I’ve had “Join the Chamber of Commerce” on my To Do list for many months now. I don’t know why I kept putting it off. Yes, an up-front, out-of-pocket expense is required to get started, but the benefits of being a member are irrefutable.
The Ability to Change from One to Many
The way businesses are run has drastically changed over the last decade. Many people work from their computers, at home. They never go into an office and possibly never meet their coworkers face-to-face. (I’ve worked with one such virtual company for 3 years and have yet to meet a coworker in person!) This setup can be very isolating.
As soon as you join the Chamber, even before your first in-person networking event, you become a member of a group of business professionals. Business professionals who, like you, are interested in building relationships, growing their business, and supporting each other.
The Opportunity for Potential Business
It’s a given that Chamber members are serious about their businesses; otherwise, they wouldn’t have bothered to join. They wouldn’t invest their time by contributing to the Chamber or attending events. This “seriousness” automatically makes each of them attractive to do business with—to other Chamber members and to non-member potential clients.
By becoming a member, your business is placed in front of each of those fellow business owners (hundreds of them!), telling them:
- “Hi, I’m new here. It’s a pleasure to meet you!”
- “This is what I can do or offer. I can’t wait to hear what your business can do/offer, too.”
- “I take my business seriously. I’m a professional. I see that you are a professional, too. I can’t wait to find ways to work together!”
As a bonus, Chamber members are more likely to refer the services of fellow members over non-members!
A Method of Increasing Brand Awareness & Improving Brand Perception
Simply by being a Chamber member, you gain immediate credibility and are seen as professional and competent. You can go from being virtually unknown one minute to being known by hundreds of your local peers the next. Of course, you can still do that without joining the Chamber—one.client.at.a.time—but why not give yourself and your business an advantage, especially when that advantage is so readily available?
An Opportunity to Contribute, Learn & Improve
With all of these great minds in the same “room,” innovative ideas are bound to happen! I look forward to sharing my own voice and ideas for the betterment of my Chamber, which will only increase my experience and expertise, and to receiving feedback and ideas on how I can improve my own business.
I look forward to sharing these lessons in future blog posts—so be sure to subscribe!
If you’re the pebble, and your local potential client base is the pond, the Chamber of Commerce is the action of the pebble being tossed into that pond, creating infinite ripples, infinite possibilities. Once you’re in the pond, though, it’s up to you to keep that momentum going (just like with your website!). You have to be an active member. Don’t stand in the corner, collect dust, and watch your membership dues go to waste—use your membership to turn those ripples into waves!
As a Chamber of Commerce member, what results have you seen from your membership? If you don’t yet belong to a Chamber, what reasons do you have for not joining?