You’re in Great Company
If you run a business, you know that having connections within your community can really help things along. Whether you need suppliers, information, or other services, working with other businesses and the people who run them is just smart. However, it can be difficult for you to make these sort of connections. Especially if you live in a larger area or somewhere that businesses are more spread out, it can be a lot of legwork and time consuming to really network effectively. You’re probably thinking there has to be a smarter way to do things, and you would be right.
Join your local Chamber of Commerce. While membership fees and benefits vary from place to place, one thing that you will definitely find is support. Your local Chamber is very active within the community and will advocate for your business when necessary with local, state, and federal officials. That’s a huge help, especially when you are the little guy and being taken advantage of. Some Chambers host luncheons or receptions with speakers to give you information or education, or simply provide a way to network.
Another great benefit is that you can expand your visibility. Your local Chamber likely has a website with a searchable company database. People will be able to look online to find any type of service they’re looking for. If you are not part of the Chamber, you’re not going to be listed. And this site will provide a level of comfort to the consumer, as they know there are operating standards all members should follow. In addition, the larger the organization, the more likely you will receive special pricing on goods and services through specific companies that are either part of the Chamber themselves or through bulk-business accounts. Your business may also be listed in Welcome or Newcomer kits that are disseminated to people who move to the area.
Our local Chamber also has a Board of Directors and a Board of Advisors, which help to promote a business-friendly agenda and makes decisions for the organization as a whole. They are also the ones who handle the voting for the Chamber Awards – great categories like Small Business of the Year, Next Generation Award, and all kinds of other things that will look great framed and on your wall where everyone can see it.
So, I hope that you can see what sort of benefits are in store for you. I joined as soon as I could afford to and I have never regretted it! You get to meet other people and exchange ideas. You get discounts on services and advertising. You get to be more of a part of the community and have advocates on your side when you need it. Your business and employees are recognized for doing well, and you are also supporting economic development in your area. Check out what your local Chamber can offer you and decide for yourself.