Community-based programs such as chambers of commerce and member development programs are important local organizations that focus on building the economic base of a community. A key element of many CBOs is member development programming that is focused on increasing the effectiveness and profitability of member organizations. The problem is that it is difficult to measure program effectiveness without an evaluation tool that shows progress for each member/participant and the program overall–which is why you need community-based member evaluation tools.

How do you measure a company’s operational strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth? And more importantly, how do you measure their progress over time? Are they improving? How do you know? What criteria are you using?

Based on decades of experience, Bellewether Ltd. has developed assessment tools for community-based program managers to evaluate the current state and progress of member organizations. These assessment tools are separate from any development programming.

Why member/participant assessment is important

The data your organization can obtain through a participating member assessment process provides an unprecedented amount of information about your members, and how they can increase their economic value and their impact on the community. The analysis can help you prioritize your resources (time, energy, and dollars) by identifying the areas of greatest need and greatest potential for improvement for each member.

Establishing a baseline understanding of your members’ business performance will enable you to derive a proven pathway for measurable progress. Organization managers need to justify the cost of their member development program through good ROI–and the only way to determine how, specifically, your program has helped members develop is to create a snapshot of where they started. Without proper participant assessment, many organizations risk spinning their wheels and spending far too much time and energy on programs that don’t improve business outcomes for their members.

Community-based member evaluation tools

At Bellewether, we’ve leveraged our extensive experience with company management and development to create the FLITER® Business and Leadership Rating Scale (BLRS). The FLITER® BLRS is a diagnostic tool that can help you design and implement effective assessment and improvement programs.

The FLITER® BLRS assesses the strengths and weaknesses of each participating member across 12 different business areas:

  • Income Generation
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Procurement
  • Management
  • Customer Service
  • Technology
  • Production
  • Personnel
  • Business Operations
  • Distribution
  • Inventory

Based on answers from the assessment, participating members are assigned a performance level for each dimension. Levels will vary between Pre-level 1, Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3.

Along with assigning levels, the FLITER® BLRS comes with outcome reports that outline step-by-step recommendations for how each company can “level up” in each key business dimension. These can form the foundation for your participant development programming, and provide a data-driven way to track and report on participant progress.

FLITER® owner/entrepreneur assessment tools

A key element of supporting the development of start-ups is helping potential owners determine their own capacity for business ownership. The FLITER® Owner Effectiveness Scale (OES) is a diagnostic tool for community-based organizations to help their members that are new or  prospective business owners. This tool enables members to measure and assess themselves on a variety of dimensions and opens the door to understanding whether they have the necessary temperament and skills for running a business. 

How does the FLITER® Owner Effectiveness Scale work?

The FLITER® OES evaluation takes 20-30 minutes to complete and is available in both English and Spanish. New and prospective business owners will answer a series of questions to assess their level of expertise, sophistication, and comfort across 13 different factors that are important for successful business ownership. These factors include:

  • Commitment
  • Competencies
  • Networks
  • Risk tolerance
  • Focus
  • Track record
  • Development strategies
  • Likeability
  • Confidence
  • Effectiveness
  • Comfort with technology
  • People skills
  • Character

The assessment helps prospective business owners reflect on their readiness for market activity. The FLITER® OES is a convenient, reliable way for individuals to answer the question: “Do I have what it takes to start my own business?”

The FLITER® OES is a self-evaluative framework that is ideally suited for community-based organizations which aim to encourage entrepreneurship and support small business owners within their communities. Through the FLITER® OES, member organizations can provide individuals with a thoughtful perspective on business ownership to help them determine whether business ownership is right for them.

Are you ready to take your members to the next level?

To learn more about the FLITER® BLRS, FLITER® OES, and how Bellewether Ltd can help you and your organization, get in touch with us today.

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Ready to make your business better? Contact us today!