CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
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CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS Pay & benefits reviews

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Winter season is dreadful. You get paid what you are worth. Time and effort = $. Great outings and sense of belonging. Can be tough to stay motivated as you work on your own beside no one else
Pros
A good cause
Cons
Winter season
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Official response from CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
3 October 2020
Thank you so much for the positive feedback on your time at CFIB. While I agree that our work in supporting small business owners is a good cause at all times, the team's efforts during COVID have been incredible. We've taken 60,000 calls from members so far this year to provide assistance on all the major support programs and so many other issues.Working to visit business owners in the winter can be a bit tougher, but I'm from Winnipeg originally so I guess I'm used to it. I know Edmonton winters can be cold too.The job does offer a lot of independence and autonomy, but it can be lonely if one doesn't reach out to our colleagues in the region and across the country. I'm glad you found the role offered the financial rewards commensurate with one's efforts. Our new compensation system was designed to do just that.Again, thanks again for writing. Wishing you the best.Dan Kelly, President and CEO
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Speaking as an office worker, CFIB is an excellent place to work. Management is caring and will listen and deal with any complaint you may have. If you want to advance there's nothing to stop you but yourself. You are encouraged to take classes/courses if it will help you advance in your career. We are a not-for-profit business fully funded by our members. Membership is what keeps us going and we're now up to over 110,000 members and growing. I have the pleasure of speaking to our members on a daily basis. We deal with all types of inquiries and our Business Resource team is there to tackle any questions our members may have. We make life easier for the independent business. All they have to do is join CFIB as a member then they can sit back and focus on growing their business. When CRA comes calling and they don't know what to do, we step in an help them cut through the red tape and put their minds at ease. Professional, courteous sincere and eager to help. To me that what CFIB stands for.
Pros
Flexible working hours
Cons
Benefits are a little costly
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Official response from CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
10 April 2019
Wow! What a nice summary of what we do to serve our members. I really appreciate your feedback on the culture we’ve created and I’m pleased you see our management team as caring people. As a non-profit, CFIB is not a place to work where one can get rich, but we do try to ensure it is a place where strong performers can build meaningful careers. More and more Canadians are looking for some meaning and value in their working lives, and we certainly can deliver on that at the Federation. Thanks again for the lovely note – it made my day!Dan Kelly, President and CEO
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CFIB is a not-for-profit lobby organization that focuses on lobbying both the Federal and each Provincial governments to make / change / maintain policy that is favourable to Small Independently owned businesses who are their fee paying membership. A BDM position for any not-for-profit is a difficult position to maintain. Particularly since there aren’t a lot of funds available to compensate the position very well. Leaving the Federation with the ill-conceived marketing strategy of utilizing commission based compensation for BDM based on new member sales. The biggest problem they have created for themselves is that most of there sales come from repeat customers (members) for which they don’t compensate their BDM's very well at all to maintain. As such, they face a significant amount attrition since the primary focuses of there representatives is forced into prospecting for new potential business, and little attention is giving to maintaining their existing cliental. Creating a dismal spiral of seeking to manage the attrition they have spawned in their existing customers by chasing down new customer growth. So without being able to provide consistent representation to their members, which they struggle to maintain without a proper compensation structure, they delve deeper and deeper into that spiral every time they have to hire a new BDM in any given district. Making it a forgone conclusion that inevitably they will exhaust the prospective new business available to approach in any given district and they end up repeatedly calling on the same businesses over and over, much - more...
Pros
100% free to make and maintian your own scheudle, Evaluated only on perfomance expectaions and absoutly no micro-managing
Cons
Extensive, Non-reimbuseabled, Out-of-pocket expenses significnatly erode the modest salary and minimal commissions earned.
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Official response from CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
26 November 2018
Wow! Thanks for taking the time to provide such detailed advice. I was very pleased to see that you identified strongly with the mission and work of CFIB. I agree with you that our organization and the services that we provide to small business owners are incredibly important to our members and our country. The main reason we have dozens of staff who have been with CFIB for 20, 30 and now even 40 years is that they identify with our mission and find great meaning in their work. I also agree with your comments about the flexibility that the District Manager position offers and the absence of micro-management. All very true.As for your constructive criticism of our sales approaches, you raise some important points. As I’m not sure when you left us, I thought I should share that we are weeks away from launching our new District Manager compensation plan. This plan is largely based on the feedback that we’ve had from our team. The new plan includes a starting salary, commissions on both membership renewals and new business sales and significant performance-based bonuses. We’ve added a monthly and per-visit expense allowance and maintained a very good benefits package, even expanding our RRSP matching. We are working hard to ensure CFIB is a great place to find meaningful work with a very good income to support yourself and your family. On the management side, you are absolutely right that a top sales rep does not always make a top manager. We take great care in selecting and continuously developing our sales managers and I’m happy to say 2018 is shaping up to be our - more...
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door to door selling of advocacy. daily you will walk a neighborhood, typically called a 30 door day. you approach all businesses the same, with a script to be followed. typically you will sell 1 new membership for every 90 doors you 'pass'. usually you will present the script 1 - 3 times per day. the hardest part is the continued rejection and push to NOT see you .... owners are busy and do not have time to hear our pitch and when they do ...many like what we do but do not join. Remuneration is ok but if you are willing to sacrifice a lot of your time you can make a 'good' salary.
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Official response from CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
26 November 2018
Thanks you very much for the positive rating and kind words about your role at CFIB. I wholeheartedly agree that the work as a District Manager is rewarding and, at times, can be challenging. For those who, like you, are motivated by the potential to earn a good salary while doing important and meaningful work, this is a great job. It does offer a great deal of flexibility and autonomy, but requires each District Manager to put in a full week’s work, as it appears you are doing. One of the things I’m very excited about in our 2019 plans is our work to help provide our District Managers with more high quality leads. We hope to fill the funnel with even more business owners who have expressed an interest in learning more about CFIB or who come to us from one of our many partners, such as Chase, Scotiabank or Payworks.I’m glad you are enjoying your time at CFIB so far. Please don’t be shy to reach out to me directly if you have any questions or advice on how to further improve the work of our District Manager position.Dan Kelly, President and CEO
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As a district manager you must have a strong drive to self motivate yourself. It allows the ability to establish your own work schedule, which will dictate your level of success and income. You must be willing to spend a lot of time travelling to many locations in a single day and have the will to walk through new business doors to deliver the CFIB advantages to business owners. They offer a solid compensation package and treat their employees well.
Pros
Great place for a strong independent, self motivator with strong communication skills.
Cons
No base salary and can be very emotionally draining.
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Official response from CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
7 May 2018
Thanks very much for the positive review. You accurately note many of the benefits (and responsibilities) of a career as a District Manager at CFIB. You are quite right, given the independence of the job, those who do best are self-motivated and have strong communication skills. I am pleased that you felt that we treated our employees well and offered a solid compensation package. Speaking of compensation, for newer District Managers (those hired in 2017 and later), we now offer a base salary, in addition to commissions and bonuses, and a small expense allowance. Thanks again for sharing your perspective on your CFIB career. I wish you nothing but the best in your future. Dan Kelly, President and CEO
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Lots of freedom to manage your own schedule. Very little sales team culture due to geography and a lack a funding for sales meetings / sales gatherings. Amazing resources and benefits for small business owneres
Pros
Freedom
Cons
Compensation is not anywhere near what is promised.
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Official response from CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
13 February 2018
Thanks for the feedback, particularly about the terrific cause that drives us at CFIB. I completely agree that the resources and benefits for members are second to none and I know our District Managers take great pride in sharing our victories and battles with members. You also noted the benefit of the freedom the job allows. This is certainly one of many benefits of working at CFIB, but it should be noted that the degree of freedom can create challenges for those who do not treat the District Manager role as a full-time job. Our new compensation plan delivers on our promises to staff, but only when team members ensure they are holding up their end of the commitment. As for sales meetings, we have made many recent investments in training and coaching our team members. In fact, early today, I spent an hour with 4 new recruits taking on District Manager roles in various parts of Canada. Obviously, as a non-profit association, we don’t have unlimited funds, but our training and coaching is at a higher level than ever, including paid DM orientation in Toronto and regional meetings across the county. Feel free to share any other thoughts directly with me anytime. Again, thanks for your helpful comments. Dan Kelly, President and CEO.
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This job required A LOT of energy for extremely little payoff. The pay structure is confusing, frustrating and full of technicalities that will prevent you from making commissions and bonuses. Management is tuned out and unresponsive.
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Official response from CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
24 November 2017
Sorry to hear your CFIB experience wasn’t a positive one. We do work very hard to be clear about both the wonderful and challenging things that come along with working at CFIB. It isn’t clear in your review when you started with us, but I imagine it was before we launched our new compensation system for District Managers. Our new system is much simpler than our earlier version, and includes a base salary, commissions for renewals and new business sales and a solid bonus structure for strong performance. We’ve also added an allowance to cover some expenses – all based on feedback that we’ve had from our colleagues. The job isn’t for everyone and is really suited to self-starters who respect that it is a full-time job. But as the guy who reviews all the pay and bonus cheques, I can assure you that solid workers earn a very good living to support themselves and their families. It is one of the reasons we are proud to have many employees who have been with CFIB for many years. Just this week, I recognized two colleagues – one with 20 and another with 30 years of experience. As for management, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a management team more plugged in and responsive. I take great pride in personally meeting every one of our 400 employees every year, regardless of where they live in Canada. All of our management team does the same. Even though you have moved on, I’d welcome any other feedback you may have. Feel free to contact me directly.Thanks again. Dan KellyPresident and CEO
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Great innovation concept, to educate businesses. But will not compensate the outside Reps. Minium pay structure of $800 a month and hasn't changed since 2009. Commissions based on getting businesses in Great Vancouver Area to sign up as members. 2009 membership fee per year was $350.00, no doubt fee membership has risen since 2009. The problem is most businesses while they see the benefit of being part of CFIB they won't sign up. Be it the economic uncertainty in the business market are just not willing to sign up. From what I know and seen there is a high turn-over of independent reps in BC. Every so often one can see new job posting to fill the position.
Pros
Independent.
Cons
No salary, no vehicle expenses, no cell phone expenses etc.
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Comment – 14 March 2016
Thank you for posting your experience at CFIB. I’m happy you’ve noted your support of the basic mission of CFIB in serving independent business owners. I agree completely.I take all feedback on jobs at CFIB very seriously. As you know, the minimum pay structure is just that – a minimum that is there to support District Managers until they get into the groove of the job. Very few of our colleagues earn that minimum beyond the first few weeks. In fact, our turnover rates were down nearly 30% in 2015 following a focus on recruitment and recent changes to the compensation system. However, it isn’t a job for everyone. Those that like independence, defending a group of entrepreneurs who have few others in their corner and no upward cap on their earning potential do very well. Our employee survey had an over 80% completion rate and we had strong results in most areas of sales compensation (and we are looking carefully at some areas where we need to do more). I’m sorry that the role didn’t meet your expectations and am happy to have you contact me directly if there is any specific feedback you’d like to share. With 109,000 members across Canada and nearly 400 employees, I like to hold myself accountable to our members and colleagues and would be pleased to follow-up directly. Also, I wish you the absolute best on your future career efforts.Dan Kelly, President and CEO.
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CFIB is a great career opportunity for people who like to work very independently and work on 100% commission. If you work hard you can make a great salary.
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I used to work with CFIB back in 2009. What they stood for was great. The only people who made a good salary were the upper management. Was paid $890.00 a month that didn't cover my gas, insurance. Was hard to get clients to join their membership in Vancouver mainland. From what I see, most don't stay on as outside sales due to salary and lack of interest. Was with them for two months and I quit.
Pros
Nothing to speak of
Cons
low salary, lack of interest from the Business community
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Being a district manager at CFIB has changed my life, and the life of many of my colleagues here at the federation. For the right candidate, there is no better job or organization to work for. There is a members first culture here at CFIB and it is more like joining a family run business. 60% of the job is meeting with existing members and 40% is adding new small business owners to CFIB. This can be done in a variety of way including cold calling, referrals from members, and referrals from CFIB partners. If you embrace the referral part of the job, the cold calling aspect of the job can be reduced to very little. There is a very good team atmosphere and our members are extremely supportive of the federation. New member generation is a necessary part of the job, but if you are able to work smart it really is not that difficult. I was told I should expect 55-60K in my first year with the potential to earn more. In a very small rural territory, I have never earned less than $85,000 per year, not including the RRSP matching program and all the other incentives. This job is not for everyone. There is very little administration and office work involved. If you are not a self-starter, self-motivated, or have a hard time experiencing and dealing with the rejection that comes with selling to business owners, this might not be the job for you. I am sure the hiring manager would be more than happy to discuss all of this with you should you interview for the District Manager position. All I can say is that coming to work for CFIB was, by far and away, the best career decision. - more...
Pros
Mission of CFIB, Professionalism, generous compensation based on performance, culture
Cons
some cold calling necessary and rejection. If you can handle both of those, sky is the limit
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