IUF Future and Business Plan

Ken Fuchs wrote:

>If the IUF is to gain a significant financial foundation, it must

>develop a sound business plan and execute it (whether that involves

>soliciting corporate donations and/or membership dues).

Jack Halpern wrote:

>"And I do my best to inform them. I once sent out materials on UNICON

>to all board members,

>and the JUA managers were pissed at me since someone complained about

>why it is coming from

>me, and not the JUA. And they of course forced to stop using the

>equivalent of

>“Inc.” after IUF, since it “will confuse riders”, who should know

>that there is only one

>official incorporated organization…"

John Foss wrote:

>I think our action should be to produce a newsletter, or other means for

>members to get a substantial return on their investment. We have had a

>newsletters over the past few years, but no newsletter. We have
discussed ad

>nauseum the concept of a web newsletter, but a) it’s hard to charge

>subscriptions, and b) no web newsletter has appeared either.

We do need a business plan, whatever that means.

We do not need to start another ad nauseam discussion on something that yields
no results, not because we are not doers, but because there really has not been
a good consensus on what the IUF should be all about.

Specific suggestions.

First the mechanics. We need more good Directors. If our By-Laws or our place of
incorporation is what holds us down because of the unanimity requirement, let’s
change that. We are ready for 6 Directors serving three year terms. They should
be geographically and functionally diverse. We do have good candidates.

Now for the good part:

  1. Vision and Mission.

Without them there cannot be a business plan. We must know where we are heading.

A vision is the ideal place where we visualize ourselves. It is never fully
achieved. Very seldom it changes.

A mission is the written statement on our purposes. It must point toward the
vision. We do have one, it mentions becoming an Olympic sport, but we have to
revise it.

The Vision and Mission are the responsibility of the Directors, but for the IUF
to be reflective, it must understand the wants and needs of the unicycling
community that we serve. Right now, we don’t.

  1. Action Plan. Even the Not for Profit organizations are using Marketing Plans.
    In the early part of this century they were production oriented. Ford built
    good cheap cars, the Model T, and marketing had to sell it. That does not
    work anymore.

You must find out what services your prospective customer needs and wants before
producing it.

So who is our market.

Proffesional Unicyclists?

The Non-Proffesional?

The clubs?

The National Organizations like the JUA or the USA?

Suppliers of services that might be prospective sponsors.

All of the above?

Then you must provide them.

Now comes the next part of what I interpret to be Ken’s business plan,
the budget.

We must provide this services viably.

Maybe the newsletter did not work because there is not enough need to make it
viable. Maybe there is. Communications are very important, but there could be
better alternatives.

Maybe we should only write, recompile and distribute news items to existing uni
magazines. Jean Ascher is starting one in Denmark and has a need for this. Maybe
we should help and urge local publications (with different levels of
sophistication) and supply interesting international articles. Maybe we can
establish relationship with regular newspapers around the world and send them
the news items and article.

Maybe we should have only National and club memberships and channel our services
thru them. Maybe we should have only individual memberships. Maybe a

Recent comments on the Internet have reflected an apathy toward an Olympic goal.
Some people consider it at least a distraction, others believe that it has
negative implications.

And so on. There are many different perceptions by many well-intentioned IUF
individuals (myself included). The only way to solve the difference in
perception problem is to test the perceptions against reality. The alternative
would be to perpetuate the ad nauseam discussions.

So, my specific suggestion is that we start a good survey. We must include all
the interested parties (see above) and make a separate tally for each group.
Basically we want to know, if, in their opinion:

  1. The IUF should exist. If it should . . .

  2. What should our mission be.

  3. What services should we provide and what benefits should we offer.

  4. Where should we get our revenues from.

We must remember that the Internet is <underline>not</underline> an
adequate universe.

I suggest that we start preparing the survey now, and mail them before UNICON IX
to all the individuals, clubs and National Assoc. that we have contact with. We
could have a table at UNICON IX to get the opinion of additional persons. Aug. 2
would be the deadline for submitting the forms to us.

This is not incompatible with printing a budget-free publication now, nor of
collecting membership fees at UNICON IX.

Alberto Ruiz


Alberto Ruiz