Open-access content 8th March 2011
You can be assured that we are in a position to demonstrate the ‘green shoots of recovery’, says Gareth Tancred, chief operating officer of the BIFM.
10 March 2011
Finally, the global economy seems to have emerged from the worst recession in decades. The banking system has been bailed-out and the risk of a double-dip recession seems to have diminished. Consequently, the financial crisis has been put on hold for now. However, with domestic growth forecasts set at a modest 2+ per cent, it’s hardly business as usual. Combine this with swingeing government cuts, frozen corporate budgets, inflation and taxation increases, banks scared of bad debt to the extent they’re scared to overcommit – no-one likes to admit it, but the credit crunch (remember that phrase!) is still continuing.
Raising fortunes will ultimately depend on whether sufficient business confidence can be maintained to encourage companies to exploit investment and employment opportunities. Ernst & Young’s latest Quarterly Economic Outlook For Business report said: “It is vital that they (businesses) use their cashflows to expand the labour force and invest.” The BIFM identified this during 2010 and built its Medium Term Strategy around these principles. Ian Broadbent, BIFM chairman, commented last month that our major focus for 2011 will be growth. Much greater focus is being given to corporates, and our individual membership proposition is already paying dividends as we focus on new membership campaigns that will drive growth.
Interestingly, most economists are predicting that the majority of growth will come from overseas markets. It is against this backdrop that our awarding organisation recently signed up our first international training provider in Dublin. Increasingly, our enterprise team report that the institute is being approached with a view to building relationships and to facilitate learning with our international colleagues. Among others, a recent delegation from China’s leading business entrepreneurs specifically targeted the BIFM in order to learn about best practice in the industry.
Developing in a competitive economic environment is challenging, but it is reassuring to note that we are seeing a rapid increase in enquiries from organisations. Many are seeking to improve brand awareness and recognition. Most are seeking improved networking and to build relationships with the FM profession.
Growth involves being ready to capitalise on improved conditions going forward. The institute is also gearing up for growth by ensuring it has the right processes and systems in place to make it more attractive to members.
Early spring beckons and the first shoots begin to pierce through the hard winter soil. You can be assured that we are in a position to demonstrate the ‘green shoots of recovery’ as we all begin to emerge from the toughest recession most of us can remember.