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Benefits of Chamber of Commerce Membership

Do you join or don’t you? Like so many other questions to answer on your never ending list of “what do I do now that I own my own business”, one question you will likely have to – and want to – answer is whether or not you should join your local Chamber of Commerce.

In a simple response – yes, you should. But it’s important to understand why you should join in an effort to really gain from your Chamber experience.

Chamber of Commerces are designed to support the vitality of all businesses within their community. But beyond collectively working to help everyone thrive, most Chambers look at your unique business in an effort to help you uniquely thrive. Some advantages that are included in most Chambers include:

Promotional Opportunity

Through social media, websites, local news sources and more, the amount of publicity you can gain in direct relationship with your Chamber of Commerce is invaluable. It’s their job to constantly be seeking attention for all businesses, so make sure you don’t miss out on these valuable experiences.

Networking

Chambers are a great way to meet new people, including other local business owners. If you take  the time to use networking opportunities to leverage your business growth and overall success, you are sure to see it help your sales. Meeting one new person could result in ten new referrals to your business, so make networking part of your sales strategy. Here’s the catch – don’t be insincere about only networking for this reason. Make friends, build relationships, brainstorm community ideas, seek advice, give advice…. and in return, sales will come to you.

Customer Growth

Any business owner will tell you that making and increasing sales is one of their top goals. Through Chamber of Commerce memberships, you can do just that. A like minded customer at one store could be your next new customer at your store… yet he or she may never know about you unless the store owner tells them. In addition, customers learn about businesses from literature that Chambers put out througout their communities. Often a walking guide tells them where to shop, where to eat and what to do. This is a great reason alone to be a part of your Chamber!

Business Ideas

Bringing your own dream to life is a wonderful accomplishment. But every now and then, there are deadends in your dream that need a little help from others to open up new roads to travel on. This help can come from friends, other store owners, business expos, consultants, blogs and more. Much of this will be provided to you through your Chamber – even if it’s just a reference from one Chamber member to another.

Support

At the end of the day, owning your business can be exhausting. No matter how much you love what you do, working retail hours can wear anyone out. The Chamber gets that. Let them hear your voice, let them know your thoughts and let them be there for you. Together, you can help make your business and your community thrive.

Just like everything else in the world, there are always exceptions. Some Chambers are not so great…. as much as I wish this wasn’t the case. But for the most part, Chambers are there to help you in your business goals. So let them.  Be a part of what your business is – your community and your success.

Did you know Retail Minded offers presentations and workshops at Chamber of Commerces? Find out more by contacting Retail Minded!


Comments

  • B Michlig
    March 15, 2011

    At the end of the day, trying to explain basic business tenets to my Chamber of Commerce is not only exhausting, but infuriating. My $275 annual membership fee seems to go only to salary, and to maybe have 12 members “like” me. It’s much more a private club than a real, get down to business growth group. The year I ceased my membership is the year I put the $275 back into my own profit, and eliminated nagging headaches to boot. As always, your mileage may vary.

  • Retail Minded
    March 18, 2011

    B Michlig – So true, unfortunately. There are exceptions to everything and it sounds like you are in an area where the Chamber just isn’t what they could be. Sorry to hear this. I hope that you have been able to find the business support / networking / marketing elsewhere – even if it’s primarily through your own events. Wishing you much success!

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