless focussed on some particular feature they had in common. The extent to which a particular business community is likely to respond. This will be more difficult where there is conflict, a history of failed initiatives or where businesses are simply too busy to spare the time (also see Resource 1.1).How many Whether the business community to be surveyed is big enough for the outcome to have a significant impact on the local economy. If the number of businesses being considered is not so large that it difficult to survey a reasonably representative sample. This will be determined by the number of volunteers available and the degree of precision required (see Resource 2.4 Sample size). It will rarely be fewer than 30 or more than 85 in any one business community.What degree of precision is required? No more than strictly necessary is the shortanswer, bit it does depend on the questions being asked and the use to which theanswers will be out. In general BR&E surveys focus on the broader trends and thequestions are rarely framed so that a variation of a few percent makes muchdifference. It is quite good enough to know, for example, that “most” businesses in aparticular area think that parking is a problem - it is far more important is to be able toidentify clearly where that area actually is!If a particular issue does require a precise answer for some reason, it may be betterto obtain it at a later stage through a separate, more statistically accurate exercise. How many volunteers? Volunteers work in pairs. Each volunteer is expected to interview 2-4 businesses and certainly no more than six. If, on average, each pair of volunteers is to visit four businesses, then the rule of thumb is simply one volunteer for every two businesses to be surveyed. 37
  • 42. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 2: PlanningForm of surveySurveys can be conducted in many different ways, e.g., phone, website, focusgroups or mini-workshops, email or postal survey and so on. However a keyobjective of a locally driven BR&E programme is to engages the community in aconversation with its business people. A very direct way of doing this is through faceto face interviews and it is one of the reasons why volunteer interviewers are soimportant. For consistency of information and because not many volunteers will havehad experience of interviewing the most practical option is to use a structuredquestionnaire.Survey designDesigning a questionnaire is not a simple matter. Research organisations andacademic institutions will certainly have the capacity to assist but would normally relyon the task team to brief them on what it needs to know. Unless the task team hasprior experience it may not be in a position to do this.Another option is to make use of one of several BR&E survey packages that areavailable internationally. These would still need to be tailored to local requirementsand are likely to be expensive in rand terms. On the other hand if a provincial orregional BR&E programme manager purchased a web based package the costscould be shared by a number of different users.Often the most practical option will be to adopt – and perhaps adapt – aquestionnaire that has been proved in a similar environment. This is not quite aslimiting as it sounds since many questionnaires follow a broadly similar pattern andthe differences tend to be in the detail. (See Resource 2.11 Survey Questions.)Changes or additions should always be tested because it is not easy to predict howinterviewees will interpret a question or if it will bring out the required information. The need to know A disadvantage of using existing questionnaires is that it can perpetuate bad practice. An analysis1 of over 50 BR&E questionnaires in the USA revealed that more than half the questions did no more than confirm information that was already known or could have been learned without troubling the owner or manager. The survey should focus on obtaining information such as the following. Opinions about the local business environment. Immediate issues and concerns – “red flags”. Opportunities for growth. Obstacles to expansion. Future plans. Particular needs, e.g., information, skills, services. Opinions about existing local services and support organisations.1 Canada and Rendleman, 1996 quoted by Henry M Cothran, BRE Programs: Developing a Business Retention & Expansion Survey, 2006, 38
  • 43. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 2: PlanningProgramme steps, budgets & timelinesThe broad timelines and budget established by the host partners and at the firstmeeting of the task team should be developed into a more detailed action plan inwhich responsibility, timing and resources are agreed and assigned. Sub teamsdealing with publicity or events for example will prepare simple action plans andbudgets of their own. All it requires is list of action steps setting out the following. What will be done, i.e., the action step. Who is responsible for doing it (and where appropriate who else is involved)? When will it be done (start and finish)? What resources are required to do it?Resource 2.1 provides a programme master checklist which may adapted for thispurpose and for tracking progress.VisibilityMaking the plan and current progress highly visible helps to maintain momentum,focus and enthusiasm. It is particularly important when working with volunteers likethe task team as they spend a relatively small part of their time thinking about BR&E.It could be done, for example by a prominent display in the co-ordinator’s office aswell as the room used for task team meetings. This could be supplemented byregular updates emailed to members of the team. BR&E Plan and Progress at 22 April January February March April May June July August September October November December January 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 1Stage 1: Setting upBrief potential partners DonePartners commit to BREV DoneSecure local funds DoneIdentify Task Team DoneSelect and train co-ordinators DoneSecure extenal funds (if reqd) DoneAppoint facilitators DoneStage 2: PlanningConvene and brief task teamBaseline briefing - -> ProgrammeAgree scope of programme launch 15 MayIdentify & contact businesses to be visited - ->Recruit volunteers Bus Vol - ->Publicity, promotion & launch Target 60 30Step 3: Visitation To date 36 11 Survey deadline 6Train & assign volunteers JuneConduct BR&E Visitation interviewsPrepare database, capture results - ->Respond to red flagsStep 4: AnalysisAnalyse data Feedback event 24Respond to requests for information - - -> JuneTask team results workshopPrepare report Report back 11 DecPrepare and conduct feedback eventStep 5: ImplementationConvene action teamsImplement action Continues - - - ->Monitor progressTask team reviewReport back eventA bar chart such as the above is a useful means of showing the broad picture. Itshould be supplemented by key information on progress against the most importanttargets during the planning, visitation and implementation stages. 39
  • 44. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 2: PlanningPublicity and promotionA publicity campaign to inform the local community about the BR&E programmeshould begin as early as possible. It could be initiated as soon as the local hostpartnership is formed and taken over later by 2-3 members of the task team once thescope of the survey has been determined.It should be designed to achieve the following objectives: - encourage businesses in the survey target area to participate; - recruit volunteers to conduct the survey interview; - keep the general public interested and informed.Local mediaAn effective campaign can be mounted at little cost. Local newspapers and radiostations are generally hungry for stories and willing to make use of well written pressreleases (see Resource 2.5), offer interviews and even cover the launch or feedbackevents. Other ways of communicating include background briefing sessions,invitations to meetings and events, phone in programmes and letters to the editor.Use may also be made of electronic and printed newsletters and newsflashesproduced by business associations, business support organisations and localgovernment, particularly those of the BR&E host partnership. .Information updates should be released at key points in the programme in order tostimulate interest in the findings, proposals and subsequent plan of action. Howeverit is important to make sure it really is news and not a just a rehash of earlierreleases! (See Resource 2.7 Publicity milestones).A word of warning, however. A locally driven BR&E programme is a still a little out ofthe ordinary in South Africa and may not be fully understood by the journalist writingor editing the story. Any consequent misinformation is difficult to correct and mayhave an adverse effect on the programme. Interviews and background briefingsshould always be backed by clear, well written press releases or information sheets.Some journalists will make it possible to check articles for accuracy beforepublication, others will not - especially with a deadline looming.BrochureA brochure providing basic information about the programme in plain straightforwardlanguage may be used to introduce the programme to the general public. It could besupplemented by information leaflets designed specifically to recruit volunteers or toencourage businesses to participate.AcknowledgementsIt pays to acknowledge contributions and achievements right from the beginning –better still with photos. Good quality pictures with captions of the task team, launchparticipants, volunteers in training or in action, feedback event and action teams willprobably be welcomed by local media and will maintain interested and enthusiasm.This becomes even more important once the excitement of the visitation stage andfeedback event starts to fade and when it is essential to publicise achievements andmilestones reached in the implementation plan. 40
  • 45. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 2: PlanningIdentifying and recruiting businessesCompiling a list of businesses in a locality or sector is not as simple as it sounds.Local directories and the databases of business associations often depend for theirinformation on businesses subscribing, becoming members or registering in someway. Obviously those that do not do so will not be listed. Lists of property owners ortelephone subscribers may be more comprehensive but the name recorded may bequite different from that of the business – and they may not be up to date.The practical solution to combine two or three different types of lists and then pay avisit to the area to check for obvious changes and omissions. A representative sample? The statistical accuracy described in Resource 2.4 depends on obtaining a genuinely random sample. This might be done, for example, by making a numbered list of all the businesses in the target group and using the random function in a spreadsheet to select the ones to visit. It sounds simple, but – as described above – the first problem is to get a complete list! The next problem is how to deal with the wide variety of differences that exist within a business “community”. It is not up to a random number generator to decide whether to interview the 2-3 major employers in a small town. Their opinions and concerns are vital! On the other hand their perspectives may be very different to those of smaller businesses around them. One way around this problem is to stratify the sample into, e.g., large, medium/small and micro enterprises and then taking a random sample from each. If there are a small number of businesses in one particular group it will, of course, be necessary to interview them all. A stratified survey makes it easier to identify important differences within the business community as well as what they have in common.Getting them to take partOnce the target businesses have been identified it pays to take time to consider thebest means of inviting each of them to take part in the survey. This requires morethan just sending an invitation – most businesses receive a steady stream ofinvitations, promotions, offers and announcements.It usually means some combination of a personal approach or phone call backed upby a written invitation. The important point is to decide who is the best person tomake that initial approach or phone call in each case, i.e., someone the businessperson will listen to and respects and who understands and supports the BR&Eprogramme. Task team members will clearly have a major part to play in this regard.Once a business has agreed to participate they should be sent a confirmation letterand questionnaire and their details recorded in the survey database. This should befollowed by an invitation to the launch. Afterwards it is important to maintain theirinterest by keeping them informed of progress from time to time. 41
  • 46. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 2: PlanningRecruiting volunteersSome task teams are intimidated by the idea of recruiting volunteers and feel that theculture of volunteering is a thing of the past. Yet the track record of BR&E in SouthAfrica to date suggests quite the opposite. But for the same reason that it takesmore than a written invitation to get businesses to take part in the survey, it takesmore than advertisements, posters and hand-outs to recruit volunteers. These, in thelanguage of salespeople, “tell not sell” . It is thus essential to approach peopledirectly either individually or by speaking at meetings of associations, businessorganisations, clubs and educational institutions.SourcesVolunteers should be recruited from a wide variety of sources, some of which couldinclude the following: - the task team, - staff members of the host organisations, - businesses participating in the survey, - members of local business organisations and associations, - local community organisations such as service clubs or retirement associations, - university or FET students especially those engaged in business studies, - business support and development organisations, - NGOs involved in economic development. Volunteer profile A volunteer interviewer should have the following qualities. Familiarity with the area of the survey. Competence in the language in which the survey is being conducted. Good listening skills. The ability to record information clearly, accurately and concisely. A reputation for reliability and punctuality. Enthusiasm for the programme. Above all, the ability to maintain confidentiality.MotivationIn speaking to groups or individuals it is useful to remember that people volunteer forto take part in a BR&E survey for different reasons, e.g., - they are keen to play a part in their community and to make a difference, - it is in their interest to see improvements in the local business environment, - working with others and being part of something is good fun, - people enjoy feeling useful and appreciated, - interested to learn more about local business.Focussing on just one of these – doing something for the community, for example –will appeal to some people, but not to others. That means giving potential volunteersa variety of good reasons to come forward. In doing so it is also important to addresssome of the reasons why people do not volunteer. These could include: 42
  • 47. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 2: Planning - lack of confidence about their ability (training will be provided); - shyness (they will work in pairs); - feel it will take up too much time (typically four, maximum six interviews); - have commitments at certain times of day (they can specify their availability and will make their own appointments); - need paid work (no promises, but the BR&E programme should help to create opportunities), etc.Follow upOnce someone has volunteer to be an interviewer they should be given a volunteerinformation sheet (Resource 2.8) and asked to record their contact details andavailability on a volunteer details form (Resource 2.9).Quick follow up is important. Acknowledgement and thanks should be sent by emailor SMS as soon as the local co-ordinator receives the volunteer details form. Thisshould be followed by an invitation to the launch. Final details of the volunteertraining courses may sent as a separate communication in the same way. VIP Treatment It should not be forgotten that volunteer interviewers and the business people being interviewed are giving up their time to make the BR&E Visitation programme a success. Without them there would be no programme. The deserve the best possible treatment! Confirmation letters or acknowledgements should be sent out promptly and without fail. They must be invited to both the launch and the feedback event. They should get the information they need in good time, e.g., survey form and names of interviewers in the case of the business, training details, assignments and materials for volunteers. Their contribution and names should be recorded in the feedback report. Each should receive a copy. Volunteer interviewers should be presented with a certificate of recognition. Further recognition can be given in the form of appropriate media publicity and on local host websites. Payment of agreed volunteer out of pocket expenses should be made quickly. It means getting the details right, honouring all commitments to the letter, returning their calls promptly, being on time for appointments and at all times treating them as Vitally Important to the Programme. 43
  • 48. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 2: PlanningLaunching the programmeThe event to launch the programme signals that the planning and preparation hascompleted and the more visible visitation stage is about to begin. It is important for anumber of reasons. It provides a platform for local leaders to endorse the programme and give it credibility. It signals to participants and the wider community that the business survey is about to begin. It is another opportunity to explain the purpose of the programme and how it works to both participants and a wider audience. Key dates and arrangements may be announced. Questions or concerns may be answered. Seeing who else is involved encourages and reassures those who have agreed to take part in the survey or as volunteers. It is a last opportunity to recruit additional business participants or volunteers if there is a need to do so. It should raise energy and enthusiasm and motivate people to action.For all that, it does not have to be an elaborate or lengthy event (see Resource 2.10Launch agenda). In fact the reverse is much more likely to appeal to the businesspeople who will make up a large part of the guest list. This should focus on localpeople who are: - owners or managers of the businesses targeted to take part in the survey, - volunteers, potential volunteers or people from organisations from which they might be recruited, - in a position to help with the implementation of the action plan to be developed as a result of the survey, - representatives of the media who might publicise the programme.Again it is rarely enough just to send everyone an invitation. Following up to check ifinvitations have been received gives the local co-ordinator an opportunity toencourage people to attend. Task Team members can do much to ensure a goodturn out by telling people about the event and inviting them personally. Email or SMSreminders can be sent a day or so beforehand.The promotion and publicity team should prepare an information pack for anymembers of the media who attend, If necessary this can be supplementedafterwards with a media release and pictures of the event. 44
  • 49. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 2.1RESOURCE 2.1 Programme master checklist Activity Who When ResourcesPlanning & Preparationo Agree scope of programmeo Draft media release to announce BREVo Review and adapt survey questionnaireo List target businesses, select sampleo Draft invitation to participateo Set up databaseo Book launch and feedback venues, cateringo Arrange results workshop and meeting venueso Arrange venues for volunteer trainingo Issue invitations to launch (including media)o Recruit businesses to participateo Enter participants into databaseo Email/fax/post confirmation and questionnaireo Issue media release to promote participationo Identify potential volunteer interviewerso Recruit potential volunteerso Email/SMS acknowledgement to volunteerso Communicate volunteer training detailso Prepare coordination list for visitationo Prepare "Business Grow" Resource Kito Prepare follow up information resourceso Arrange launch programme and speakerso Prepare media kit for launcho Hold programme launchVisitationo Finalise business and volunteer team listso Assign 2-6 businesses to volunteer teamso Prepare volunteer materials and agreementso Arrange survey drop-off points if neededo Run volunteer training on two alternative dateso Finalise teams and assignments 45
  • 50. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 2.1o Prepare, issue media release on training and visitation stageo Email, fax, deliver details and survey form to participant businesseso Undertake business visitso Check and follow up initial survey returnso Enter surveys into database as they returno Immediately follow up “red flags”o Task team review of completed surveyso Monitor visitation progress, address problemso Close out survey at cut-ff date.o Send letters of thanks to participating firmso Prepare, issue media releaseAnalysis & feedbacko Issue, follow up invitations to feedback evento Follow up “yellow flag” information requestso Check, analyse data; prepare initial reporto Conduct task team results workshopo Agree feedback event programme and roleso Prepare report on findings and proposalso Prepare feedback event venue, materials, etco Present findings, proposals at feedback event; set priorities, identify action team memberso Draft, issue media release on findings and agreed action plansImplementationo Convene initial meetings of action teamso Merge task team and action team repso Introduce resource organisations as neededo Monitor implementation progresso Issue media release(s) on progresso Conduct six month reviewo Book venue, arrange report back evento Hold six month report back evento Issue media release on report back event 46
  • 51. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 2.2RESOURCE 2.2 Task team Stage 2 meeting plansMEETING 1: OrientationPurpose: Introduce all the local role-players, brief them on how a BREV programme is conducted and what it is hoped it will achieve.Participants: Task team, representatives of host partnership (as convenors), local co-ordinator, BR&E facilitator, BR&E Project Manager (if appropriate).Venue: Seating in U-shape or horseshoe facing screen with data projector. BR&E facilitator to provide or arrange laptop and extension speakers. Serve tea/coffee at break or with light breakfast on arrivalTiming: Typically 3 hours including a 15 min break. Could be run as a breakfast session with time for a light breakfast beforehand.Materials: One copy South African BR&E Manual per task team member. One copy of sample survey per person. Orientation presentation and DVD (BR&E facilitator).Preparation: Draft proposals for key dates (Convenor).Agenda: 1. Welcome, thanks to task team members for coming Convenor 15 min forward. Introduction of team members, host partners, co-ordinator and BR&E facilitator. 2. Why the BREV programme has been initiated and Host 10 min what it might achieve. partnership 3. BREV programme steps and possible timing for BR&E 15 min each. facilitator 4. Role-players and their responsibilities with particular BR&E 20 min reference to the task team. facilitator 5. Break. 15 min 6. Example of survey, interview guidelines, practice BR&E 35 min interviews. facilitator 7. Interview DVD. 20 min 8. Questions and concerns. BR&E 20 min facilitator 9. Election of task team chairperson BR&E 10 min facilitator 10. Preliminary schedule of key dates. Chairperson 15 min 11. Arrangements for Meeting 2 (Baseline briefing) Chairperson 5 min 47
  • 52. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 2.2MEETING 2: Baseline briefingPurpose: Provide the task team with an overview of what is already known about the local economy as well as plans for the short to medium term.Participants: Task team, local co-ordinator, presenters, BR&E facilitator (optional).Venue: Seating in U-shape or horseshoe facing screen with data projector. Local co-ordinator to provide or arrange laptop. Serve tea/coffee at break or with light breakfast on arrivalTiming: Typically 1-2 hours. Could be run as a breakfast session.Materials: Presentations with appropriate handouts. One full set of the documents for reference purposes.Preparation: Chairperson assisted by co-ordinator to identify and brief presenters in consultation with host partners.Agenda:1. Welcome. Introduction of presenters. Summary of Chairperson 5 min meeting purpose and agenda.2. Presentations. Presenters 10-15 min each3. Discussion of key issues, information gaps. Chairperson 20 min4. Preparation for meeting 3: Chairperson 20 min - confirm date, time place, - review agenda, - remind team to consider individual roles. 48
  • 53. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 2.2MEETING 3: Scope and work-planPurpose: Agree scope and focus of the survey including number of firms to be visited and the number of volunteers required. Agree work-plan, responsibilities and timelines.Participants: Task team, local co-ordinator, BR&E facilitator .Venue: Seating around boardroom or circular table. Provision for tea/coffee.Timing: Typically 1½-2 hours early morning or late afternoon.Materials: Wall map of area. Local directories. Reference documents from meeting 2. Sample size graphs. Felt pens, 21 x 10 cm cards, tape.Preparation: All to consider what individual responsibilities they will take on.Agenda:1. Welcome. Summary of meeting purpose and Chairperson 5 min agenda.2. Review of criteria for selecting survey area. BR&E 15 min facilitator3. Discuss and assess proposals, agree survey area BR&E 30-45 min and sample size. facilitator4. Agree key action steps and dates. Agree BR&E 20-30 min responsibilities. facilitator5. Confirm individual (sub-team) roles: Chairperson 10-20 min - chairperson (if necessary), - publicity and promotion, - red flags, - information (yellow flags), - events.6. Set meeting dates: Chairperson 10-20 min - survey design group, - publicity and promotion sub-team, - information sub-team, - events sub-team, - next task team meeting, 49
  • 54. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 2.2MEETING 4a Survey designPurpose: To agree (and if necessary test) the survey questionnaire format.Participants: Assigned task team members, local co-ordinator (if available), BR&E facilitator (optional), advisor on survey design (if necessary).Venue: Office or small meeting room, access to computer and internet.Timing: Within 2 days of meeting 3. Duration depends on how much survey departs from proven standards, anything from 2 hours to 2-3 sessions.Materials: Sample surveys. Record of key issues and gaps from Meeting 3.Preparation: Nil.Agenda:1. Review requirements.2. Select closest standard survey and adapt.3. Obtain advice and test if necessaryMEETING 4b RecruitmentPurpose: To identify and recruit businesses to participate in the survey. To identify and recruit volunteers.Participants: All team members not involved in Meeting 4a, local co-ordinator, BR&E facilitator (optional).Venue: Breakaway or meeting room, may require visit to survey area.Timing: One or more sessions of 1-2 hours soon after Meeting 3.Materials: Map, directories, sample letters, info sheets, forms .Preparation: Obtain municipal and/or business organisation listings for area.Agenda:1. Review survey sample parameters (number, size, location, type of business).2. Identify exemplars and potential participants (visit area?).3. Agree who/how to approach each business, timelines, report back system.4. Identify potential volunteers, sources of volunteers.5. Agree who/how to approach, report back system.6. Publicity implications (link to sub-team).7. Agree progress meeting dates. 50
  • 55. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 2.2MEETING 5 ProgressPurpose: To ensure all Stage 2 Preparation activities are on track. To make final arrangements for the launch.Participants: Task team, local co-ordinator.Venue: Seating around boardroom or circular table. Provision for tea/coffee.Timing: Typically 3-4 weeks through Stage 2, duration 1½-2 hours. Could be held as a breakfast session.Materials: Draft survey and publicity materials. Participant and volunteer lists.Preparation: All to identify further potential participants and volunteers.Agenda:1. Review and agree draft survey.2. Progress report on recruitment.3. Promotion and publicity progress report.4. Information sub-team progress report.5. Events sub-team progress report. Assign team roles for launch.6. Next meeting. 51
  • 56. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 2.3RESOURCE 2.3 Sub-team meeting plansPROMOTION AND PUBLICITY SUB-TEAM MEETINGSPurpose: To plan and implement a promotion and publicity campaign including information leaflets, media releases, briefings and interviews.Participants: Sub-team and any co-opted members, local co-ordinator.Venue: Office or small meeting room with access to computer.Timing: First 1-2 hour meeting within 2-3 days of meeting 3; followed by brief progress meetings at intervals throughout the programme.Materials: Schedule of key dates. Guidelines, sample media release. (See Resources 2.5-2.7).Preparation: Nil.Agenda: Meeting agendas will be set around the following activities. Review guidelines and examples Agree key steps, responsibilities and timelines. Agree contents first media release. Draft volunteer and programme information leaflets. Agree sub-team meeting schedule. 52
  • 57. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 2.3RED FLAG SUB-TEAM MEETINGSPurpose: To prepare to respond to urgent situations revealed by the survey. To take urgent action as and when the need arises. To monitor and follow up referrals to support organisations.Participants: Red flag sub-team, any co-opted members, local co-ordinator.Venue: Office or small meeting room, access to computer and internet.Timing: At least 2 sessions of 1-1½ hours for preparation and to review survey responses. Remaining programme determined by need.Materials: Information sheets, contacts, websites for local, provincial and national resource organisations.Preparation: Review networks, update contact lists .Agenda: Meeting agendas will be set around the following activities. Identify possible scenarios and sources of assistance. Obtain updated information on resource organisations and contacts. Monitor incoming surveys through co-ordinator. Provide first response to red flag issues. Clarify requirements and secure assistance/action from appropriate organisations. Monitor progress. Close out when issue resolved or satisfactory hand-over achieved. 53
  • 58. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 2.3INFORMATION SUB-TEAM MEETINGSPurpose: To prepare business information kits for the survey. To assemble additional information resources to respond to requests.Participants: Information sub-team, any co-opted members, local co-ordinator.Venue: Office or small meeting room, access to computer and internet.Timing: Approx 2-3 sessions of 1-1½ hours.Materials: Any existing local business information resources.Preparation: Get business information resources from municipality, chamber, etc.Agenda: Meeting agendas will be set around the following activities. Agree information required for kits and identify sources. Allocate responsibility and timelines for obtaining material. Agree additional information to be offered in survey. Identify potential sources and allocate responsibilities. Agree sub-team meeting schedule. 54
  • 59. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 2.3EVENTS SUB-TEAM MEETINGSPurpose: To prepare and manage the launch and feedback events.Participants: Events sub-team, any co-opted members, local co-ordinator.Venue: Office or small meeting room, access to computer and internet.Timing: Approx 3-4 sessions of 1-1½ hours spread over Stages 2, 3 and 4.Materials: Nil.Preparation: Monitor response to recruitment, survey, etc. Identify potential venues.Agenda: Meeting agendas will be set around the following activities. Agree parameters for both events, possible numbers, time of day, refreshments, venue requirements, budget. Select appropriate venue (obtain and review quotations where necessary). Prepare invitations, monitor responses (issued and managed by co-ordinator). Prepare programme and chairperson’s notes, secure and brief speakers. Identify and source equipment and materials. Agree sub-team meeting schedule. 55
  • 60. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 2.3RESOURCE 2.4 Sample sizeThe number of businesses to be interviewed (sample size) depends on - the total number in the business community being surveyed - how precise the survey results are required to be.Samples size calculators are available as a free service from on websites such as This was used to construct the followinggraph which illustrates, for example, that to interview 65 businesses randomlyselected out of a community of 200 gives the same degree of accuracy asinterviewing, say, 49 businesses out of another community of 100. On the otherhand to get similar results in a population of 400 businesses it would only benecessary to interview 78 firms. Sample size for 95% Conf 10% CI 100 90 80 70 Sample size 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 200 400 600 800 1000 Total populationWhat is meant by accuracy? For a given population (total size of the businesscommunity being surveyed) and random sample size, the calculator will give theconfidence interval, i.e., the plus-or-minus range showing the most the results couldvary compared to the results of surveying all the businesses.The extent to which one can be sure of that is given by another figure, theconfidence level. Thus a confidence level of 95% means that one can be sure thatat least 95% of the time the answers will fall in the given range.For practical purposes samples based on a confidence level of 95% and a range ofplus-or minus 10% are quite good enough for a BR&E surveys and approximatesamples sizes for various populations can be read directly from the graph. 56
  • 61. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 2.3RESOURCE 2.5 Media releasesA well written media release is probably the most efficient way of making informationavailable to the media. By summarising the key facts it not only saves time all roundbut also reduces the risk of mistakes and misunderstanding.Some points to remember in preparing a media release. Begin by making a checklist of the key facts to be conveyed – the what, when, who, where of the message – in order of importance. Check the list for accuracy of details, e.g., dates, times, spelling of names, etc. Use a letterhead that acknowledges the local host partnership, programme managers and any external sponsors, but keep it simple and uncluttered. Date and number the release and provide a contact name and phone number for further information. (The contact person must be available to take calls!) Ensure headline and opening paragraph catch the reader’s attention. Keep the first paragraph short, say, 2-3 lines. Present the most import information first and continue in descending order of importance. Use simple language, short sentences and paragraphs. Write in the third person using “he”, “it” and “they” instead of “I”, “you” and “we”. Keep it positive but avoid “hype” and raising unrealistic expectations. Use direct quotations where possible, e.g., “The Mayor said…”. Keep abbreviations to a minimum and always write them in full the first time they are used. Use double spacing, avoid small fonts. Try not to exceed a page in length. Attach high resolution pictures and graphics such as logos and maps. 57
  • 62. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 2.3RESOURCE 2.6 Example of media release(On letterhead)MEDIA RELEASEFor immediate release Contact: (Name)(Date) Phone: (Cellphone number)Partnership to help local business grow(Host organisation 1) and (host organisation 2) today announced a joint programmeto identify opportunities for local businesses and address obstacles to expansion andgrowth.The (place name) Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E) visitation programme willbe driven by a local task team of local government, business and community leaderswith the full support of (host organisation 1) and (host organisation 2). “Job creationis one of our highest priorities” said (senior representative, host organisation 1)adding that “International research shows that up to 80% of new jobs are created bythe growth of existing businesses.”BR&E programmes have been in existence in some parts of the world for many yearsand in South Africa since 2003. The basics are simple and involve a survey of theopinions of local business people by trained volunteers. The survey is confidentialand no financial or other sensitive information is required. Critical issues andcommon concerns will be identified by a local task team who will draft proposals toaddress them. These will be presented at a stakeholder meeting for approval and tomobilise local support and action.“We are completely behind this exciting initiative. It is a unique opportunity for theideas, concerns and opinions of local business to he heard”, said (seniorrepresentative, host organisation 2).The programme will initially focus on businesses in (area of focus) It will be formallylaunched on (date). For further information contact Local Co-ordinator (name) on(office phone or cell number). 58
  • 63. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 2.3RESOURCE 2.7 Publicity milestones Milestone Emphasis MeansWhen decision to What the BR&E programme is Media release,proceed is taken at about why it is important, what it interviews, backgroundthe end of stage 1. could achieve. briefing, brochure.When the task team Details of survey target and why Media release, pictureshave agreed the selected. Call for businesses to of task team, maps.scope of the survey. participate.Three weeks before Details of launch, call for Media release,launch. volunteers, encourage brochures, information businesses to participate. sheets.Launch. What programme is about, timing Media invitations, and details of visitation stage, interviews, pictures. encourage participants and volunteers.Volunteer training. Acknowledge volunteers Pictures of training, etc.Survey complete. Record completion, thank Brief media release, participants and volunteers, next pictures with captions. steps and details of feedback event.Before feedback Details of event. Phone call, invitation.event. Picture of task team at work.Feedback event. Summary of key findings and plan Media release, pictures of action. Acknowledge all of event. contributors.After first action team Details of action plans and team Contact lists, interviews,meetings. contact people. pictures.Progress report as Details of target and progress, Pictures, backgroundmilestones achieved achievement or milestone briefing. Media releaseor three months from reached. if key achievement orfeedback. milestone.Review. Details of report back event. Invitation, phone call.Report back. Progress report, next steps, Media release, pictures. acknowledgement. 59
  • 64. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 2.3RESOURCE 2.8 Volunteer information sheet(The volunteer information sheet should explain who is responsible for introducingthe BR&E visitation programme and display the names and logos of the local hosts.It could also include something along the following lines).Thank you for volunteering to be an interviewer in the (name) Business Retention &Expansion visitation programme. The survey aims to discover what opportunitiesexist for the growth of local business and what obstacles prevent them from growing.This information will be used to develop an action plan which will be driven by localpeople to address the key issues and create new jobs and opportunities in ourcommunity.What does being a volunteer involve?All volunteers should attend a short training session on either (date) or (date) to bebriefed about the programme and learn how to conduct an interview using the BR&Equestionnaire. You will not be able to take part in the programme without attendingone or other session in full. At the end of the training you will be asked to sign anundertaking to keep the information obtained during the survey strictly confidential.You will be paired with another volunteer and assigned two to four (rarely up to six)businesses for you both to interview together during the two weeks from (date) to(date). An interview typically takes 1-1½ hours and you should allow another 20-30minutes to review the interview with your team-mate immediately afterwards.Volunteers are expected to represent the programme in a thoroughly professionalmanner particularly in regard to keeping appointments, being on time andmaintaining confidentiality.BenefitsThose taking part in the BR&E visitation programme as volunteers invariably enjoythe experience and will also: - have the satisfaction of making a valuable and very practical contribution to the development of our community; - be invited to the launch of the programme; - have an opportunity to develop their understanding of local business issues; - meet new people and expand their network; - be able to learn and practice interviewing skills; - be invited to attend the feedback event where they will receive a certificate of recognition and a copy of the survey results and recommendations.Your detailsIf you have not already done so please use the Volunteer Details form to provide uswith your contact details and the times you would be able to conduct interviews. Theform should be sent to (local co-ordinator name and contact details) who will sendyou an acknowledgement as soon as it is received. Thank you for offering to play a part in the BR&E Visitation programme. We look forward to working with you! 60
  • 65. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 2.3RESOURCE 2.9 Volunteer detailsThank you for volunteering to be an interviewer in the (name) Business Retention &Expansion visitation programme. Please use this form to record your contact detailsand preferences and send it to (local co-ordinator name and contact details) who willsend you an acknowledgement as soon as it is received.YOUR CONTACT DETAILSNameCompany/OrganisationAddressPhoneCellphoneFaxEmailYOUR PREFERENCES (please circle when you are most likely to be availableTime of dayMorning Afternoon EveningDays of weekMon Tues Wed Thurs Fri SatAre dates during the period (date) and (date) that could be a problem?____________________ ____________________ ____________________Any other information we should take into account in assigning your interviews?YOUR SIGNATURE___________________________________ Date ____________________ 61
  • 66. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 2.3RESOURCE 2.10 Launch agendaThe launch should be held at a time that best suits the guests, not the organisers!Depending on local custom it may be a breakfast or early morning event, in others itwill be in the late afternoon or early evening. It would not normally intrude too muchon the working day. It should not be too long (1-1½ hours is quite enough) and somesort of refreshments should be served to encourage people to socialise.To avoid sending the wrong signals it should start and end on time and be conductedin a businesslike fashion.Agenda items might look like the following. Brief opening by a member of the task team Welcome by a credible local leader, e.g., mayor. Brief background to the programme, what it is hoped it will achieve presented by a representative of one of the host organisations, e.g., president of the local business organisation. Speaker with first hand experience of a BR&E programme to share experience and generate enthusiasm. Practical details of the visitation stage and the feedback event from a member of the task team. Opportunity for questions. If necessary call for additional participants or volunteers and distribute cards or forms. Invitation to stay for refreshments. Close.The temptation to pack the speaker list with dignitaries and local worthies should beavoided. It makes timekeeping difficult and the is a risk that one or more will get itwrong and create avoidable confusion. This may well be compounded if mediarepresentatives just listen to whoever they think is the most important speaker beforerushing off to another event.Like everyone else, the person with first hand experience should be brief and to thepoint. He or she should tell some stories and perhaps show some pictures of whatthe programme was like and what it achieved and to illustrate it was fun. 62
  • 67. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 2.3RESOURCE 2.11 Survey questionsWhether the questionnaire is based on existing material or designed from scratch thetask team will still have to decide what it wants to know. In most cases this is likely toinclude questions on the following.1. The business: 1.1. General information: Age, legal form, ownership (local, branch, etc), 1.2. Main products/services. 1.3. Competition: Competitors competitive advantages, change in market share. 1.4. Customers: Where they are, growing/declining market, outlook. 1.5. Suppliers: Local/external, what bought externally, why; local opportunities. 1.6. New entrants/substitutes: Potential for new competitive/alternative products.2. Employment: 2.1. Number of employees in different categories 2.2. Plans to increase/decrease numbers 2.3. Occupations and skills needed 2.4. Recruitment issues3. Future plans: 3.1. Plans for expansion, new or changed products/services. Implications. 3.2. Plans to close, relocate or downsize. Could this be prevented?4. Constraints to growth:5. Local business environment: 5.1. Advantages, disadvantages. 5.2. Infrastructure, services, local facilities. 5.3. Support institutions: Municipality, other government, business organisations, other institutions. 5.4. Local business: Availability cost and quality of local products/services; opportunities for new business. 5.5. Barriers to local growth, ideas for improvements.6. Business information needs7. Local questions on topical issues.8. Willingness to play a part in future action.Questionnaires used by professionals from economic development agencies mayfocus more on the business and less on the environment, particularly where theirBR&E philosophy is to improve competitiveness company by company. In contrast aBR&E survey driven by local stakeholders is more likely to be interested in opinionsabout the local business environment, constraints to growth and plans for the future.NB Avoid questions that might require disclosure or turnover or profit. Suchinformation is of little value when devising action plans and will reduce confidenceand participation dramatically. Likewise exclude “nice to know” questions and anythat are unlikely to result in action.Examples of survey questionnaires may be found on websites such as that of theOntario Government’s REDDI programme,various state programmes in the US and Australia and the members section of 63
  • 68. The South African Business Retention & Expansion Manual STAGE 3: VISITATION At the end of Stage 3 The volunteer interviewers will have been trained and have signed a confidentiality statement. The business interviews will have been completed. The data from the survey questionnaires will have been captured “Red flag” issues will have been identified and followed up with an immediate response. Participants will have been thanked by letter and through the media The power of communication begins with the art of listening and community surveys are a great way to listen. Unknown
  • 69. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 3: VisitationSTAGE 3: VISITATIONThis is the most intense and visible stage of the programme. For this reason it maygive the impression that the primary purpose of a BR&E programme is to gatherinformation whereas the survey is just a means to an end – that of developing andimplementing an action plan to retain and grow local business.The beginning of the visitation stage is signalled by the launch and it ends when allthe interviews have been completed and the survey questionnaires have beenhanded in for processing.Training of volunteersAll volunteers must complete one of the volunteer training sessions – in full – beforebeing assigned businesses to visit. Untrained volunteers should never be allowed totake part in interviews and it should be made clear from the outset that this is a non-negotiable requirement. The purpose of the training is as follows. To enable volunteers to understand the purpose and main steps of the BR&E visitation programme in order to be able to convey this during the business interviews. To explain what is expected of volunteers interviewers and to respond to any queries or concerns they may have. To ensure they understand the meaning and intention of all the survey questions. To obtain from each volunteer a signed undertaking to keep information obtained during the survey strictly confidential.The training is conducted by the BR&E facilitator or an experienced local co-ordinatorand typically takes the form shown in Resource 3.1 Typical volunteer trainingsessions. To make it easier for volunteers to attend, it is recommended that twotraining sessions are held on two separate days and at different times of day, e.g..Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning.It is a good idea to remind volunteers about the training by sending an SMS a coupleof hours beforehand. It is also an opportunity to emphasise that they must be ontime to satisfy the requirement of attending the training in full. Anyone arriving afterthe welcome and introductions should be asked to attend another session –if there or is one – or they will have to drop out of the programme.At the end of the training session it is important to give participants an opportunity toconsider whether they are happy to continue or would prefer to withdraw from theprogramme. Those that wish to continue should each sign an undertaking to keep allinformation obtained during the course of the survey strictly confidential (seeResource 3.2 Sample confidentiality statement).Training sessions offer a chance to express appreciation to everyone who hasvolunteered and provide a useful photo opportunity for the publicity team or localmedia. 65
  • 70. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 3: VisitationVolunteer materialsEach volunteer should receive the following material during the training session. - Volunteer Interviewer Guidelines, - the letter of confirmation sent to participating businesses (Resource 3.3), - two copies of the survey questionnaire, - details of the feedback event or a copy of the invitation, - copies of the local BR&E programme brochure, - two copies of the confidentiality agreement for signing (one for them to keep). An example of the Volunteer Interviewer Guidelines accompanies this manual. It summarises the basic information a volunteer needs to know including: o An overview of the BR&E programme o Frequently asked questions o Key dates and deadlines o Volunteer’s role and responsibilities; o Volunteer’s code of practice o Tips for interviewing o Confidentiality statement o Key contact detailsAssignmentsAs soon as volunteers sign the confidentiality statements at the end of the trainingsession the local co-ordinator should be in a position – as far as possible – to pairthem into teams and assign them to the businesses they will visit. This is a lot easierthan trying to get hold of them later and allows people to make arrangements or dealwith problems there and then.Volunteers are normally paired so that their skills and backgrounds complement oneanother and to reflect the diversity of the community, e.g., government and privatesector, male and female, experienced business person and student. The trainingsessions are an opportunity to identify problems and make last minute changes. Language Pairing volunteers to interview business people in a multilingual community means that language is a potential problem. The guideline is simply this. The person being interviewed must understand the question; whoever completes the survey form must understand the reply.Interview packsTogether with an assignment schedule (Resource 3.4) each two person volunteerteam should receive the following for every business to be interviewed: - a Business Information Kit (see Resource 3.5) for the person being interviewed, - a numbered questionnaire with completed cover sheet (Resource 3.6) attached, - a follow up and Red Flag sheet (Resource 3.7), - a spare copy of the questionnaire, - an envelope in which to seal the questionnaire and follow up sheet after the interview. 66
  • 71. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 3: VisitationConducting interviewsEach team of volunteer interviewers is responsible for contacting the business peoplethey are to interview and scheduling their own appointments during the two weeksurvey period. Appointments should always be made with the owner or manager,i.e., the person with the best overall view of the business. If for some reason thisperson is not available on the day, instead of interviewing someone else it is better toreschedule the appointment.Although the interview itself will usually take about an hour, another 30 minutesshould be allowed for delays, interruptions, being shown around the business andother contingencies. Adding time to review the interview immediately afterwardswould bring the total for planning purposes to about two hours per interview.Both team members must be present at every interview. If one of them is notavailable, the appointment should be re-scheduled. This should only happen for verygood reason and always with an appropriate explanation to the person to beinterviewed. Without it they may lose interest on being interviewed at all. Timekeeping Volunteers should remember that the person being interviewed is taking time from running the business to take part in the programme. Courtesy, professionalism and common sense all demand that the interviewers are on time for their appointments. The training session should make it clear that missing or being late for an interview is an absolute no-no and will soon bring the visitation programme into disrepute. A volunteer who is unwilling to accept this condition should not take part.After introducing themselves volunteer interviewers will conduct an interview in thefollowing way. Explain the purpose of the BR&E visitation programme and the steps involved. Introduce the questionnaire by explaining the confidentiality undertaking and “skip it” rule. They will have a spare copy of the questionnaire in case the person being interviewed has mislaid the one sent with the letter of confirmation. Systematically complete the survey questionnaire with one interviewer asking the questions while the other records the answers. Both the interviewee and the person recording the responses should feel free to stop and ask for clarity about a point they do not understand. Close by thanking the person interviewed, presenting the business information kit and inviting them to the feedback event to receive a copy of the report and comment on the findings.Immediately afterwards, the volunteers should take time to: - check the questionnaire to ensure everything has been recorded and is clear, - complete the follow up and red flag form, - return the questionnaire and follow up form to the local co-ordinator in the envelope provided, 67
  • 72. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 3: Visitation - advise the co-ordinator of any problems or matters requiring urgent attention - update the assignment schedule.Completed questionnaires may be delivered directly to the co-ordinator or placed in adrop box at one or more pre-arranged collection points.Monitoring the progress and performance of volunteers is a primary task of the localco-ordinator who should make regular contact with teams for this propose and also todeal with any difficulties or concerns they may have. It is particularly important to dothis soon after their first interview.Reviewing and capturing dataReturning the completed questionnaires to the local co-ordinator without delay isimportant as it enables him or her to: - detach the cover sheet to preserve confidentiality, - check whether answers recorded on the questionnaire are clear and complete, - identify anything that requires urgent attention, - see if interviewers are having difficulty interpreting any questions, - start capturing responses using a database or spread-sheet.There is always a risk that some of the meaning of a comment or response will belost as it is summarised for entry into the database. For this reason it is important forall members of the task team to play a part in reviewing completed surveyquestionnaires. Ideally this should be divided up in such a way that eachquestionnaire is read by two team members. This is not always possible in practicebut every questionnaire should be read by at least one task team member and, ofcourse, the local co-ordinator.A database or perhaps a spreadsheet (see Stage 4 Analysis and Feedback) willnormally be used to record and collate the survey responses. The local co-ordinatormay be tempted to delegate the task of capturing this information but this has anumber of disadvantages. Capturing the information personally gives the co-ordinator a much better understanding of what was said in the interview that simplyreading the questionnaire. It also makes it easier to spot inconsistencies or errors onthe part of the interviewers. Not only will this be lost if the task is delegated butadditional errors may be introduced if the person who takes it over is less familiarwith or enthusiastic about the visitations programme. Red Flag issuesUrgent situations in a business that require the immediate attention of the task team.Red FlagsA “red flag” issue may be highlighted by the interviewers, the co-ordinator or whenthe questionnaire is reviewed by a member of the task team. As soon as it has beenpicked up the co-ordinator should refer it to the red flag sub-team who willimmediately make an appointment to visit the business concerned in order to: - clarify the issue and ensure they understand it adequately, - discuss what could be done to address the problem, 68
  • 73. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 3: Visitation - obtain permission to refer the matter to a source of assistance, - agree the next steps and when they will be taken.It should be understood that the red flag sub-team is not responsible for addressingall red flag issues directly, on the other hand it is responsible for ensuring all redflag issues are addressed. This means identifying an organisation or personcompetent to do so and bringing them into contact with the business concerned.When they have undertaken to deal with the matter and have started to do so thesub-team should continue to monitor the situation until either the matter is resolvedsatisfactorily or it is incorporated in to the Stage 5 programme of action.The red flag sub-team should prepare themselves for this by working with theinformation sub-team to familiarise themselves with various sources of assistance,learn what different organisations can offer and identify contact people in each case(see Resource 2.3).Cut offEvery attempt should be made to complete all the interviews by the survey deadline.This is not always easy when working with volunteers and business people who mayhave other more pressing matters on their minds. It is therefore tempting to extendthe deadline when the programme is behind schedule. There are times this cannotbe avoided, for example, when the number of completed interviews is well belowtarget or certain key businesses have not been interviewed.The trouble with doing this is that is reduces the time available to analyse the results,draft proposals and prepare the report. It may even jeopardise the timing of thefeedback event. Any changes to that date would be very public, very embarrassingand potentially fatal to the credibility of the whole exercise.It is therefore wise to build a little leeway into the programme to allow for theinevitable last minute scramble but no interviews should be conducted after the finalcut-off date.What happens if an interview still outstanding after the cut off date? This is a no-winsituation. On one hand the business owner or manager has agreed to participateand may well be anxious to have his or her say. If so, they will not be pleased by acancellation. On the other hand interviewing them after the cut-off will almostcertainly mean their opinions will be excluded from the findings. They would be evenless pleased about that! Cancellation with appropriate apologies is the best option.Better still not to get into that situation at all.ThanksA letter of thanks should be sent by email or post to each business that takes part inthe survey. It may also serve as an invitation or reminder of the feedback event. Theletter may be sent as soon as the co-ordinator receives the completed questionnairebut certainly no later than a day or so after the cut off date.In addition participants may be thanked in a media release announcing the end of thesurvey and publicising the feedback event. 69
  • 74. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 3:1RESOURCE 3.1 Typical volunteer training sessionsMorning session08:45 Registration09:00 Welcome, brief background, introductions09:15 Overview of the BR&E Visitation Programme (objectives, benefits, programme steps and role players)09:30 Role of volunteer, code of conduct, confidentiality, interview steps09:45 Survey questionnaire10:15 Tea/coffee10:30 Tips for interviewing10:40 Practice interviews, role play11:00 DVD: Conducting an interview11:30 Confirm participation; sign confidentiality agreements11:50 Next steps - assignments and deadlines, issue materials.12:10 Thanks and closeAfternoon session13:45 Registration14:00 Welcome, brief background, introductions14:15 Overview of the BR&E visitation programme (objectives, benefits, programme steps and role players)14:30 Role of volunteer, code of conduct, confidentiality, interview steps14:45 Survey questionnaire15:15 Tea/coffee15:30 Tips for Interviewing15:40 Practice interviews, role play16:00 DVD: Conducting an interview16:30 Confirm participation; sign confidentiality agreements16:50 Next steps - assignments and deadlines, issue materials.17:10 Thanks and close
  • 75. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 3: VisitationRESOURCE 3.2 Sample confidentiality statementCONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENTI, …………………………………………………………………… (full name), understandthe importance of confidentiality to the Business Retention and Expansion visitationprogramme in (place).I undertake to keep any information obtained in the course of my duties as avolunteer interviewer strictly confidential.I understand that all information obtained from businesses is to be treated asconfidential and is not to be disclosed to others except for the purpose for which itwas collected.…………………………………… ……………………………………..Signature Print name…………………………………… ……………………………………..Witness Date 71
  • 76. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 3:4RESOURCE 3.3 Sample confirmation letterDear (name),Business Retention & Expansion Visitation ProgrammeThank you for agreeing to take part in the (name) Business Retention & Expansion(BR&E) visitation programme. Our trained volunteer interviewers will contact youwithin a few days of the launch of the programme on (date) to arrange an interview ata time to suit you between (date) and (date).The BR&E programme is a locally driven initiative designed to develop and thenimplement a plan of action to help local businesses to develop and grow. The surveyis a means of listening to the opinions, ideas and concerns of local business peoplein order to draft proposals for action.Attached for you information is the survey questionnaire that the volunteerinterviewers will go through with you. Please note that all information will be keptstrictly confidential. Your answers will help to develop a picture of local businessissues, but no individual opinions or business information will be made public and noindividual details will be disclosed to third parties without your permission.You will have an opportunity to hear the results of the survey, comment on the draftproposals and set priorities Survey Results Feedback event at (time, date, place).A brochure describing the BR&E Visitation programme is attached. If you have anyquestions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me on (phone/cell phonenumber) or by email at (email address).Thank you again for your participation,Yours sincerely,(Local Co-ordinator) 72
  • 77. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 3:4RESOURCE 3.4 Assignment scheduleEach team of interviewers should receive a schedule showing details of theirassignment in a form such as the following, e.g. extracted from a spreadsheet. A filecopy, updated to show any changes, may be used as a record of assignments. INTERVIEW REDBUSINESS ADDRESS CONTACT PHONE DATE FLAGS? 73
  • 78. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 3:4RESOURCE 3.5 Business Information KitThe Information sub-team is responsible for putting together the business informationkit that is given to every person interviewed during the survey. It should containeasy-to-use information and contact details about services and programmes thatcould help improve business performance.The local municipality, business organisation or investment promotion agency as wellas the BR&E programme manager for the region should all be able to offer ideas andresources.The kit might include the following: - a community profile, - a local business directory, - key government contacts, - information on business advice and planning services, - sources of financial advice and assistance, - details of trade and investment incentives and support schemes, - sources of technical advice and information, - training and skills development programmes and incentives. A community profile summarises in a few pages the information about a community that would most interest a business person. This includes key statistics, demographics, services and contact details, industry data as well as “quality of life” information about schools, hospitals, shopping, recreation and so on. Relatively few South Africa communities produce community profiles but an increasing number are presenting similar information on a local website or portal. 74
  • 79. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 3:4RESOURCE 3.6 Survey cover sheetBR&E VISITATION SURVEY RESPONDENT IDBUSINESS NAME:PHYSICAL ADDRESS:POSTAL ADDRESS: POST CODETELEPHONEFAXCELLPHONEEMAILPERSON INTERVIEWEDPOSITIONINTERVIEWER (1)INTERVIEWER (1)INTERVIEW DATEConfidentiality: All your answers to this survey will be kept confidential. The volunteerinterviews have signed an undertaking to this effect. The information you provide will becombined with that from other businesses and presented as percentages or averages andyou will not be quoted directly. The task team will respond to your requests for information orspecific assistance but will not give your name to a third party without your permission.“Skip it” Rule: If you do not wish to answer a particular question, please just say so. Noexplanation is required. 75
  • 80. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 3:7RESOURCE 3.7 Follow up and Red Flag sheet. RESPONDENT IDTo be competed immediately after the interview1. Is the business facing any particular difficulty at present? RED FLAG? YES NO2. Did the person interviewed highlight any especially important issues? RED FLAG? YES NO3. Did the person interviewed ask for any follow up from the task team? RED FLAG? YES NO4. Were there any requests for information? INFORMATION? YES NO5. How did the interview go? Would you do anything different next time?Please return completed form and questionnaire to the co-ordinator in the envelope provided 76
  • 81. The South African Business Retention & Expansion Manual STAGE 4: ANALYSIS At the end of Stage 4 The survey results will have been collated and analysed. Requests for information will have received a response. Task team members will have workshopped the results and prepared recommendations for action. Potential resources and partners for the recommendations will have been identified. Findings and proposals will have been presented to stakeholders at a feedback event. Stakeholders will have set priorities and formed action teams to implement them. This report, by its very length, defends itself from the risk of being read. Winston Churchill
  • 82. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 4: AnalysisSTAGE 4: ANALYSISAfter the excitement and visibility of the launch and interviews it is important to keepthe analysis stage as short as possible to avoid participants and potential role-players “going off the boil”. Stage 4 begins as soon as all the interviews have beencompleted and all the questionnaires have been returned. It ends after the feedbackevent when priorities have been agreed and teams established to implement them.Analysing the survey formsThe duration of Stage 4 is largely determined by the method is used to collate andanalyse the survey questionnaires. A tailor made BR&E package will start toproduce reports seconds after of the last questionnaire has been entered. Outputfrom less sophisticated software will need to be manipulated before it can be used.In fact smaller simpler surveys could even be analysed manually – although fewwould consider doing so.Whatever system is used (see Resource 4.1 Software), everything should be in placeand tested and the details of the participating businesses recorded before the firstinterviews. The first questionnaires to be returned should be recorded immediately(this is a much better time to discover and fix problems than a day or two before theresults workshop). If the remaining questionnaires are recorded as they arrive andnot allowed to accumulate the process of analysis can begin soon after the lastinterview has been completed. Percentages and averages Interpreting the results demands at least as much common sense as statistical skill. Consider the following examples: The town’s main employer has a problem with water quality. No other respondents so much as mentioned water. Is it an issue? About 45% of respondents say the business chamber meetings are too early. Another 35% say they are too late. What does the average member think? How many members are actually happy with the starting time? About 15% of respondents complained about chronic traffic light problems. Compared to other issues this is quite a small percentage. Can it be given a low priority? Would it make any difference if they were all in the same area? The point is that percentages and averages convey only part of the story. It is often necessary to look beyond them to discover the real issues.The analysis of a typical BR&E survey is not difficult but an experienced BR&Efacilitator can assist both to process the data and to interpret the results. Anotherpossibility is to enlist the help of a local academic or research institution.In either event what is required at this stage is not a final product but an intermediatedocument for the task team to consider. This will present answers to all thequestions in numerical form as tables or graphs and for each question will alsoinclude a complete list of all the comments made. Businesses would be identifiedonly in separate reports on red flags and requests for assistance where appropriate. 78
  • 83. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 4: AnalysisInformation requestsBR&E surveys very often include a question about whether a business would beinterested in receiving information on a list of possible topics. This may besupplemented by a question offering a choice about the form in which the informationcould be received. The question should be framed by the information sub-team (seeResource 2.3) as it would clearly by unwise to offer something that was not availableor difficult to obtain.Including such a question in the survey creates the opportunity for some “quick wins”.In addition to any benefits the information itself might bring to a business, a promptresponse to requests will also generate useful credibility for the programme at acritical stage. Yellow Flag issuesRequests for information are sometimes called “yellow flags”. They are not criticalbut deserve a prompt response.A report summarising all the requests for information can be produced independentlyof the other results and acted on immediately. Many businesses prefer to receiveinformation in written form or perhaps face-to-face which means it may be possible torespond to some requests soon after the co-ordinator receives the completedquestionnaire. The quicker the reaction the more it does for the image of theprogramme.It may be more practical to provide certain information in meetings, seminars orworkshops. This creates an opportunity to arrange and set a date for the first ofthese in time to be able to announce it at the feedback event.The role of the information sub-team in all this is similar to that of the red flag team.They are responsible for ensuring someone responds to the requests for informationwithout necessarily doing it themselves. There is, of course, nothing to stop themgetting stuck in and playing an active part.Results workshopThe results workshop is arguably the most important meeting of the task team. Ittypically lasts 4-6 hours and is when the preliminary results of the survey arereviewed in detail, the key issues are identified and proposals for action are drafted.A BR&E facilitator or some other “outsider” capable of facilitating the workshop willmake this a great deal easier. Reviewing the results: The results in the form of the interim document described earlier are typically presented by the co-ordinator or whoever processes the data. It may be easier to divide it into half a dozen sections and consider one section at a time. The objective is for the task team to gain a common understanding of the results and this will be obviously be facilitated by having read all the completed questionnaires between them. Any points that need to be clarified should followed up immediately. 79
  • 84. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 4: Analysis Key issues: Once the initial findings have been reviewed the next step is to decide which are the key issues. By this is meant the relatively small number of things that have or could have the greatest impact on local business – an example of the 80/20 rule or Pareto Law. A quick and effective technique for reaching agreement about this is described in Resource 4.2 Pareto. Proposals: Having identified the key issues the task team then has to develop proposals for action to address them. Again, as when determining the scope of the survey, it is essential to agree on the criteria for selecting them in advance. Resource 4.3 PASTA test offers a tool for generating and prioritising proposals. It should be applied rigorously as it is far more likely that there will be too many proposals than too few. Feedback agenda: The final step, once draft proposals have been agreed, is to set the agenda for the feedback event and decide what part each task team member should play. An external facilitator certainly has a role but is should be very clearly that of a facilitator and it is vitally important that the task team leads – and is seen to lead – this event. (See Resource 4.4 for a sample agenda.) In particular it is important for a member of the task team to present and be seen to champion each of the proposals. If no task team member volunteers to do so for a particular proposal, the message is clear. It should be dropped.ReportThe report summarising findings and recommendations that is presented at thefeedback event is sometimes termed the summary report. This is to distinguish itfrom a longer report that might be written for funders or the BR&E programmemanagers. It is normally drafted by the local co-ordinator and/or BR&E facilitator andshould be reviewed by the task team.Everyone involved in the programme should get a copy. Every organisation orindividual that played a part should be acknowledged. In the case of local hosts andimportant sponsors this can be done by displaying logos on the front cover.Everyone else – task team, co-ordinator, facilitator, volunteers and participatingbusinesses – should be listed by name in a prominent place in the report.The report should be short – 15 pages is ample. It should be written in plainstraightforward language with the minimum of jargon and abbreviations. It willtypically cover the following. Acknowledgements as described above. A short introduction giving the background and an overview of the programme. A summary of the findings in about half a dozen sections using a combination of text, tables and graphs. The comments of participant businesses may be given but only in a general way and provided no individual business can be associated with them, e.g., “several businesses said…” The key issues identified by the task team. The selection criteria and reasons for choosing them for the proposals. The proposals for action together with the rationale for selecting them and some key steps for implementation. 80
  • 85. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 4: AnalysisResources and partnersAs soon as proposals for action are drafted, the task team and local hosts with thehelp of the BR&E facilitator and BR&E programme managers should begin to look forresources and potential partners to help with implementation. The more of these thatcan be identified the more likely it is that the proposal can be implemented and themore credible it will seem at the feedback event.The use of local resources and partners avoids the possibility that an outsideorganisation will be seen to take responsibility for the proposal away from localpeople leaving them to play the part of recipients. Clearly, local sources should getfirst preference but to rely on them exclusively would unrealistic and very limiting.Feedback eventAll those who have participated in the programme so far – volunteers, participatingbusinesses, task team, local hosts – are invited to the feedback event. The invitationlist should also include those who might play an active part later. On the other handthis does not mean packing the audience with representatives of governmentdepartments and development bodies in the hope they will fund proposals. Thatwould defeat the objective of mobilising local people.The feedback event serves the following purposes. It is an opportunity for all concerned to hear and comment on the survey results. The comments may shed new light on the findings but they are also likely to reinforce them. It is harder a sceptic to remain unconvinced about an aspect of the report if the people who expressed that opinion in the interviews are present in the audience. It engages more people in discussing which are the critical issues. Consensus on this will help put the proposals for action in context and maintain focus during the implementation stage. It enables the task team to make their recommendations for action and to explain what criteria they used in selecting them. It provides a platform for people to comment on and amend these proposals or to introduce new ones before expressing their preferences by voting. It is when people are asked to play a part in turning the agreed proposals into reality by signing up as a member of an action team. As the stepping stone to the implementation stage it is when the next steps are outlined by the task team, dates are set for action teams to meet and their convenors are identified. Finally it is time to celebrate what has been accomplished so far, to thank all concerned and to recognise the part played by volunteers in particular.The event should be chaired by a member of the task team who may be grateful ifthe co-ordinator prepares brief guidelines on each agenda item. In some situationsthe BR&E facilitator may present the survey findings, particularly if a controversialissue is involved. Otherwise task team members will play a visible part throughoutthe proceedings and will share the presentation of proposals between them. 81
  • 86. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 4: AnalysisLike the launch, the feedback event should take place at a time and venue that suitsthe majority of the BR&E programme role-players. It can be expected to take a bitlonger, perhaps 2-2½ hours. As an important landmark in the process and anopportunity for celebration it should include refreshments of some sort and a chancefor people to socialise.Formation of action teamsAction teams are simply groups of people who want to see action taken on aparticular issue and are willing to play a part. They will have the same variety ofmotivations as volunteer interviewers (see Stage 2: Planning) and in many cases willbe the same people. This should be remembered when inviting them to sign up.It may also be necessary to deal with concerns that by joining an action team theywill be stuck with “mission impossible” or a lot of extra work. The selection criteriashould have ensured that all the proposals are achievable. If this turns out not to bethe case in practice, they should be modified or dropped. Moreover the role of actionteams is to ensure action is taken and does not mean doing everything themselves.The process of signing up will vary with local custom. Placing a sheet of flipchartpaper on the wall for each of the proposals allows people to sign up literally eitherdirectly or with cards. In other communities people may prefer to group themselvesaround a convenor. Yet others may find the use of a signing up form to be moreeffective (see example in Resource 4.5).ConvenorsA task team member will be assigned to convene the first meeting of each actionteam. This is typically the person who presents the proposal and is thus easilyidentifiable to members of the audience. At the end of the feedback event he or shewill play a part in recruiting people to the team, answer their question or concernsand negotiate with them the time and place of the first meeting.PublicityPublicising the findings and proposals will help to win support for the programme andmake it easier to recruit people and resources to implement the action plan. It is alsoa way of acknowledging volunteers and the business people who were interviewed.Inviting media representatives to the event is one way this might be achieved,particularly if the promotion and publicity team are available to provide material,answer questions and introduce them to key role-players. Briefing the editor of thelocal newspaper is another option to consider. He or she is likely to have a stake inthe outcome as a local resident and be open to the idea of running a regular featureon the action plan. 82
  • 87. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 4: AnalysisRESOURCE 4.1 SoftwareProcessing the survey does not need much in the way of statistical analysis but itdoes need a way of recording, in summary form, the comments the intervieweesmake in response to each question. That probably means using a database ratherthan a statistical package. Spreadsheets have been used for this purposes in the inthe past and may be suitable for simpler surveys.At the time of writing the only BR&E package being used in South Africa wasdeveloped by for Bank of I.D.E.A.S. in Australia. The package was adapted forTrade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal who purchased it in 2003 for use in KZN. Itconsists of a Microsoft Access database customised for the Bank of I.D.E.A.S. BR&Equestionnaire developed by Peter Kenyon.Although it is beginning to show its age and is a bit inflexible and cumbersome itremains an fairly effective means of processing a BR&E survey. A big disadvantageis that although the text of questions may be changed, the structure of the questionsand the reports may not. In addition there is no way to export numeric data directlyto a spreadsheet which means having to cut and paste from text reports. No longerpromoted by Bank of I.D.E.A.S., the package is still available from the designer,Peter Palmer, at email recently web based applications have become available and in Australia theQueensland government offers on-line access to participants in the state BR&Eprogramme. It uses the Bank of I.D.E.A.S. survey format and may be tested on line(see the Regional Services section of their website In Canadathe Ontario government programme ( uses a packagedesigned by a Executive Pulse a firm that specialises in BR&E surveys( companies internationally and in South Africa offer on-line survey servicesthat could be used for the design and processing of BR&E surveys. The issue iswhich questionnaire to use.The time and cost involved in developing an dedicated package by whatever meansputs it out of the reach of most local BR&E programmes. The answer is to developone using a questionnaire that with minor modifications would suit a number of otherusers. No doubt it is just a matter of time before someone does just that and puts aSouth African BR&E package on the market. 83
  • 88. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 4: AnalysisRESOURCE 4.2 ParetoThe 80/20 Rule or Pareto Law is aptly described as “the law of the vital few and trivialmany”. It is named after an 18th century economist and in essence says that 80% ofthe benefits are achieved by dealing with 20% of the issues. The point is to identifythese critical issues.There is no foolproof way to do this but drawing on the combined wisdom of the taskteam is a step in the right direction. A facilitator may do this as follows. Provide each task team member with half a dozen 10 x 21 cm cards (an A4 cut into three) and a marker pen. Ask everyone to make a list of what they personally think are the 3-4 most important issues using cards and applying the following rules. Write clearly One idea per card Only 7-10 words or 3-4 lines per card Collect and mix the cards before reading them out loud in turn while showing them to everyone. Where a card is unclear or unfocussed ask the whole group for ideas about what it means. NEVER ask who wrote the card. When it has been clarified ask someone at random to re-write or amend the card. Display the cards by attaching them with tape to the wall or a flipchart. Exclude duplicate cards and place them on the floor. When all cards have been read, arrange them so that any closely related cards are clustered together. Draw a line around each cluster and if necessary add a different colour card to the cluster as a heading. Count the number of clusters and isolated cards. Give task team members one adhesive circle – “sticky dot” – for every such five clusters and isolated cards, i.e., 20%. Invite them to place one or more dots on or next to the cards describing what they believe are the most important issues. Tally up the number of dots next to each card or cluster.The results are a persuasive indication of the views of the task team. 84
  • 89. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 4.4RESOURCE 4.3 PASTA testThere are certain fairly obvious criteria for selecting proposals for action, but unlessthey are articulated they may be overlooked in the heat of discussion. They mightinclude the following. A proposal should be Popular, i.e., it should have the support of local role- players and not be imposed by a minority pressure group or from outside. It should also have a clearly identifiable champion. Without a champion and support it will not succeed no matter what its other merits may be, It should be Affordable. The resources to implement it should be available locally or readily accessible. Anything depending on external resources beyond the control or influence of local people is a long shot. The list of proposals should include no more than one of these if any at all. It should be possible to start work on the proposal at once (i.e., next week) and it should yield tangible results in the Short Term. Unless local role-players can see something to celebrate within six months - even if it is only an important milestone – they will soon lose hope and interest. It should be Achievable – in other words it should not be “pie in the sky: It means that local role-players really do have the time, the skills and above all the enthusiasm to make it happen.These criteria may be used in the PASTA test to select proposals and screen outthose that are unlikely to yield results in the foreseeable future. This can be doneusing a matrix similar to the illustration as follows. Set out all the proposals on the vertical axis as shown opposite. Display the PASTA criteria on the horizontal axis overhead. Test each proposal in turn against the criteria. The only possible answers are “Yes”, “No” or “Maybe”. A “Yes” answer should be supported by some information, e.g., the name and cell number of a champion. A “Maybe” should reflect who has undertaken to establish the facts one way or another – and by when – failing which it becomes a “No”. A “No” means the proposal should be dropped immediately. There is no need to consider it further. 85
  • 90. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 4.4RESOURCE 4.4 Feedback event agendaA typical agenda for a feedback event might take the following form. Welcome and brief background by the task team chairperson. If a local dignitary such as the mayor is present he or she may then be invited to say a few words. Presentation of findings. May be done by the local co-ordinator, a task team member or the BR&E facilitator. Questions for clarification. Key issues presented by a member of the task team. Comments from the floor on the findings. Depending on numbers these may be made on card and subject to a Pareto vote to determine majority opinion. Proposals presented in turn by a task team member. Time allowed for questions in each case. Brief discussion in proposals to establish if any new or counter proposals will emerge from the floor. Pareto vote on proposals. Call for action team participants using cards or sign up forms (see Resource 4.5). Next steps, identify convenors, set date(s) for first action team meetings. Thank all participating businesses. Presentation of recognition certificates to all volunteers by senior representative of host organisation(s). Close, refreshments. 86
  • 91. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 4.4RESOURCE 4.5 Example of sign up form BR&E PROGRAMME: IMPLEMENTING ACTIONName ____________________________________________________Organisation/Company___________________________________________Phone ( _____ ) ________________ Fax ( _____ ) _________________Cell ( _____ ) ________________ Email _________________________I am willing to play the following part in implementing the BR&E Action Plan (Pleasetick appropriate boxes.)Priority 1: Address crimeAction 1.1 Form a local Business WatchAction 1.2 Clean up “grime spots”Action 1.3 Create a local CCTV networkPriority 2: Buy LocalAction 2.1 Establish a local business directory/web-pageAction 2.2 Regular local trade fairs and networking eventsAction 2.3 Business linkages officePriority 3: Develop Business SkillsAction 3.1 Breakfast sessions on staff issuesAction 3.2 Financial management seminarsAction 3.3 “Put your website to work” workshopsPriority 4: Skills DevelopmentAction 4.1 Establish SA Host PartnershipAction 4.2 Negotiate technical college outreach programmeAction 4.3 Develop local computer skills programmePriority 5: InfrastructureAction 5.1 Signage upgradeAction 5.2 Address electricity outagesOther (as proposed from the floor) : 87
  • 92. The South African Business Retention & Expansion Manual STAGE 5: IMPLEMENTATION At the end of Stage 5 Action teams will have been formed and will have planned and initiated action. The task team, adapted as necessary, will have co-ordinated the action plan and monitored progress. The first tangible outcomes will have been achieved. A formal review will have been conducted by the task team after six months. A meeting to report back to stakeholders will have been held. New priorities will have been set and if necessary new teams established to implement them. To effect any permanently beneficial change to society I found it was far more necessary to act than to speak. Robert Owen (1771-1858) Winston Churchill
  • 93. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 5: ImplementationSTAGE 5: IMPLEMENTATIONThe implementation stage begins as soon as the action teams are formed after thefeedback event. It continues for as long as it needs to! Since the action plan willprobably be modified and added to over time, the implementation stage could lastfrom six months to a couple of years.Action teamsThe role of the action teams is to ensure the proposals adopted at the feedbackevent are translated into action and tangible outcomes. In some cases they will havethe means to do this themselves or will be able to co-opt them into the team. Moreoften it will be a matter of persuading others to do something or to change what theyare doing already. The ideal action team will have 4-6 members and experience shows that it is more likely to get results if it includes both men and women. The convenor should call the first meeting as soon as possible after the feedback event and certainly no longer than a week afterwards. A chairperson should be elected at the first meeting and someone (not necessarily the chairperson) identified as the representative on the task team. The key steps of a broad plan of action should be agreed at the same meeting together with the people responsible, timelines and resources for each step (see Resource 5.1 Planning Action). Details should be communicated to the task team. Thereafter the team will follow the steps outlined in their plan and would expect to meet to review progress at least monthly. Accountability Sometimes people, particularly public officials, ask to whom the action teams are accountable. In a sense they are accountable to the task team who in turn are accountable both to the people who mandated them at the feedback event and to the BR&E host organisations. In another sense the question suggests a misunderstanding of their role. A task team is no more than a group of citizens who have volunteered to do something like run a training or networking event, raise a services issue with the municipality, initiate a local Business Watch to fight crime, conduct a local clean up campaign, develop a local business directory or set up a local internet portal. They are not a structure or organisation and are only accountable to the people who want these things done – themselves and people like them. Money or other resources to achieve their objectives would normally be channelled through existing structures. If it becomes necessary to establish a new entity for this purpose, issues of accountability will be addressed in the course of doing so. 89
  • 94. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 5: ImplementationTask teamThe role of the task team changes in the implementation stage to that of monitoringand if necessary co-ordinating the progress of the action teams. Each of the actionteams should be represented on the task team and the person assigned to this maynot have been on the task team before. At the same time there may be task teammembers who originally only committed themselves to seeing the survey through tothe feedback event. This is a good time to allow them to stand down if they wish. The newly constituted task team should meet soon after the first meetings of the action teams in order to hear of their plans and deal with any gaps or overlaps between them. Thereafter it should meet monthly or as often as necessary to monitor progress and deal with any problems that arise. After three months it would be prudent to conduct a “mid-term review” and assess whether satisfactory progress is being made against targets or if changes should be made to priorities or perhaps new resources found. The task team is responsible for conducting a formal review of progress at the six month mark and holding a report back meeting with local role-players. This meeting will determine its mandate thereafter.Tangible resultsIf the proposals are not clear about what is to be done and there is no way of tellinganyway it will be very difficult to convince people it was all worthwhile and motivatethem to do more.So if after six moths the programme cannot point to outcomes that are of benefit tolocal business then it will have failed – or will be seen to have failed. For practicalpurposes these are the same and either way it is highly unlikely that more than acouple of diehards will want to persist. On the other hand reaching a convincingmilestone on the way to achieving an important outcome might be considered areasonable substitute providing there were other accomplishments as well.This has two important implications. The first is that the proposals for action really must be achievable in the six month timeframe (see Resource 4.3 PASTA test). In this case “tangible” should not be confused with the word “big”. It is far more important to achieve a number of small things than to fail in achieving something really big. In this context there are no prizes for trying. On the other hand every little success can be celebrated and publicised and will generate the confidence and momentum to tackle more challenging issues with longer timeframes. The second is that it is essential to be able to demonstrate beyond argument when an objective has been achieved. This does not warrant a complex monitoring and evaluation exercise. A simple indicator will do, e.g., the traffic light problem was fixed, crime is down since the Business Watch was established, three firms report an increase in sales as a result of the website and one of them has taken on extra staff. 90
  • 95. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 5: Implementation Local co-ordinator Although the local co-ordinator’s assignment may come to an end the need for a co-ordinator does not entirely disappear in the implementation stage. It really helps to have someone to arrange meetings, chase reports and ask if commitments have been met. The task is not nearly as onerous as in the previous stages and could easily be taken over by an enthusiastic volunteer with organisational skills and access to an office environment.ReviewThe commitment made to participants at the feedback session was to show tangibleresults in six months. The task team should therefore meet to see to what extent thiscan be done. If they have been monitoring progress properly over the previousmonths there should be no nasty surprises. Any problems that arise will have beenreported and dealt with earlier.It is nonetheless time to take stock, not only to see what has or has not beenaccomplished but also to understand what lessons have been learned on the way(see Resource 5.2 Lessons from KZN).The review might take the following form. A brief presentation by each of the action team representatives on where the their initiative is in relation to its targets. A group exercise on what has been learned on the way. This should include what has been gained from success at least as much as what has been learned from mistakes. A discussion on what to recommend for the next six months in the light of this. Determine the agenda and assign responsibilities for the report back. The Ugu Review A BR&E visitation programme was conducted in part of the Ugu District in KZN late in 2003. Being a holiday destination means that December is peak season so the implementation stage did not really get underway until early 2004. In August the task team reviewed their programme by asking themselves the following simple questions. What are our achievements? What were our biggest surprises? What would we do differently? What will we do next? They used cards for their answers and Pareto to help reach consensus on what they would do next. It was exactly what was needed and took no more than a couple of hours. 91
  • 96. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 5: ImplementationReport backThe report back meeting is not unlike the feedback event in its objectives andstructure. The potential audience will be much the same but the with the addition ofnew role-players who have become involved in the interval. The purpose is to: - report on what has been achieved to date compared with the agreed action plan, - share what has been learned in the process, positive and negative, - make recommendations for the future, - agree a new programme of action, - recruit new action team and re-organise existing ones, - recognise and celebrate achievements and contributions.Again the media should be there and the whole process should renew and re-invigorate the programme.What next?In most communities the implementation programme could continue like this for thenext year or two. The need for BR&E activities is unlikely to disappear but it is hardto sustain voluntary initiatives indefinitely. In theory another visitation programmewould establish a new set of priorities and initiate a new round of action.In reality very few communities actually go that route but what they may do isconduct a visitation programme that focuses on a particular sector or a section of thebusiness community that was omitted during the previous exercise. If this taps into anew set of volunteers and role-players an entirely new programme can begin. Butthe same local economy will still experience the benefits. The Golden Rule Business stays and expands where it is well treated and appreciated. 92
  • 97. The South African BR&E Manual Stage 5: ImplementationRESOURCE 5.1 Planning ActionIt should be possible for the action team to develop a plan of action at their firstmeeting. It may be necessary to fill in a few gaps later but anything more elaborateis not often needed. The first step is to agree what the plan will achieve and how it will be possible to show it has been achieved. The main action steps should be set out in logical sequence on a flip chart or using cards (cards have the advantage of being easy to rearrange or replace). Who is responsible for the first step should be identified i.e. which member of the team. When the first step will be done is then agreed. This may involve both starting and finishing times. In broad terms what resources will be needed to complete the step should then be identified. The process continues with the next steps in turn. WHAT WHO WHEN With what will we do? will do it? will it be RESOURCES? done? Action Alf Friday XYZ meeting step 1 071 123 1234 3 Oct 08 room Action Zandile step 2 072 123 1234 Action step 3 Action step 4The plan may be recorded using a digital camera. If cards are used they should beattached to a sheet of paper that can be rolled up for use at the following meetings. 93
  • 98. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 5.2RESOURCE 5.2 BR&E stories from KZNAlthough attempts were made in the late 1990’s to initiate Business Retention andExpansion Visitation programmes in South Africa, it was only from 2003 when Trade& Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) commissioned the development of a strategicframework and resource material for a provincial BR&E programme that any SouthAfrican results can be documented and compared.TIKZN pilot programmeIn 2003, TIKZN piloted BR&E visitation programme in three KZN municipalitiesnamely uMhlathuze, KwaDukuza, and Ugu. Since then, the Durban Investment &Promotion Agency (DIPA) operating in the eThekwini metropolitan area have run anumber of their own programmes in and around the city. Regardless of who the hostpartners have been or where the programmes have been initiated, each programmehas yielded a number of interesting results.Some of the outcomes from the Trade & Investment Pilot in 2003 were: A satellite business chamber office: When the Zululand Chamber of Business moved its offices from Empangeni to Richards Bay the BR&E survey revealed that Empangeni businesses felt they were no longer receiving a benefit from membership of the organisation. The task team recommendation that a satellite office be established in Empangeni to service local businesses was implemented soon afterwards. Business support: Through the Empangeni Survey, businesses were able to raise the issue of outdated rates and service charges. Action teams consisting of business people and municipal officials were set up to develop interim solutions while the re-evaluation process took place. SA Host Partnerships: To address the issue of poor customer service in Port Shepstone and Margate a SA Host Partnership was established and a number of businesses as well as the municipality sent staff to be trained on the SETA- accredited national customer service training programme. Skills development committees: Local tertiary training institutions established a working group in Empangeni in partnership with business to provide appropriate courses for local students to match local job requirements. Development Plans – To address the concern of Empangeni business that the Municipality lacked a clear vision for the economic development of the town the municipality and Empangeni business leaders established a action group to develop a shared vision and marketing strategy for the economic future of the town as an integral part of uMhlathuze.DIPA programme in eThekwiniThe DIPA BREV programmes began in 2005 and to date have been initiated inPinetown to the west of the municipality, and to the south in Prospecton and MaydonWharf. The programmes were run in partnership with the Durban Chamber of 94
  • 99. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 5.2Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and in Prospecton and Maydon Wharf also with theSouth Durban Basin Area Based Management unit (SDB ABM). All three have hadthe advantage that DIPA has made a full-time coordinator available for theirprogrammes.Some DIPA BREV results have been as follows. Business mobilisation: A feature of the DIPA programme was the way the BREVs mobilised business leaders to take an active role in local economic development. In Pinetown in particular the task team was able to respond to the survey findings with a programme of action that required very little assistance from outside resources. Local Business Directory: A area-specific directory of local businesses contact details was developed in both the Pinetown and South Durban Basin BREV programmes. Understanding BEE: With support from the DCCI, the action teams in Pinetown implemented a number of training seminars to help businesses understand BEE policy and implement it effectively. Improving chamber visibility: The Western Area Committee of the DCCI initiated a process through the BR&E programme to re-engage members and increase the value for Chamber membership in the Pinetown area. Cleaning and Greening campaigns: In the Prospecton BREV, an action group was established to improve the appearance of the area and among other things mobilised local people to conducted a successful Clean-up Day to collect litter and rubbish. This has now been extended to addressing conditions in an informal settlement bordering the industrial area. Managing traffic congestion: A number of measures are being taken to manage serious congestion of heavy vehicle traffic on a main transport link that has affected businesses in Maydon Wharf. These include CCTV cameras linked to the Metro Police control room, a dedicated track lane and an extended truck holding area. Value from websites: The Pinetown survey revealed that while 64% of businesses surveyed had a website only a handful felt it benefited their sales. A task team member who runs his entire business from the internet, offered to host a number of short seminars free of charge on how to maximise the benefits of a website. Municipal issues – Businesses in the Prospecton area raised their frustration through the survey at how difficult it was to reach the appropriate municipal department to deal with a particular complaint or issue affecting their business. The SDB ABM very soon published and distributed an up-to-date directory of municipal contact numbers to all businesses in the area. 95
  • 100. The South African BR&E Manual RESOURCE 5.2A more most recent programme initiated in the Umdoni municipality followed aslightly different approach to the other programmes, in that it was not supportedfinancially by a local/provincial organisation as in the previous examples, but fromGijima KZN the European Union funded LED programme for the province. Theprogramme host in this case was the municipality as there was no organisedbusinesses at the time to partner with. While this approach provided a number ofchallenges, the programme did succeed in mobilising local businesses to the extentthat a long debated local chamber of business for the area has now been launched. 96