Have you ever recognized you are so busy working “in” your business that you’re unable to work “on” your business? So why you should you join your local chamber when the chamber might mean more time away from the office? Here are 5 reasons chamber participation is not a fruitless burden on time but rather a true benefit to your business and life.
1. Relationships: This isn’t about networking, it is about gaining friends, associates and even advocates. The people you get to know may or may not do business with you, but the social and emotional return in building meaningful, lasting relationships can be more meaningful than the financial return you seek.
2. Visibility: The age-old adage applies here, “out of sight, out of mind.” While many companies are looking to be seen in the cyber world and are doing a very good job of it, nothing sells your business better than being in front of people face to face. Business is so much more than simple transactions of money for goods and/or services with its root in relationships.
3. Promotion: Chambers offer a wide-range of advertising options and sponsorship packages. A business can sponsor entire programs or events through a chamber. Beyond the paid advertising options, chambers also have ways to provide additional business promotion for free through monthly and annual awards, social media, regular newsletters and even printed materials.
4. Community connection: Some business leaders in large companies have expressed the feeling they’re too big or not local enough to need local chambers of commerce. One flaw in that thinking is they and their employees are very much a part of the local economy, regardless of the number of franchise locations they have in other states. Chambers are not-for-profit organizations desired to lift the economy.
5. Programs and events: Membership in a chamber of commerce provides access to all of their programs and events, which are many. As a chamber director, sometimes I feel like all I’m doing is event planning. Chamber events include luncheons, networking specific events, awards banquets, golf tournaments, city celebration events and many others specific to each chamber. All of these events are designed to build your business.
I must point out the importance of the word participate. Joining a chamber is great. A business receives many benefits visibly and behind the scenes. However, joining only gets you so far. Participating is the true key to receiving the benefits of chamber membership. It’s up to you!