Running a business, be it large or small requires the input of experts at every level. The BFA over the years has evolved important tangible benefits that will help members make or save money. Some of these are listed below but over an above this, membership of the BFA ensures that companies are part of the “Footwear Community” and can tap into news, introductions, commercial opportunities and a general state of “knowing what’s going on.”
The BFA provides marketing services and detailed practical advice on exporting. It acts as the primary link with shows such as MICAM, Riva la Garda, GDS and Platform, Las Vegas and works with the Government to maximize grants to support UK footwear companies at these exhibitions.
The main partners are exclusive to Full Members only and are listed in the Partners section, but the BFA has created a Project team of industry experts that can provide advice on:
- Sourcing product (Far East, India, Eastern Europe, Brazil)
- Brand Development
- Legal Advice – sales and distribution agreements, Intellectual Property issues, commercial disputes.
- Direct Marketing – help in creating and developing e.tail and e.commerce distribution channels.
- Financial Advice – choose from a roster of three senior freelance financial experts with knowledge of the industry to help with any financial planning and fund raising projects.
- UK Sales Agents – the BFA has developed a data base of national and regional sales agents for members to use.
- Exhibitions – the BFA recommends Leyshons for stand construction (http:// www.leyshonlimited.co.uk) and DAH Transport for delivering samples and stand materials (http:// www.dahtransport.co.uk)
These services are especially relevant for Emerging Companies.
The BFA has provided the impetus for the new Foundation Course in Footwear Technology and provides funding for member companies training projects. Full details in the Training section of the website. It also works closely with Skillset- the Sector Skills Council for the fashion sector – to tackle the skill needs of the British footwear industry
Statistics, contacts and experience to help market research into the British and overseas footwear markets
Networking opportunities with like-minded footwear and fashion business people
Excellent connections with Britain’s world-leading design and technical colleges
The BFA has a close relationship with the trade press here and abroad to ensure appropriate publicity for the sector. The BFA acts as the ears and eyes of the industry.
GENERAL FOOTWEAR ADVICE
The BFA provides a one-stop-shop for information on anything related to running a footwear business, whether manufacturing or designing, importing or exporting